Sail Date: September 2018
It was close to home so we didn't have to fly and we have never been to Bermuda. Overall the cruise was wonderful but we were a bit surprised and annoyed a bit. 1) The whole 7th floor smelled like smoke and gave us a headache cause ... Read More
It was close to home so we didn't have to fly and we have never been to Bermuda. Overall the cruise was wonderful but we were a bit surprised and annoyed a bit. 1) The whole 7th floor smelled like smoke and gave us a headache cause they allow smoking in the open area of the casino so we didn't gamble even though i really wanted to 2) the food was AMAZINGLY TASTY and FLAVORFUL. they also had a lot of choices 3) Most of the chairs in the sun had towels or personal items on them for hours with no people in site so it doesn't allow others to use it for the purpose for which it is meant. TO SUN BAITHE. 4)Plenty of activities but no itinerary for the whole week up front so it makes it hard to plan day by day in advance. 5)the bermuda beaches were fantastic 6) When booking your cruise PLEASE find out the EXTRA CHARGES you will be hit withi.e gratuities per day @ 14.95 per persondarts/bowling/pool all have to use ur swipe card and cost from 2-6$ to play. don't use your phone unless you are ok with 100-250 in inernet charges. most of the extra charges were just not made aware of to us prior but otherwise we had a lot of fun. i would recommend this cruise unless you like to gamble and shop on the boat and you don't like smoking. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I booked with several friends from Houston, Tx., in fact, eight in all. I joined in with the solo cruisers and met some very nice fun people to eat with, hang out and dance with, and attend shows with. The entertainment was awesome and I ... Read More
I booked with several friends from Houston, Tx., in fact, eight in all. I joined in with the solo cruisers and met some very nice fun people to eat with, hang out and dance with, and attend shows with. The entertainment was awesome and I can't remember ever having as much fun as with this cruise. The personnel were remarkably friendly and eager to serve. My only regret was that it had to end. The ship was well maintained and the food was good. Lots of choices in the Main Dining Rooms as well as in the buffet area. The bars offered a variety of music and drinks and the personnel that led the game shows were amazing dancers and friendly while teaching the guests to dance. In spite of rainy weather and having to skip one port the extra day at sea was fun. I would not hesitate to sail on Norwegian again. In fact, I can hardly wait for my next adventure. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
The cruise wasn’t good we stayed on the boat more than we were suppose to didn’t get to go to the destination that we paid for instead ended up in Florida and a stop for a few hours at a private island. Didn’t get to see anything I ... Read More
The cruise wasn’t good we stayed on the boat more than we were suppose to didn’t get to go to the destination that we paid for instead ended up in Florida and a stop for a few hours at a private island. Didn’t get to see anything I wanted and customer service on the boat wasn’t the best. We still haven’t gotten money back for not going to Bermuda But other cruise lines did give their customers money back and a money off the next cruise. I won’t be going through them again for a cruise. The food on this cruise was okay. It could be better and also the entertainment was probably the only good part of the cruise. The shows saved my vacation but everything else was no worth the trip. Also the drink package was a good thing to have on the cruise without those two things I would have had a worse time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
I had researched many of the cruise lines before picking NCL, and thought it would be a great fit for us. I read about all the things the ship had to offer and the positive reviews posted. I had cruised before with Princess and was looking ... Read More
I had researched many of the cruise lines before picking NCL, and thought it would be a great fit for us. I read about all the things the ship had to offer and the positive reviews posted. I had cruised before with Princess and was looking forward to comparing the differences. For me it was kind of like it looked/seemed better in the pictures than in reality. Very crowded in many of the popular things to do so couldn't even try things out. I thought the passengers on the cruise were very friendly and seemed to be behaved even with all the drinking. The kids didn't seem to be out of control either. Embarkation: Getting on the ship was okay we live local so just called an Uber. Long lines once we got there. It took us about 2 hour from puling up to the pier to sitting down to get something to eat once on board. They lost one of our bags and I had to hunt it down myself as the staff didn't seem to be too concerned. Food/Drinks: We ate at 3 specialty restaurants, LeBistro, Teppanaki, Cagney's. LeBistro was our least favorite. The entrees at Teppanaki were very good, dessert and soup not so much. At Cagney's my husband got the filet mingion, which was good. I got the rib eye which was very fatty. I was glad I didn't pay for any of the restaurants as I didn't feel they were worth the extra fee. We ate at Taste and Savor and felt their food was about he same as the specialty ones. The service was the best at Cagney's. We ate breakfast and some lunches at the Garden Cafe. The food there was average to poor. They had mostly all the same food everyday on repeat with a few new ones thrown in. The buffets were often crowded and you felt like you had to be aggressive to get in line or get a table. Hand washing before getting in line at the buffet was non-existent. I saw very few people use the machine, yuck. People were often refilling their bottles from the drink station. The seats were stained and often wet from people's wet bathing suits. The drinks at the bars were very hit or miss, either too weak/strong or wrong. Some were so bad I had to just discard them and try getting a drink from a different bar. By the end of the cruise I was just getting seltzer not to deal with the inconsistencies. Thankfully we had the UBP so we weren't paying out of pocket for poor drinks. On-board activities: Many were very crowded or had long lines so we didn't want to deal with the hassle. The pool was very crowded wall to wall people. Too small of a pool for all those people. We bought the spa package to void the pools and on certain days it was hard to find loungers there also because people were saving them or sleeping on the thermal ones (only supposed to be used for 30 min). The steam room was either not working or not working well on 3 days out of the 7. The staff seemed to care less when it was brought to there attention. We attempted to go to Bingo but the cheapest bundle/package was $39+ so we skipped that. Entertainment: We saw Brat Pack, After Midnight, comedians, Howl at the Moon, juggler, and guitarist. All of them were great. Better than on other cruises. Really was looking forward to going to the Glow party but it was so packed we left after a few minutes as you couldn't even move. Service