1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Chose NCL for Activities to entertain a 13 year old boy, amenities for two 80 year olds. Destination to beautiful Bermuda. The ship was at capacity; much too crowded for our party of 5. LONG lines on all kid friendly activities. Most ... Read More
Chose NCL for Activities to entertain a 13 year old boy, amenities for two 80 year olds. Destination to beautiful Bermuda. The ship was at capacity; much too crowded for our party of 5. LONG lines on all kid friendly activities. Most shows sold out. Specialty dining reservations extremely difficult to make. Childrens pool too small and too crowded. Would suggest including a tween/teen pool, or allowing tween/teen time in adult pool. The ship lack the ability to accommodate so many travelers. Guest services staff not empowered to solve issues; simply offer smiles, apologize and re-iterate that the experience was fully booked. Long lines at guest services. Long waits at elevators. Bars not adequately staffed. Staff told us several times the ship was crowded and sailing at capacity. 13 year old spent more time in cabin reading than opting to wait to participate in activites. He did not consider his time on board as fun/vacation. We LOVED our dining experience at Manhattan Room, Moderno and Cagneys; Cagneys and Moderno not our first choice. First choice Tapenyaki, sold out. Beyamo sold out. Beverly at Tapenyaki most helpful representative. LaCucina, noisy, average food, hair found in sons pizza. Eddie our steward, Excellent. Excellent experience with K & S watersports...parasailing excursion on land not available thru NCL. Also beach day at Elbow beach, booked through resortforaday. Snorkeling Catamaran excursion booked thru NCL, thoroughy enjoyed by all. Information before cruise not forthcoming unless we called. Couldn't book dining for 5. yet on board, couldn't reserve dining for less than 8. Many opportunities and emails received to spend more money for upgrade. Onboard WIFI minutes not explained. We thought we'd be able to talk among our five travellers. This requires a $10/day/person fee. On board bowling, $6 per game. Gaming pass for the week....$170. All onboard charges applied to credit card....if paid with a travellers check would result in waiting on a line to "cash out" at the end of our trip. Disembarking goes quickly....a problem if you have a car service reserved to get you. Needed to leave cabin at 8:30am; yet our disembarking time 9:45am. We were told to plan luggage would be available 10:30. It was available at 9:15. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We selected this cruise for a newer ship and all the perks received. We had the unlimited beverage package, 3 free nights in specialty restaurant, and OBC. The ship was spotless, great friendly service and crew in all areas. After ... Read More
We selected this cruise for a newer ship and all the perks received. We had the unlimited beverage package, 3 free nights in specialty restaurant, and OBC. The ship was spotless, great friendly service and crew in all areas. After Midnight and Choir of Men were exceptional, make sure to make reservations for both. We were pleased with food in all areas. The only complaint - we were billed for 4 people in Margaritaville, when it was only for 2 - my wife and myself. I saw this on TV - went to guest services, and the correction was made. We are Royal Caribbean and Celebrity fans, but cruise NCL also since out of NYC and no flying - and additional perks. We are booked on Dawn for October - hope service and food is just as good. Also, one really nice feature that is not offered on all cruise lines - we had a relaxing lunch in MDR - great service and avoided the craziness of buffet on embarkation day - wish more lines would adopt this policy. Till we were done with lunch cabins were just about ready. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We were pleasantly surprised by the service, facilities and food on Escape. It is the biggest ship we have ever sailed on. The lounges, restaurants and bars are well designed and well maintained, the deck areas were always spotless and ... Read More
We were pleasantly surprised by the service, facilities and food on Escape. It is the biggest ship we have ever sailed on. The lounges, restaurants and bars are well designed and well maintained, the deck areas were always spotless and there were plenty of available sun beds throughout the voyage, something that has not always happened on smaller ships. As on most ships we had to wait for the lifts and they were usually crowded, specially during the stop in Bermuda when everyone was returning from shore excursions. We only used the complimentary restaurants, Taste, Savour and Manhattan, it was disappointing that they all had the same menu. We never had a problem with table availability though as we don’t eat early but there were queues between 5pm and 6.30 and you couldn’t reserve in advance. The food was good and there was plenty of choice. Breakfast however was rather a nightmare for us, being English, the waiters never seemed to understand us. Every day we had what we called the ‘Tea Ceremony’ because we had to wait so long for cold milk the pot of hot water went cold and had to be replaced. As we never had the same waiter twice