and Staff: Most not very friendly. They would say hello once we initiated it. We had only staff member ask us about our trip and that was so she could get our room number as she was looking for ratings. We never meet her nor did she ever serve us before so not really sure what I would comment on. She was going from table to table in the buffet. No one walking around with coffee refills as on other cruises. I had one person ask if we wanted drinks while at the casino. Mostly we had to hunt them down. The bartenders seemed stressed and short as they were very busy with all the people. Cabin: The Cabin was fine. We requested extension cords in advance (an email form and 2 phone calls to make sure) for CPAP machines and they still weren't there. They scrambled around to find one, only to bring back a 25 foot thick orange contractors/construction wheel type one we had to leave on our counter. Next time I'll bring my own. Ship: Kind of a pain that floors don't go straight through from aft to forward, so you have to walk through the deck to get the elevators. The public bathrooms were not well cleaned, toilet paper and "water" in many of the stalls. The elevator floors were very sticky from people spilling drinks and not being mopped. The only day I saw staff cleaning hand rails etc was one day when we got into port. There was a lot of smoke from the casino that could be smelt on all floors in the Atrium. Even in the non-smoking section people were smoking so you couldn't get away from it. Port: Loved Bermuda! We had a great time in port. The water and the beaches were beautiful. We went to Hamilton on the ferry, Horseshoe bay, Jobson Cove and snorkeling. We did the helmet dive with Hartley great fun! I would definitely go to Bermuda again just probably not with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Taste - main dining area day 2: My scrambled eggs and cheese were cold and they forgot my toast. Oddly they brought a gravy boat of shredded cheese rather than cooking it in my scrambled eggs. Manager, Moises, sent some wine and sweet ... Read More
Taste - main dining area day 2: My scrambled eggs and cheese were cold and they forgot my toast. Oddly they brought a gravy boat of shredded cheese rather than cooking it in my scrambled eggs. Manager, Moises, sent some wine and sweet treats to our room to apologize. Very classy and we appreciated it. Spa Zero spa shoes Zero lockers Zero access to thermal spa during appt Coed relaxation rooms There was some sort of detox seminar/tours to sell a service which is fine except that they hold it in the the relaxation room which isnt very relaxing for those of us trying to relax. Services were nice but overpriced for lack of additional amenities (like Thermal Spa usage with appt) Lots of upselling after appt with prices excessive for products. Amazon is much better for products over ship pricing. Sky bar has most of the late night activities but it's in n the middle of the casino so the smoke made me leave immediately. Most of the staff seemed very confused when asking where something was on the ship. So much so that after asking 3 people for directions where the sky lounge was, we never located it and missed the singles meet and greet. Not enough chairs on the ship so you have to wake up at the crack of dawn to claim your chairs. Vibe only allows for 100 people and though it has nice chairs, it only has a hot tub and no pool. All in all I'd rank the trip 4/5. Btw, our steward was Harvey and he was amazing. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Hi...I chose this cruise to take advantage of the low price offered immediately after the hurricane season to the western carribean and mexico sadly after the devastation to the eastern carribean islands...some highlights... - even ... Read More
Hi...I chose this cruise to take advantage of the low price offered immediately after the hurricane season to the western carribean and mexico sadly after the devastation to the eastern carribean islands...some highlights... - even though sailing was close to november, climate was gorgeous, mid 70's outside and a little cooler inside the ship... - Out of the 10 or so Norwegian Cruises I have been on, I thought Andre was the best cruise director with his pure honesty and sometimes true to life views that were hilarious...I actually he was better than the legendary Julie. - shows were top notch, especially the chemistry between the group "The Mercy Boys" and their harmony was so good reflecting mostly british music along with some r&b hits from the us mainland... --unlike many of the harsh reviews, I thought Brat Pack was great for its 80's teenage saga and nostalgia but be careful there is a scene where they disrobe to their undies.. - After Midnight was great for the tap and rhythm section mostly harlem and jazz music reflecting the roaring 20's of that era -although I did not eat at dinner in the mdr, food was plentiful and delicious at the buffet during all hours, especially the asian food section... --i did tip well my room steward Jose who along with other room steward and the various staff on the ship literally work day and night - being platinum latitude member, I got a chance to go beneath the ship into the crew quarters, down the "I95" stretch, backstage of the theatre but most memorable of all are those gigantic machines that clean and fold all the laundry of the entire ship... -- I had a great time overall and would highly recommend NCL to everyone --one more thing, don't miss the shows in the atrium...even though they were crowded, they were absolutely hilarious and the high turnout reflected that... Bye and can't wait to sail the NCL Bliss next! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We paid 2800 to go to Saint Thomas but they changed it to Cozumel we told them we could cruise there for 500 from galveston and not have the extra expense of flying to Miami, they were pretty rude and told us that they have the right to ... Read More
We paid 2800 to go to Saint Thomas but they changed it to Cozumel we told them we could cruise there for 500 from galveston and not have the extra expense of flying to Miami, they were pretty rude and told us that they have the right to take us where ever they want and would not refund our money or even credit us anything for the inconvenience. We did have a couple of credits for the better restaurants, "What a joke they gave us nothing" every restaurant we tried to go to they wanted a $15 up charge, on top of that most of the free drinks we were supposed to have, had a 3.00 up charge, the whole trip was a joke. We went to the Irish restaurant and ordered Shepards Pie it was Mashed potato with some kind of brown paste on the bottom, I,m from England I know what shepard's pie is . All the bar staff acted like you was in there way, with the exception of a couple who i tipped very well, the pursers desk was great and very apologetic i think they understood the whole situation. I have cruised Carnival about 30 time and never had problems like this. Norwegian will never see another penny of my money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose the cruise because we love NCL and had been on the Getaway and loved the boardwalk with the restaurants and bars that opened on it. The service was great on this ship and the ship was beautiful. Why I did not rate it higher is ... Read More
We chose the cruise because we love NCL and had been on the Getaway and loved the boardwalk with the restaurants and bars that opened on it. The service was great on this ship and the ship was beautiful. Why I did not rate it higher is that we like to find quiet places like the Martini Bar and Champagne Bar on other NCL ships to have a nice drink and have some quiet discussion. The only bar that came closest was the Prime Meridian where the bartender was probably the best we have ever had. we did not go on any shore excursions, so can not tell you about those. We were a little disappointed in Harvest Cay, as this was our first time there, as they did not have their bar on shore or serve lunch as on the other out island. But, it was very beautiful and well done. Overall the ship seemed to us to be very noisy, and that is not always relaxing. We will certainly go back on NCL, but probably not on the Escape again, it just was not our ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Absolutely loved this cruise, we have been on multiple lines and multiple itineraries, this is by far our favorite ship. The room was gorgeous, spacious (as cruise cabins go), Bathroom was roomy and the cabin was laid out beautifully. It ... Read More
Absolutely loved this cruise, we have been on multiple lines and multiple itineraries, this is by far our favorite ship. The room was gorgeous, spacious (as cruise cabins go), Bathroom was roomy and the cabin was laid out beautifully. It was just myself and my wife in the cabin however, if you were to bring two children with you, the 3-4 bed layout was ideal and out of the way of beds 1-2 and you could walk around the cabin and not feel too cramped (looking at you Princess). The gym was never crowded, I was always able to get a machine. The shows were great, we loved all of the comedians, the illusionist and the "brat pack." we walked out of the "after midnight" show, really boring. The pool was adults only until 5 which was a first, if you wanted to stay away from the kids, this was easily accomplished. The waterslides were great, the ropes course was fun and thrilling. Food was comparable to other lines, smaller dining room (taste) seemed to be a bit better, would have liked to have tried some speciality restaurants but they book FAST. We rarely saw our steward RItzel (sounds like Pretzel, her words not mine) other than the first day yet our room was always spotless when we returned to it. The on board activities are what drew us back to Norwegian and this ship did not disappoint, I want to give a shout out to Andre the cruise director as he was a big part of why this ship is so fun, he genuinely enjoys his job and it translates to a relaxed and fun atmosphere, the Harry Potter trivia he puts on is one of the most entertaining trivia events I have been to. Embarkation and Disembarkation were uneventful which was a plus, the ports were as one would expect from any Western Caribbean itinerary, Cozumel is always the favorite for my wife and I, the diving is first class. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
It was my first time on a ship this large and I love the trip the lslands. I will never forget the time I spend on this cruise.All of the activties was wonderful, music was great, people were great they were very nice and helpfull. I have ... Read More
It was my first time on a ship this large and I love the trip the lslands. I will never forget the time I spend on this cruise.All of the activties was wonderful, music was great, people were great they were very nice and helpfull. I have never seen some much food of kinds and I tryed all of them. next time I will bring my daughter and grandson with me, in the next 2 years. the rocking of the ship just put me to sleep at night. I just didn't like not having communatcation with my family back home. But the cruise was so wonderful. I can't waite till the next time I come with my grandson and daughter, they will love it, like i did. Love it , Love it Love it Love it. I will also try to bring my son and his wife with me. Thanks for the time of my life. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This was a beautiful and wonderful cruise ship with lively and varied entertainment, and excellent food, There was never a moment of wanting for things to do or to get entertained by. The staff and crew, including officers were friendly ... Read More
This was a beautiful and wonderful cruise ship with lively and varied entertainment, and excellent food, There was never a moment of wanting for things to do or to get entertained by. The staff and crew, including officers were friendly and helpful. Getting on and off the ship was easy and fast with no waiting or difficulty finding suitcases. It was really the best I have had yet in all my years of cruising. The entertainment was exceptional and went late into the night. A favorite was the dueling pianos and the theatre performers. The food was very good, even at the buffet, which we usually find to be average, but not on this ship. If you have kids they will love the pool area, which was just awesome for them. The Escape is really a beautiful ship with so many restaurants to dine at and the wait time is minimal. Also, this ship has no formal nights and the dress code is very relaxed, which is also different and nice. I strongly recomment this ship. You will not be disappointed. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Chose the Escape for the itinerary and price. We found the value to be there. The included ship entertainment was excellent if a little,hard to get tickets. Outdoors on the ship: The water slides were great fun (but for the big ... Read More
Chose the Escape for the itinerary and price. We found the value to be there. The included ship entertainment was excellent if a little,hard to get tickets. Outdoors on the ship: The water slides were great fun (but for the big slide you will need to remove all jewelry including rings or the staff will not allow you to ride). The tube water slide is great fun also. Slower paced but has a great .5 second view as you sweep over the ocean below. Keep,your eyes open. The ropes course is great fun as well. Wear proper shoes and clothes as there are people below you taking pictures. The upper level was unfortunately not open when I did the course but looked to be a more exciting place to be. Remember the ship is not going to put you in peril. Have fun with it. It is very safe. The best place to hang out was Deck 17 Aft. This is the adult only area and is enforced. The chairs are a bit squished in but manageable. The only issue was that there were several period when "private parties" were held in this space and it was not available. Poor planning on NCL behalf. One occasion was for the Super Bowl. It would have been a perfect spot to watch the game but for a "private party" blocking access. The main pool deck is crowded and I experienced a couple of instances of rude fellow passenger bothering me asking me to move and let me have my chair. Dining: The Main Dining Room was good, but seemed to have a limited number of choices on the menu. The standard fare was always available but the daily selections