it was the same every morning. They didn’t understand us wanting A1 sauce with eggs, a selection of pastries for our table or needing extra tea bags. My husband often asked for white toast but kept being served wheat. Do ‘white and wheat’ sound the same!? One day we sat for three quarters of an hour waiting for our main breakfast and we complained. The next day we were only half way through our cereals and fruit when came our eggs so there was no room on the table. We ended up receiving chocolates in our rooms, which was a nice gesture. We didn’t see any shows because The Americans book everything in advance on the first day or so, so we only saw a magician because it was free seating. I find it hard to understand why entertainment was put on in the Atrium, we weren’t bothered about the silly game shows and bingo that were so popular with many passengers. However there is not enough seating there and because there were chairs moved around to be in front of the screen it blocked the passage through the ship and was also incredibly noisy. One of our main issues was the noise around the ship, not everyone wants loud music pounding out all the time. There were no quiet bars on board where you can sit and chat with a cocktail or have a game of cards accompanied by a discreet singer or background music like other ships we’ve sailed on. Our other issue was the tiny swimming pool. It was impossible for people to have a dip to cool off because people are allowed to sit on the edge with feet in the pool. They sit so close together drinks in hand that it is impossible to get through to access the pool. We considered this to be a safety issue, the pool is deep and if there was a problem it would be difficult for anyone to gain access quickly. Apart from this is stops people from the sun decks from being able to have a cooling dip. Never had this problem on other ships. This should be looked into. Our room was spacious with ample storage and a decent balcony, the staff on the whole were helpful too. We didn’t appreciate the announcement the day before disembarkation that there would be a shortage of taxis at the port so it would be best to pay $45 pp for the ships transfer to the airports. Of course there wasn’t a shortage and the four of us paid $92 for a taxi with no wait at all. This also applies when in port, not everyone wants to take overpriced tours. In Bermuda we took a taxi to Horseshoe Bay for $35 between us. They were freely available at this set fee. That’s as it is, on the whole we had a great cruise on a sport ship to what for us was a new and fabulous destination. i hope the powers that be will listen to it’s passenger’s comments. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This has been my 7th NCL Cruise. Everything was perfect. Food was wonderful, service was impressive and we loved all the entertainment also. Ship is kept spotless and the crew is tirelessly working for us. We also enjoyed beautiful ... Read More
This has been my 7th NCL Cruise. Everything was perfect. Food was wonderful, service was impressive and we loved all the entertainment also. Ship is kept spotless and the crew is tirelessly working for us. We also enjoyed beautiful weather and very smooth seas! Eating at Cagneys is always a treat! Lobster bisque is amazing and rib eyes and filets were delicious. We also had a fabulous meal at LaCucina. The one negative about the Escape is the fact that the ship does not have a large public, windowed room at the top, for that panoramic view. The Spinnaker lounge on the Pearl or the Gem has it. Ship seemed crowded at times. People hog chairs by the pool all day. This happens on all ships, but we couldn’t find two chairs together on sea days. We bid on an upgrade from an ocean view to an aft balcony and received it. We were very happy. Room was comfortable with a nice size shower. Shower has an adjustable shower head for short people. I love it! 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
okay, here are our comments....... to preface everything we did, our last 5-7 cruises were on the Gem so I'm using that as the baseline to compare .....the GEM was so enjoyable and so pleasant........the ESCAPE was way too ... Read More
okay, here are our comments....... to preface everything we did, our last 5-7 cruises were on the Gem so I'm using that as the baseline to compare .....the GEM was so enjoyable and so pleasant........the ESCAPE was way too big....whoever made the decision that there should be only TWO elevator banks for 4,200 people should be demoted to swabbing the poop deck....horrible decision......unfortunately our cabin was located middeck....about 1/8 mile from the nearest elevator bank...seemed like a 1/4 of a mile after awhile.....that trek grew tiresome... the disembarkation methodology was great...one of the fastest ever and most comfortable (we could sit down while waiting to leave)....the embarkation was more than adequate provided you got there by 9:30..... the most unfair, unjust thing was the passage fee we were charged....what I object to the most is that we didn't have the option to reject all the "free" perks and thus get a lower fare.....by not having the option to get a lower fare, I feel that we were "taken to the cleaners"......we were paying for everyone's drinks et. al. by being forced to pay the same price whether one took the drink package or, for that matter, the part of any other package........no option to forego the "free" stuff for a lower fare....the cruise on the GEM last year cost $2,800...this year the cost was $3,600.....WOW!!!!....I only agreed to go because my wife really wanted to go....but never again!!!!!!...not at this price!!! ….the balcony on the ESCAPE was much too small...the GEM spoiled us....service was great (ESCAPE) and the staff were very friendly....didn't do any excursions…..St. George's walk-about was great....loved The White Horse Inn....If we can't go on a smaller ship, on whatever line, we've been on our last cruise.....we will never again sail on a ship with more than 2,000 people.....bring back the GEM to NYC!!!!! ...the GEM spoiled us....we'd like to say see you again next year, but not on this ship....or any one of this size like it....the food in the garden café was ok.....nothing great....however we loved the desserts there.... the dining in the specialty restaurants was above average...Le Bristo was the best....loved the freestyle dining..... 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
There was 3 main rooms to eat.One forgot husbands dinner and order and when he did receive it everyone else was done.They gave him a steak that you couldnt cut never mind eat. The second main room was always late and food never hot and the ... Read More
There was 3 main rooms to eat.One forgot husbands dinner and order and when he did receive it everyone else was done.They gave him a steak that you couldnt cut never mind eat. The second main room was always late and food never hot and the cook was terrible.The 3rd main room was the savor and it wasnt too bad but the food was never hot.So we tried the 3 speciality dinning rooms.The seafood well i had a lopster whole when i ordered the tail.They cooked it on a grill and i couldnt get the meat off the lopster to eat it.Terrible and this was a speciality dinning.The french one was very good and that was the only one that was great. The 3rd one i dont even remember but it was bad food so that will give you an idea of what that was like. They had entertainment good for the teens and that was it.Terrible.The comedy club was so so.Only good thing was the bar and thank god for that or we would of starved.How could they charge what they did when the food was so terrible i dont know.We had a white party and loud music for teens and children no matter what age were allowed till midnight.That ruined it for the adults who wanted to dance and drink.All in all stay away from norweigan any of them.This was my second norweigan ship and never ever again.Hope i did the required amount of letters which is so stupid also Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because we love the itinerary and wanted to try the Norwegian Escape. We have done two cruises on the Dawn and six on the Gem. There were almost twice as many passengers aboard than what we were used to. Things moved ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we love the itinerary and wanted to try the Norwegian Escape. We have done two cruises on the Dawn and six on the Gem. There were almost twice as many passengers aboard than what we were used to. Things moved along at the NYC terminal very quickly to our surprise. It was a bit intimidating doing the muster drill in the atrium due to the crowds and it was quite warm. There was an adjustment period the first day because of the pool and restaurants being on different decks than we were used to. By the next morning we began our love affair with the Escape. Three main complementary dining rooms and a very nice area on deck 17 is call Spice H20 which is great for reading on the loungers and relatively quiet. There is also a huge movie screen that shows films under the stars on a few nights. The food was superior to the other Norwegian ships we've cruised with previously. Every member of the crew was friendly and greeted us with a smile. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
My 60th BDay cruise and I had a blast. This was a last minute decision and I'm so so glad I did. The price was right, I live in New York so its convenient. The Entertainment was great. They also have Celebrities on the ship. I went ... Read More
My 60th BDay cruise and I had a blast. This was a last minute decision and I'm so so glad I did. The price was right, I live in New York so its convenient. The Entertainment was great. They also have Celebrities on the ship. I went to a show to see the fabulous Sharon Wilkins. Matter of fact it was Dinner and a show, A 5 course dinner and a show for a very small fee. I absolutely loved it had a great time watching her singing and mingle in the audience it was up close and personal. I visited all the Specialty restaurants on the ship and enjoyed each and every one. My cabin steward Charlie was great he catered to my every want and need . What I want people to know is fill out those comment cards let the higher ups know you appreciate when all goes right on your vacation. I Did. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Norwegian was a last minute choice of destinations and cruise line. Our experience has been with Royal Caribbean and Carnival. Rating all three I would give Royal Caribbean the best. I felt there was a lack of pools on Norwegian. Even ... Read More