were very well prepared if a bit unimaginative. We also had a table locate next to a wait station, which was open and not shielded. The continuous activity and clanking plates and glassware was a significant detractor. The specialty restaurant were excellent. We went to Moderno, Cagney's and Teppenaki. We cancelled Bayamo when we were told that there was an additional fee above the specialty dining charge to eat there. This made it a poor value and we cancelled. Excursions: We only did one ship excursion to Balmour Island Stingray Encounter. It was a very well organized and there was ample time spent with the rays. The only restriction was no photography allowed which meant you had to purchase ($79) the photo package, which also took an inordinately long time (over an hour). The only significant poor service and value was the hospital. Had an infection and they overcharged for the antibiotic and decongestant. Overcharged 2100% over stateside prices for meds. I expected to pay a premium but this was just plain gouging. All in all the trip,was great and I would highly recommend this ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
The food was excellent in the complimentary restaurants. I dined at the buffet, main dining room Taste, O'Sheehan's and Margaritaville. The only food I paid for was in the "supper club" and it was average there. ... Read More
The food was excellent in the complimentary restaurants. I dined at the buffet, main dining room Taste, O'Sheehan's and Margaritaville. The only food I paid for was in the "supper club" and it was average there. Entertainment was excellent. After Midnight, the Cotton Club musical had an amazing cast of singers and dancers. Maybe 20 minutes too long, but great just the same. The Million Dollar Quartet was beyond great. The "Brat Pack" in the supper club was good fun and the cast was very talented. That's all I could get to in 3 days. There is also comedy, karaoke, dueling pianos. The room (balcony) is a little tight and storage not great. Our cabin steward did a great job of keeping the room spotless and stocked with towels and turned twice a day. The area I must give them low marks on is bar and dining waitstaff which is too bad. Be prepared to wait a long time to be served at bars. I did not see any waitstaff walking around to alleviate the lines at the bars. The time spent waiting for the food at O'Sheehans (breakfast) was excessive. They were overwhelmed at Margaritaville. Our drinks came about the same time as the food...and that took a long time. So, either they need a new system of doing things or more people. The buffet was well maintained and kept clean with tables at the ready. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Being my first time I was very impressed with all the activities on board and since I am so new at this cruising is a very enjoyable and fun experience. This vacation was I feel one of the best I have had in a long time and was really a ... Read More
Being my first time I was very impressed with all the activities on board and since I am so new at this cruising is a very enjoyable and fun experience. This vacation was I feel one of the best I have had in a long time and was really a luxury for me. I usually go on fishing and hunting trips so I did not have to do anything except be pampered and spoiled by you, relax, rest and really just enjoy and experience luxurious living and vacation like the "rich and famous." The staff and all employees were always so pleasant, kind and professional oh and helpful. The cruise Director and others kept us informed and were given a sheet daily with all activities. Thank you again for the best vacation and my retirement celebration is actually what it was for me a time to cherish and remember for the rest of my life. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
We chose to try a cruise from Europe rather than a cruise from The United States because we wanted to see how other people live, eat, travel and converse with others. Our trip from New York to Barcelona was fantastic, and upon landing ... Read More
We chose to try a cruise from Europe rather than a cruise from The United States because we wanted to see how other people live, eat, travel and converse with others. Our trip from New York to Barcelona was fantastic, and upon landing in Barcelona, we were able to see a few of their amazing artifacts, architecture, eateries and attractions, which were all truly enjoyable. Be sure you have Euros, not American money, before you travel to Europe, if possible. Aboard the ship, our room was great, dining was delectable, entertainment was abundant, service on board was superb and our Ports of Call were chosen very nicely. But when traveling and visiting the Caribbean Islands, beware Diamonds International (DI). Though many of their offerings are tantalizing, be sure the price you pay them is commensurate with the value of the items purchased. We still have a major issue with Diamonds International nearly a year after the cruise. After purchasing a large, loose Tanzanite stone for $25,000, and learning while on the cruise that I lost my job and was therefore going to be unable to repay for the merchandise, I attempted to return the stone for a full refund to several other DI stores, but my attempts to return the stone were rejected, despite my following the DI Return Policy outlined on the reverse side of the sales receipt. I was told that I would have to deal with DI Headquarters in New York City when I returned home, which I have done, and where I have been treated rude and discourteously. Additionally, DI's 'deal' with me was the I would have to pay a $5,000 restocking fee in order to return the merchandise despite my following their Return Policy while still on my cruise in the Caribbean. The ethics and alleged customer service, which translates to value (to most people) was abhorrent. My recommendation to you, avoid Diamonds International in the Caribbean. In the event DI does me right, I will most assuredly let you all know, but in the interim, BUYER OF DIAMONDS INTERNATIONAL MERCHANDISE, BEWARE!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We were really looking forward to this cruise to Miami, 'new ship', great we thought. We new it was a shake down cruise and didn't expect everything to run perfectly smoothly, but we didn't expect some many things to ... Read More