Norwegian was a last minute choice of destinations and cruise line. Our experience has been with Royal Caribbean and Carnival. Rating all three I would give Royal Caribbean the best. I felt there was a lack of pools on Norwegian. Even though it was an older crowd the adult pool was overcrowded and seating around the pool area was uncomfortable. The port of call to great stirrup Keyes was a major disappointment. Instead of another day at sea the Cruiseline might have compensated in another day elsewhere. Royal Caribbean did use tenders at the site that day. The excursion of glass kayak/ snorkel should have been canceled. It was much too dangerous to enter the water and kayas could not. Another ship told us they canceled it. They advertised a nice beach and it was like walking on coral. It seemed the overall performance of the ships staff was unorganized at times. Loud speakers did not work in our room only the hallway. Dinner menu was too repetitive. Went early to a specialty restaurant and was told no reservations yet plenty of open tables. Only two tables occupied. Even though I washed my hands frequently I came away with a nasty upper respiratory infection. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We picked this cruise because of the time frame and the itinerary. We had not been to these ports before and will not pick this itinerary again. Ports were okay but just not for us. We loved all the special attention we received in ... Read More
We picked this cruise because of the time frame and the itinerary. We had not been to these ports before and will not pick this itinerary again. Ports were okay but just not for us. We loved all the special attention we received in the dining rooms casino and shops which was probably due to our haven status. The staff were super great. The ship was large but noticed that smokers filled the 678 Ocean Place with smoke for the entire cruise. A better ventilation system is needed. Our room was spacious and we loved the balcony........spent most of our time there instead of the haven courtyard. NCL freestyle cruising suited us to just do nothing and sometimes do a little of something (see a show, bingo or sunbathing) We are now planning our next cruise and hope it is on the Escape. Did I mention that I loved the shops on board? Loved the "Life is Good" store the best. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Ship was 3 1/2 hours late boarding and departing. No explanation was given in the terminal. NCL didn't offer anything while thousands of people just stood around (no seating available). Could have at least had a bottle of water or a ... Read More
Ship was 3 1/2 hours late boarding and departing. No explanation was given in the terminal. NCL didn't offer anything while thousands of people just stood around (no seating available). Could have at least had a bottle of water or a snack. Had to sanitize because people were sick on the previous cruise. The ship was dirty when we boarded. Our cabin was filthy with dirt on the floor and a layer of dust on everything. it wasn't cleaned until day 12 of the two week cruise. The cabin was small. We could barely get our bags in the closet. No table in front of the sofa. Small veranda with two non-reclining seats and a 1 sqft table. Small bath. I could barely move in the shower without bouncing off the walls, and I am not big. Several entertainment events were cancelled. Deck activities were not available for the first week. Food was very low end, unless you pay extra for the specialty restaurants. No quiet relaxing place anywhere on the ship. All places were completely disorganized and extremely slow. it took over an hour to get a bagel for breakfast. Crew, while not overly rude, were far from polite. Fitness center never had any towels. Two days the doors were closed with people standing outside waiting for them to open. An officer walked right through without saying a word and never came back to open the doors. Finally we just opened the doors ourselves and went in. They continued to sanitize for the entire cruise. That is good, except the chemicals were very irritating. About 1/2 the passengers were constantly coughing. And since they never cleaned anything, the dirt and dust made it worse. The entertainment was so-so. Two of the comedians were good. For the main show, After Midnight, many people either walked out or wanted to leave. The bands seemed to be competing for the greatest vol. They were so loud they were painful. It was impossible to hold a conversation whenever they were playing, either in the atrium or on the deck. That made it even louder with everyone yelling at each other over the sound of the music. Tobacco road stunk up the entire deck. The smoke odor was so strong we had to leave the game area there. We could even smell smoke on our deck 14 veranda (possibly from someone smoking in their room). Restrooms were never attended and almost constantly dirty. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Our local senior center was offered what appeared to be a good deal for a 14 day Caribbean Cruise. We thought we would try another cruise line other than one we have frequented.. It was a good value and we enjoyed it. However, there was ... Read More
Our local senior center was offered what appeared to be a good deal for a 14 day Caribbean Cruise. We thought we would try another cruise line other than one we have frequented.. It was a good value and we enjoyed it. However, there was room for improvement. Two swimming pools with a capacity of 82 for everyone on board not in The Haven is ridiculous. This is a poor design.Cruise guests totally disregard the rule about saving lounge chairs. So, get there early at poolside. The food in the buffet was adequate; but many guests opted for the dining rooms during International and Oriental buffet nights. O"sheehan's is a really good alternative to the main dining venues. The cabin was nice and the bathroom was worth the upgrade to a mini suite for a 14 day cruise. The entertainment varied . Some acts were excellent . Some were fair. Some weren't our style. The Embarkation process was messed up owing to a virus outbreak on the prior cruise. NCL did not react well to this glitch. One guest was told her stateroom would be ready @ 11P.M. for what was supposed to be a 3 P M departure. I doubt that I will ever want to sail again from the Port of Manhattan. Certain parties ( Read as wealthy) can park where and when they want and let the busloads be damned. The port workers can also be fickle.( local & federal) One other note. The PA system is quite loud. Talking at dinner on deck 7 was quite difficult while a DJ was entertaining in the Atrium on 6 Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because of the ports, and it was a very reasonable price. The old adage "You get what you pay for" was, in this case, very true. We got an e-mail from Norwegian to please arrive to board between 12:30 ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports, and it was a very reasonable price. The old adage "You get what you pay for" was, in this case, very true. We got an e-mail from Norwegian to please arrive to board between 12:30 and 1:00 PM. We got to the pier at 12:25 and had to line up outside the terminal for 45 minutes just to check our luggage. We then had a one hour line inside the terminal to check in. There was a separate line for the Haven people who were checked in the moment they came inside. Once we finally got to the desk we were told that our medical form had been filled out in red ink (the only pen the girl behind me had to lend ) had to be in blue. When we were finally cleared to board we got to the door that would lead to the elevators but we were turned away from that door -- it was reserved for the Haven people. We finally got to our floor but it was closed our room wasn't quite ready. Even though they had sent us that e-mail to please report two hours before. The Escape is very crowded. The passage ways are very narrow, it's hard for two people to pass we were constantly ducking in to doorways to let others go by or they did that for us. If the stewards carts' were in the hallways we had to squeeze by sideways. We went to the Atrium several times but were never able to get a seat, even with the extra seating on the floor above. Everything in the Atrium was too loud you could hear the games or the music all the way down the ship. We had a great balcony cabin 12-132 and a terrific room steward, Ronaldo. Debarkation was worse than the embarkation. We chose the last departure time and expected a more relaxed exit. We were due to leave at 9:00 but they were very late. Were weren't called to line up until 10:00. We went to the 7th floor and waited an hour to get off the ship. We then waited outside in the rain until for twenty minutes before entering the terminal collecting our bags and heading out. This cruise had several problems that were not the fault of Norwegian. Noro Virus hit our ship hard taking a toll on a number of crew members as well as passengers, but NCL didn't handle it very well. There was nothing anyone could do about the undertow that blocked us from the Bahamas. The government shut down may have contributed to the slow debarkation. There were only five people at the passport checking stations but adjustments could have been made rather than lining up all those people to stand around waiting to leave. The dining room was very slow, particularly on the last 5 or 6 days. I don't want to criticize the staff they really tried their best. It seemed like NCL was requiring them to do double and triple duty. The staff had to make up for the sick members of their teams and did the work of maintenance workers sanitizing tables and chairs after passengers finished eating. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
RT from NYC, easy to get to ship via train & cab. First time on this size ship for my husband and I but also traveled with my sister who took her family on the Escape in July. Expected long lines boarding but were surprised how ... Read More