We were really looking forward to this cruise to Miami, 'new ship', great we thought. We new it was a shake down cruise and didn't expect everything to run perfectly smoothly, but we didn't expect some many things to go wrong either. The best thing you could say was that of course the Escape looked beautiful and the staff really tried their hardest under difficult circumstances. The first thing we noticed when we got to our cabin was we had no coffee for the coffee machine, nor would there be any for the entire cruise because it wasn't being loaded until Miami, nor where half the beers both bottled and draft and considering we were paying $15 for two small bottles we at least expected a choice. We went for our first meal, it was cold, not even warm. We left the restaurant thinking it was the first night and things could only get better. Next morning I had to send my breakfast back, cold congealed eggs are not appetising at that time of day, and so it went on. The only place you could get a hot meal was the O'Sheahans pub which fortunately was open and served food 24/7. We only have praise for this area, it was run with military precision, the rest of the ship could learn a lot from the guy in charge there. The entertainment for adults during the day was practically non existent and the entertainment on a night like most things had to be paid for extra. If this is what Norwegian call upgrading their act, I hope the Chinese like cold food and paying for 2 thirds of the restaurants, entertainment etc. available. We talked to a lot of people on board, not one of them intended cruising Norwegian again. People are not prepared to pay first class prices for second class cruising!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Let me start with the positives: great positive attitudes, best bathroom with large shower & love the "trough" style sink, good pillows & bed, great entertainment. Most everything non-smoking including casino. It ends ... Read More
Let me start with the positives: great positive attitudes, best bathroom with large shower & love the "trough" style sink, good pillows & bed, great entertainment. Most everything non-smoking including casino. It ends there. We started in Paris for 3 wonderful days then took the journey from hell to Southampton (10 hours on 2 busses & a train!) to catch the ship. (No - no food/drink) Got to the ship at 4:30 just in time to go to the Munster station ( still no food or drink) Embarkation was anything but pleasantly handled. And let me go forward to say debarkation was a circus! Our "maiden voyage" package included "complimentary 3 specialty restaurants" - what does the word " complimentary " mean to you?? We were Charged for these restaurants because NCL has now set "spending caps" due to changes in the home office. No- we weren't notified of this prior to sailing & yes we fought it but lost that battle ( they eventually gave us an extra $19 toward this) Big Whoop!! Maiden voyage? Never saw anything about this- later learned maiden voyage celebrations (christening the ship, fireworks, etc) would be done After this cruise left Miami. Really?? Entertainment was great! Our favorite was Tenors of Rock that is- if you could get in to see them!!! They have 2 shows ( they need 3!) and sometimes but not always - you needed reservations!! So--spend your valuable vacation time standing in line - twice!! Can't remember EVER having to make reservations to see a show! Sound Volumn in these shows hurtfully loud - & at end of show as all were exiting the "Julie cruise director" always had to make comments while people ( many with canes etc) were attempting to exit in the dark! Main dining room music so loud you could not have a conversation at your table- Jimmy Buffetts Margaritaville - great food & atmosphere but at least an hour wait! LaCucina restaurant - terrible! No menu changes for 10 days for breakfast & lunch in the other 2 main restaurants - Taste & Savor. Very very loud open area with very limited seating.internet was a joke!! No deck chairs anywhere except at pool area. And don't think of getting s haircut at the spa - so botched they refunded my money! Not a lot if options during daytime - perfect opportunity for lectures etc. I'm a genuine shopper! A couple high-end specialty shops & very limited gift shop except for tee shirts & $5 Pringles! Didn't spend much time here. Drinks very expensive plus 18% gratuity & always the option for additional tip. All in all - very disappointed in this trip & never intend to sail on this ship again. Decor was ok but nothing exceptional! We are currently booked for another NCL next year but currently looking at other options. NCL really better take care of their people - that's their best asset! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
This was our 3rd cruise on NCL. Our first on NCL was dreadful so we did a second in case the first was just bad luck. The second was equally bad – actually it might have been worse – I forget – so an opportunity to try Escape at a ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise on NCL. Our first on NCL was dreadful so we did a second in case the first was just bad luck. The second was equally bad – actually it might have been worse – I forget – so an opportunity to try Escape at a good price £899 for balcony cabin, night in Miami and included drinks package seemed like a chance to see if NCL could redeem themselves. Alas, it was not to be. We got off to a bad start in the departure lounge. We arrived there about 11am. Our two previous cruises on NCL afforded us no advantage so we expected to have to wait. No problem with that. However, it is nothing short of damned annoying when they call you up to join the queue when clearly you are going to be standing queuing for some considerable time. There were plenty of seats to remain seated. We were called up and joined the queue. We waited and waited and waited. At least 40 minutes. Oddly, we were hardly moving and two more sections were called out to join the queue. Why not leave people seated until you know they can go pretty much immediately up to the check-in booths? There was a lady at the entrance demanding to see our ESTAs which we had to find in our hand luggage. I protested but she insisted. All she checked was that the top of the paper said ESTA. No way could she possibly have checked that they were for us. As we snaked around the queue, we arrived near to where she stood. By then the queues were so bad she was just waving passengers through. What was that all about then? Muster practice – to me – was worrying. We didn’t have lifejackets with us – they are not stored in the cabin – and crew members demonstrated how to put them on. If you’ve done a few cruises you’ve probably had a good stab at putting your lifejacket on but the lifejackets are the new standard (which will become law in a few years so expect them across all cruise lines) and my bet is that the vast majority of cruisers, in a panic, in a confined space, maybe in poor light would find it pretty tricky to put them on. We noticed that the crew member had partly prepared his and slipped it on like he was dressing for dinner. It ain’t gonna happen like that, believe me. I think everyone should have had a lifejacket to try. I did raise this later when we had an opportunity to ‘meet the officers’. He listened to my concerns but frankly NCL have made the decision to do it their way and it ain’t going to change anytime soon. Our balcony cabin (I know they call it a stateroom – we were on a ship – it’s a cabin) reminded us immediately of Celebrity. That crafty way they have of alternating cabins with a bed by the window then the next one has a bed nearer the door. Slightly curved or inset walls so they can ‘interleave’ the cabins and thus get more cabins along the deck. The bathroom was large though the shower was on the small side. Nice etched, glass door – so theoretically someone could use the loo whilst the other is showering – both retaining their privacy. Plenty of storage space, cupboards and shelves. As bog standard balcony cabin bathrooms go – pretty good I’d say. No bathrobes but plenty of towels. Two large beach