RT from NYC, easy to get to ship via train & cab. First time on this size ship for my husband and I but also traveled with my sister who took her family on the Escape in July. Expected long lines boarding but were surprised how organized NCL was with embarkation process very efficient and quick! Enjoyed lunch in the Manhattan dining room, great service and food. Exploring the ship was easy because we had my sister as our guide. Really enjoyed the entertainment/shows especially The Choir of Man, The Brat Pack, Dueling pianos and JR. We picked this cruise because of the ports (we always do the eastern Caribbean) We took s few ship shore excursions and we’re very pleased with them. Well organized and very professional guides. Our favorite was the tour of Mayan Ruins in Cozumel. Can’t say enough about the ships staff, everyone always has a smile and makes you feel very welcome. We will definitely sail again on NCL. Disembarkation was extremely slow, long lines and difficult finding luggage. Suggest walk off option if you can. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Let me start by saying I love to travel, especially to Caribbean islands. I particularly love vacations filled with nature, adventure and exploring new places. I've traveled quite a bit over the years, so I know that a big part of ... Read More
Let me start by saying I love to travel, especially to Caribbean islands. I particularly love vacations filled with nature, adventure and exploring new places. I've traveled quite a bit over the years, so I know that a big part of traveling is keeping things in stride and going with the flow. With this cruise vacation, however, my patience was tested even before getting on the ship. First the long line to drop off luggage, then the REALLY long line to go through security, then the line to check in, and finish that off with a line to get your picture taken and pretend you're having fun while still bundled in winter coats. Once on the boat my main complaints how smokey it is. The design of the ship is just terrible. They put the casino (where they allow smoking) in an open area around a 3-level atrium. And on these 3 levels are most things you'd want to enjoy on the ship--restaurants, comedy club, lounges, shopping, theatre, etc. The smoke is not contained at all, but wafts throughout these 3 floors. Complaint #2: The Garden Cafe. The very first morning of our cruise we went down to breakfast at 10:15 am (an unusually busy time, maybe?) and I just wanted to cry. The place was packed. The three of us waited a long time to get our food, but then walked around and around the place and could not find a place to sit. I was prepared to eat standing up, but then couldn't find any utensils to eat with (I later learned they're kept on the tables). People without any food were saving tables all over--a problem we also experienced with pool chairs, seating in the lounges, the theatre, you name it. This was one crowded ship. Another thing...I was thinking such a big cruise ship would have plenty of variety and I would be able to find enough things to eat. I normally eat a diet of mainly vegetables with a little meat. At breakfast there was not a vegetable to be found, unless you count the tablespoon of spinach in my omelet. It was pretty much a buffet of meat and sugar. On the positive side, the entertainment was really nice. "After Midnight" was absolutely awesome! Wow, what talent. I left wanting to see what else those performers might be able to do. "The Brat Pack" was OK. The staff talent show at the end was cute. The comedians were on board were great--Spencer James and Flip Shultz, as was Ben Nemzer, the magician/comedian. The Adele tribute artist (Chelsea something) was great. One suggestion for Norwegian: quit shining those strobe lights into the eyes of audience members! It happened at every show we saw in the theater. The overall vibe of the ship just wasn't for me. Maybe it was because this cruise spanned over New Year's, but there were so many drunk people everywhere. Surprising, since it seems it would be awfully expensive to get drunk on that ship! Also, I felt nickel-and-dimed. Extra $ for internet service, extra to use a Norwegian app that lets you text others on the ship while out at sea, extra for some of the entertainment and restaurants, $6 for a bottle of water from the bar, and so on. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Embarkation was a little confusing and takes time, but once you get on the ship it is beautiful. We were in a mini suite and feels pretty much the same as a balcony cabin. All dining is great. Service in restaurants good(Cagney's ... Read More
Embarkation was a little confusing and takes time, but once you get on the ship it is beautiful. We were in a mini suite and feels pretty much the same as a balcony cabin. All dining is great. Service in restaurants good(Cagney's Steak house - amazing and lots of choices when eating at O'Sheehans - great place to have a good and quick breakfast), rooms cleaned well, but never really saw our room steward (Usually there is more interaction with the staff), bars and lounges take great care of you (They remember you when you return and come up and say high when you are not in the same area). Ports were all fantastic. But the Highlight of our cruise was the Dinner/Show in the Supper Club "The Choir of Men" they were fantastic, amazing and very enjoyable. You had to pay extra, but I would pay again to see that show. Would definitely cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
A great itinerary of islands. Cruising between Thanksgiving and Christmas is usually less crowded and a better bargain. The ship was busy, but not overcrowded. The crew was fantastic. The officers were out and about every day. ... Read More
A great itinerary of islands. Cruising between Thanksgiving and Christmas is usually less crowded and a better bargain. The ship was busy, but not overcrowded. The crew was fantastic. The officers were out and about every day. Entertainment was top notch. we love the comics and Howl at the Moon. The Choir of Men was great as was JR in The District and Chelsea Reynolds who played all different venues. We ate in the Manhattan Room many times and food and service was great. Also enjoyed some of the specialty dinning as part of the free perks. They were good too although I think service in the Manhattan Room was equally as good or better. Embarkation was a bit disorganized . We took our own luggage and walked off the ship with very little problem. We usually do our own shore excursions so I can't comment on that. Loved the Escape and would sail her again . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Just OK. Strange timing of events. Latitudes get together 6 PM in middle of dinner hour. Change of booked shows without notification and then they rescheduled the cancelled ones and didn't inform us of cancellation or that they booked ... Read More
Just OK. Strange timing of events. Latitudes get together 6 PM in middle of dinner hour. Change of booked shows without notification and then they rescheduled the cancelled ones and didn't inform us of cancellation or that they booked another one for us at a time and date we had something else scheduled. Found out by accident looking at our calendar. No water for a day and never notified about problem or how long it might take to repair. People showing up for breakfastr in Garden Cafe in bath robe and pajamas.Guests using tables reserved for handicapped guests and not giving them up when one is needed. $100 a day for drink package and you can't even get bottled water, orange juice or specialty coffee with the package yet you can get all the pineapple and cranberry juice you want. Music in atrium and theater was really loud. Bar service was great. need to bring back martini bar and include all martinis in pkg. not just 5 0r 6 that bartenders were allowed to make. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We wanted to get away before the holidays. The embarkation in New York was very quick and easy. The disembarkation was one of the best we hace experianced in a long time. The cruise line is getting better with this process. Our first ... Read More
We wanted to get away before the holidays. The embarkation in New York was very quick and easy. The disembarkation was one of the best we hace experianced in a long time. The cruise line is getting better with this process. Our first stop in Florida was delayed by 3 hours due to injuries suffered by crew members, of course this was unavoidable. But because of the late hour of arrival (4:30 PM) did not get off the ship because it would be dark by the time we got back. The 2nd stop, their private island was canclled due to strong currents, also unavoidable, safety first. So we did not get off the ship from Sunday until Thursday. Which is a long time to be stuck on the ship for us but we made due. Unfortunately this late arrival (not for injuries) and missed stop happened to us in May 2019 as well. The ship is big with alot of people. But there is too many activities held in the Atrium and not enough room. Some of the activities should be held in the theater or other venues. NCL has changed their bars to the point you can only get certain drinks at 1 or 2 bars., ex: flavored Martinis can only be ordered at the Atrium bar where all the activity is, too noisy not enough seats! There were very few shows that we enjoyed this trip The best one was in the Supper Club, the Choir of Man. There were 2 other shows in the venue that were also very good. The only 1 that was a pay for show was the Choir of Man, well worth the cost and saw it twice. The shows in the threater were ok but not as good as the Choir of Man. The service in the dining rooms was good and the food was very good as well. The only big issue we had this trip was the room steward. We like to give an extra tip when we first arrive so the few extra things we ask for will be taken care of, ex: extra coffee in the room. Well not only did we have to keep asking for more coffee we had to get wash cloths, and had to complain because the room was not cleaned by 3 PM in order to try to get a nap before dinner. From now on the extra tip will be much smaller in the beginning if at all. This was a 2 week cruise and had 5 stops that we were able to get off on. We were on a tour to a beach in Ocho Rios, would not recommend, old and in need of up keep. Told a small tour in Grand Cayman was ok. Have been there many times and have seen it all. In Belize we took a tour of the Mayan ruins but the time to get there and back was very long. The beach in Harvest Caye was much nicer but at the end of November after all the storms there was a lot of sea weed. The last tour was in Cozumel to a resort which included food and drinks. You need this extra because it was for 4 hours. There were stores and 2 pools along with the beach. But again there was a lot of sea weed at this time. This was the nicest tour of the whole cruise. I would recommend this cruise but not in November. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We have always taken the Southern Caribbean and decided to go on a Western one. The ports were great, shopping in new ports like Mexico were great. We will do it again. The cabin was always kept clean, the specilty dining is always great. ... Read More