towels doubled up as additional bath towels which could be refreshed out on deck by the pool. Wardrobe space was a joke – we had approximately 3 feet of hanging rail though the last say 8 inches were unusable due to some indentation into the cupboard space. Deep shelves. Not a drawer in sight. We had a sofa bed in our cabin (a 4 berther – a bunk in the ceiling as well) which was right in front of the wardrobe so it wasn’t easy getting at our hanging clothes. God knows how 4 people could share the cabin. We have had 4 berthers years ago with the kids and they were very good (P&O – Aurora/Oriana/Arcadia) so we know a good one when we see one. NCL’s are not good ones for multi occupancy! As the cruise is casual dress code I guess you don’t need a stack of clothes so maybe some passengers found the wardrobes adequate. There are no launderettes on board for DIY washing. I knew this in advance having studied the deck plans. We received two offers during the cruise for a bag full of washing for $19.95. Note, wash not pressing. So put in a few shirts and expect them back crumpled I suppose. I guess we could have filled a bag with a few days’ worth of undies and socks but to be honest it does grate on me. I do like to do my own stuff. So we washed odds and sods through and hung them out on the line in the shower which in the end was quite adequate. During the first night the sea was rough and it was very windy. Throughout the night we were kept awake by an ear splitting whistle coming through the balcony door due to the draft. I couldn’t have faced another night like that so we went to reception and complained. The door clearly needed some adjustment. To be fair, a ‘carpenter’ appeared in no time flat and proceeded to seal up our balcony door with copious lengths of duck tape, promising to return when the wind had dropped to do a ‘proper job’. He never did return so the first 8 days of our cruise we couldn’t use the balcony – though the weather was a bit iffy so that wasn’t too much of a loss. The bed was huge and comfy. Plenty of soft pillows. Our cabin steward was fine, he kept the place lovely though we are a doddle to look after. I tidy up before a steward sets foot in the door! We always take an old card with us to stick by the electric slot so as soon as we come in we can put the lights on and keep both our cards with us – unfortunately ‘our man’ took the card away but fortunately we managed to retrieve it from him later. Later on, we removed the sticky tape so we could use the balcony and stuck it to the frame ready to reapply if it was windy later and the whistling returned. Our cabin steward threw it away saying it made the frame sticky and he needed to clean up. Hm…….I confess I was a bit cross but as husband said at the time – no problem, the carpenter will just have to come back. We had explained the problem to the steward so it wasn’t like we were just sticking tape about the place to be decorative. We ate only twice in a special restaurant – Cagneys Steakhouse was outstanding, Food Republic was OK – just not for us. There are a number of pay-for eateries on board which we find a worrying trend these days. Eventually, I guess the price will just be board only and food will be extra! After about the first 3 days I think the restaurants were pretty booked up. So I imagine many people were disappointed they could not get in. We happened to drift along and got a late booking slot. You can buy packages on board and they did look to be a reasonable price. However, once purchased I guess you’d need to make your bookings so as not to be disappointed. This might be tricky – in my case – I wouldn’t have wanted to book ahead not knowing if the weather was going to be icky. I wouldn’t have wanted to ‘eat out’ on a rough evening. We ate mostly in the main restaurant. We always managed to be seated immediately though we were disappointed that we rarely shared. I guess for some people who like a table for two that is good news, but for us it was a downer. Part of our cruise experience is meeting and chatting with other cruisers. Dress code is casual. Very. As can be expected some passengers take this to an extreme wandering into dinner in t-shirts and knee length shorts looking like they’ve just stood up from a sunbed on deck. It doesn’t bother us but I suspect anyone used to cruising on the more formal cruise lines might find this a bit of a surprise. Some nights the service was just about OK, some nights it was terrible. The staff didn’t seem to know whether they were coming or going. We asked for extra steamed veg and they delivered a plate of a good selection. So top marks for that. Getting a drink was sometimes really painful so the last few nights we got our drinks at a bar and took them in. We frequently couldn’t get our choice of wine being told it had run out. What they really meant was someone hadn’t recognised the stocks were getting low and hadn’t organised replenishment from the stores. Though the last few days our favourite wine really had run out. Generally, the food was pretty good. Not the best we’ve had but certainly not the worst. Fair amount of choice. On the last night we decided to go for lobster and fillet steak as a treat at $24.99 on the a la carte section of the menu. They’d run out of lobster so I queried whether just the steak was available. It was, but for the same price. Do I have mug written across my forehead? I wasn’t paying the same for just the steak so the waitress offered us two pieces of fillet steak for $24.99. To be honest, this was an amazing deal, we think probably better than steak plus lobster. We were able to have a steak each. How peculiar is that? It was absolutely delicious – I regretted not having ordered it earlier in the cruise – though my hips didn’t. Most of the time we ate breakfast in the buffet apart from two mornings when we ventured into the restaurant on deck 6 – mainly because it was so rough I couldn’t face being thrown around on the 16th deck. However, on both occasions the service was unbelievably bad. The second time I confess I totally lost it. I do grow really weary of being told by a cruise line how wonderful they are when clearly they are not. I never used to be one to complain but age has got the better of me. When you’ve had to order a pot of tea twice because it’s stone cold and then the cereal you’ve ordered has run out (for that read, they didn’t recognise it was getting low and hadn’t replenished stocks) and you overhear that the table next door never even got their cereal delivered at all – it was forgotten – and the previous day you waited 40 minutes for a juice – then please forgive me - but I feel justified in complaining. No decaff tea bags on board at all. Thank goodness we had taken our own stocks. We’ve been caught out before on other cruise lines where the decaff tea bags are locked in the safe. Indeed, this was a bit of a joke and we met many other passengers who had bought their own tea bags. Which begs the question – how can you be a 5 star cruise line and passengers feel the need to bring their own tea bags? Thank heavens for the free drinks package. We are not big drinkers but during 10 days at sea we ‘bought’ $505 (£336) worth of drinks. Even on a package you still have to sign for your drinks and out of interest we kept all the receipts and added them up. Wow! The drinks were expensive. One day when our favourite had ‘run out’ they produced a glass of white wine each for us. Kerching…. $36. I nearly fell of my bar stool. That’s £24! That’s more than we pay for a bottle of wine. Well, actually, that’s what we pay for 4 bottles of our favourite wine when it’s on special in the supermarket. Honestly, if you are a serious drinker do not even consider NCL unless the deal includes a free drinks package. Don’t even consider buying a package. It’s just daft, silly money. Only go for included package – for God’s sakes don’t pay for it. We found it really difficult to find somewhere nice to sit and just enjoy a drink. Bars to us seemed either too small and thus always full, or came with some sort of entertainment which we were not interested in listening to. Daytime entertainment was absolutely dire. The first week of weather was bad – pretty rough and windy – so no chance of going outside unless you wanted to wrap up like an eskimo whose igloo roof had been blown off. The best place to mooch about the ship was low and midships – this was the atrium area. It was here that the centre of the daytime entertainment universe existed. There were nowhere near enough seats for everyone who wanted to partake. Every day was the same old activity. A quiz. A demo – towel folding, cake icing etc. A puzzle. You could set your watch by what was happening if you happened to pass by. And astonishingly, occasionally, a film. Who in their wisdom would make the decision to put a film on in an area with hardly any seating? And with overhangs such that even if you got a seat you couldn’t necessarily see the screen. You couldn’t make it up. One day the film was in the theatre – smart move whoever organised that. The entertainment staff in my opinion were poor – I guess I’m getting too picky after too many cruises. One in particular who shall remain nameless nearly drove me potty. He couldn’t read some pretty simple stuff off the screen when announcing answers to the quizzes. I guess some passengers might have thought that rather quaint – my thoughts were – God, is this the best they can employ? The quizzes were totally geared towards the US market. OK, it’s a $ ship but there were a considerable number of Brits on board (also Germans and French). I sat there and thought to myself – if I was an entertainment person on board I’d be generating quizzes suitable for all. Everything was delivered at 150 decibels – why do they have to shout? The PA system was totally unintelligible. Muffled. Thank goodness we didn’t have an emergency. At least, I don’t think we did. If we did, I didn’t hear it. Well, OK, I did hear the code red and the heli-vac but that was probably because at the time we happened to be walking down the corridor from our cabin. Evening entertainment was OK…ish. Our main complaint would be – what’s with this booking to see a show lark? The ship has a ‘Box Office’. Hm….we smelt a rat. If it has a box office then they must be expecting you to book for something. Fortunately, we twigged this on day one and booked our seats. But other passengers we spoke to had totally missed that you had to book for some of the entertainment and thus never got to see it. Frankly, this just isn’t good enough. What are NCL telling us? That they’ve built a theatre too small and can’t accommodate everyone to see a show or can’t they afford to pay the entertainment team to put on more than one show? In the theatre we saw a few shows and one film. We saw a show that was from Las Vegas. Well, OK, if that’s what it was then so be it but frankly it wasn’t our cup of tea. We saw ‘Tenors of Rock’ who were outstanding. There were other shows that were part of a meal package but we didn’t see them so cannot comment. We watched a comedian in the Headliners show bar – he was dire even allowing for the fact it was clearly American humour. He spent a considerable length of time putting down Carnival which frankly we thought unprofessional and actually wasn’t that funny. Wifi was hit and miss. We heard reports that it was really slow but when we came to use it we found it acceptable (for a ship – we’ve known worse). Maybe the Americans are used to seriously speedy broadband speed at home so the ship’s wifi seemed slow to them. But we were OK with it. We had hoped to pre-book our homeward flight seats but on the last day of the cruise there was no wifi whatsoever. News was they were trying to hook up to another satellite. Up to that time chatter was up to the satellite and via Germany. Thus the slow speed I guess. PAYG - $0.95 per minute. Other (expensive) packages available but not much good if no satellite! I guess be prepared to do without. Wifi in Mc Donalds in Miami was top notch – best Mc D’s wifi ever we reckoned. We found there to be a bit of a language difficulty with the crew. They were doing their best under pressure – clearly there are not enough crew on board. When the sun came out so did the passengers. Acres of sunbeds and hardly an inch between them. We are not ‘into’ sunbathing so it didn’t bother us but I guess for the serious sun worshippers it could have been a pain. Husband ‘did’ the ropes and said it was good fun. We both ‘did’ the tubes and had great fun. The number of times we went round was restricted by the number of times we could climb the steps to get to the top of the slide. For us the limit was eight! Oh, be fair, there were a fair few number of flights. We noticed on the last day when the weather really warmed up that the tubes were really busy and the inflatable rings that you rode on had run out. We were glad we had had our turn the day before. So, after 10 days at sea we berthed in Miami. More fun was about to begin. We were due off at 9am. We didn’t have to vacate our cabin until 9am – a BIG PLUS point. Other cruise lines take note please. Our colour was called and we joined the queue to disembark. Except we went nowhere fast. We must have stood there for some 10 minutes or so (bear in mind we are pretty able – others around us are not so lucky) when an announcement went out to say that shore side had requested that no more passengers be allowed off as it was too busy. This gave us a feeling of impending doom – we disembarked in Miami off RCI in 2002 which was absolutely the worst disembarkation in our lives – surely things had improved in 13 years. In your dreams. We had no idea how long the delay was going to be for so remained in the queue. We waited and waited and waited. Occasional announcements were made that we were not allowed ashore. Eventually, after a good half hour, the queue started to move. Very slowly. Bear in mind, by this time the general area was heaving with people. Nowhere for people to sit. In their wisdom an announcement was made for the next colour to disembark. What planet are they on? Are the crew all blind? Can they not see that the queue is snaking round the ship and adding another colour will achieve nothing other than pandemonium? Just as we get to the point of disembarkation they call yet another colour. This seems to be a feature of NCL – they do like you to stand ‘in line’. I guess it must make them feel good. It sure does nothing for the passenger. As an aside we noticed