We have always taken the Southern Caribbean and decided to go on a Western one. The ports were great, shopping in new ports like Mexico were great. We will do it again. The cabin was always kept clean, the specilty dining is always great. We saw some very good shows. It was fun setting up a reservation on your TV in the room. We were on the same ship (Escape) about 6 months ago and did not enjoy the trip at all. It was like the Crew would not talk to anybody. This trip was completely different. We had a great time with everyone. The weather after we left New York was very mild. The sea was nice to us.If anyone is worried about taking a cruise in Nov. & Dec. There is no need to worry. We will be cruising again real soon. Thanks for the time of our lives. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I chose this cruise because a group of local people were traveling together. How pleased I was with the total package. The choice of 3 specialty restaurants and the beverage package made the trip fun and less stressful. I loved my choices ... Read More
I chose this cruise because a group of local people were traveling together. How pleased I was with the total package. The choice of 3 specialty restaurants and the beverage package made the trip fun and less stressful. I loved my choices for dinning and it as great not to billed for drink. All the food from the buffet to the best steakhouse was excellent. Family members had been on this ship earlier in the year and had only great things to say. I had been on the Breakaway last year and loved both ships. I think I prefer the freestyle cruising now that I travel with friends and now that I'm a senior, dressing up just isn't that important. Travel agents make sure cruiser know about preplanning shows and restaurants. The staff was very helpful. The ports were fun and easy to visit. The private island is always my favorite stop. This was no exception. The weather was great. The water was warm. Best possible fun in the sun experience. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
The ship is very large with alot of people. This cruise we traveled with friends, not all liked the large ship. We travel out of the NY port which is very convenient for us living in Penna. One draw back on the ship is the Atrium is way ... Read More
The ship is very large with alot of people. This cruise we traveled with friends, not all liked the large ship. We travel out of the NY port which is very convenient for us living in Penna. One draw back on the ship is the Atrium is way too busy. I prefer a Martini bar which NCL has omitted from the newer ships. The martini bars were always out of the way of the crowd. The only place to get favored Martinis is at the Atrium where there is a lot of activities going on most of the time. So you can not relax very often at the Atrium bar. NCL has added a couple of other bars, where you can go for a quiet atmosphere. a wine bar and a brewhouse (beer). The stores on board had some nice products. We always like the specialty restaurants, mainly Le Bistro, Cagney's , and Teppanyaki. The mini-golf is always a draw for many people but is a fun activity for all. We were not able to enjoy all the shows but the ones we attended were enjoyable. Because we have been to this port before we did not take any excursions but walked around the port shops. The shops had a variety of items at mostly reasonable prices. The overall cruise was good and enjoyable. NCL has the best prices and ammenities for the price. The cabins have always been comfortable for us. I will continue to cruise with NCL (16 cruises and number 17 coming up) but do not like all the changes that have been made by the company. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Wanted to visit Bermuda for years and finally decided Norwegian was the way to go. We have been on other cruise lines, on the recommendation of our son, we choose Norwegian. Found the ship was beautiful and not hard to find your way ... Read More
Wanted to visit Bermuda for years and finally decided Norwegian was the way to go. We have been on other cruise lines, on the recommendation of our son, we choose Norwegian. Found the ship was beautiful and not hard to find your way throughout the ship. Freestyle dining was wonderful. Elegant dining available or cafeteria dining if you wish. The Manhattan room had live music and a dance floor, food was wonderful.O'sheehan's Irish Pub had delicious hot wings and reuben sandwiches !!Dress is smart cruise attire or comfortable depending on your dining option, Enjoyed the entertainment in the atrium at night and through the day. After Midnight was a great show. The entire staff was friendly and accomodating. Port in Bermuda was beautiful and clean. Shore excursions available from the ship or right at the pier. Room was roomy enough for 2 and bed was so comfortable. .We would travel Norwegian again for sure !! 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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