day after day endless queues at reception. What are all the problems that passengers are queueing up to have fixed? Or are they queueing to report something good? We don’t understand it. You don’t see endless queues on P&O ships. Say no more. Could it get any worse? Yes. Our baggage was ‘Gray’. Silly us. If we’d known that ‘Gray’ was going to be stowed away from the other colours we’d have pretended we had an 8am flight and got an earlier colour stowed in the main hall. It was an unbelievable fight to retrieve our baggage. Again, we are able but we felt sorry for those less able than ourselves. The NCL staff shore side were useless. I asked where ‘Gray’ was and the lad said he didn’t know. I suggested he find out which just resulted in a scowl. Honestly, NCL are not alone in this, cruise lines really need to learn that just throwing you off the ship and leaving you to it is not being customer friendly. How difficult is it for crew to familiarise themselves with shore side proceedings so they can help you out. It surely would only take 10 or 15 minutes. There were 10 booths at border control – one was closed and one was for US citizens. So we had 8 booths available for us all. Each pair of passengers took about 3 to 4 minutes. We stood ‘in line’ for an hour to get through. All in all it took us pretty much 2 hours to get off the ship and be on our way. It hadn’t finished. We needed a taxi. There were none. We queried this with the ‘taxi lady’ and she said that she had been told that all passengers had disembarked the ship and thus no more taxis were required. So they’d been sent back to the taxi park. Honestly, who are these people who organise all this stuff? Just because all the passengers are off the ship doesn’t mean no more taxis are required. There are probably another 1000 passengers still looking for their luggage and waiting to go through border control. We booked the cruise late and cheap. Though I think actually some people managed even a better deal than us. You can argue we got what we paid for. We paid cheap and got cheap. I’ll bet a good few passengers didn’t get it cheap and I’d be interested to see what they report. Surely Escape is billed as a 5 star ship. Thank God we didn’t pay top prices. For what we paid we had a good break, good food, poor daytime entertainment, not too bad evening entertainment (spoilt by this having to book nonsense), a lovely bathroom, not the best balcony cabin ever, nice new furnishings, a friendly enough crew working under difficult circumstances, sky high drinks prices saved by free drinks package, shortage of wine and the usual welcome to the USA. As a bonus, when we flew home (Virgin to Heathrow) the flight was half empty. We were all allowed to take what seats we wanted and thus I had a row of 3 seats to myself to kip on. Bliss! In case anyone asks, no we didn’t remove our gratuities though some days I came close to it and we spoke to passengers who had. The crew have to put in terrible hours, really long contract periods and put up with some seriously weird passengers. I sincerely hope that the gratuities do get into the hands of the crew. They all deserve it. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
I Arrived in Gatwick 2 days early and stayed at the Hampton Inn on the airport property. This was very convenient for getting to the port. I chose Bus transportation but either bus or train is very convenient from this location. ... Read More
I Arrived in Gatwick 2 days early and stayed at the Hampton Inn on the airport property. This was very convenient for getting to the port. I chose Bus transportation but either bus or train is very convenient from this location. Unfortunately, other than my excellent room steward, the service on this transatlantic left much to be desired. This was my fourth transatlantic cruise in the past five years and I have never been on a cruise that was so poorly planned for. The wine selections were extremely limited and the drinks were extremely weak. Almost every day a waiter would tell someone in my group that a requested item was not available. I generally eat at Le Bistro at least once on a cruise, but when I saw part of the seating located in a very busy hallway area I chose not to. Also this was advertised as an Inaugural Transatlantic Cruise. It seemed more like a vacation for senior staff. However, the Headliner comedy entertainment, "After Midnight", and "Million Dollar Quartet" were excellent, though other performers were lacking. Embarkation for me was simple once I was able to convince the greeter I was a Gold Latitudes member but it did seem confusing for others. Disembarkation had to be halted but I was not in a hurry so I came off late. Overall it was disappointing, but ok. If this is as good as Norwegian can do on their newest ship I don't know how many more times I will sail with them. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
New ship so it was quite interesting to see what's what.We were prepared for some initial teething problems .. and got them.Firstly we were in cabin 10244 midships. We couldn't sleep as the hum of the engine room nearby was ... Read More
New ship so it was quite interesting to see what's what.We were prepared for some initial teething problems .. and got them.Firstly we were in cabin 10244 midships. We couldn't sleep as the hum of the engine room nearby was horrible, but they moved us very efficiently to 10272.This is near the aft lifts and is very handy for the restaurants and nice and quiet.At the front of the ship you have a mile walk to have dinner and we spoke to people at the the back who said the propellor vibrations were dreadful. The first week was not very promising with breakfast room service a joke as we got all sorts of wrong orders but,as the cruise went on,things got a bit more organised in many respects. The crew were really nice, but very stretched so service was generally a bit slow. We had a balcony cabin which was kept very clean and adequate, nice bathroom but a bit cramped in the room. Food was really good (especially in Cagneys). It's a cruise ship, not a transatlantic one, and there are no really quiet places as the evening music is everywhere but, for 7 days in the Caribbean will be really good. Biggest problem is the number of passengers. We were only about 70 pct full but that was quite enough. The safety drill was ludicrous with crowds of people milling around and bar and restaurant service was pretty slow and it took us 3 hours to get off the ship although US immigration was probably the cause but God knows how long it will take with a full passenger complement. Prices are high so get a drinks' package. Loudspeaker announcements are almost unintelligible. Altogether they have a great ship but it's all on the margin of being average and great as they try to be luxury but cut corners and try to get as many bucks as they can. On our trip the price was right but we wouldn't pay a premium Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
This was our third transatlantic and third Norwegian cruise. We had always liked the flexibility of Norwegian in the past and decided to bring the grand kids along this time. Weather was cold for 6 days so we could not use the rope ... Read More
This was our third transatlantic and third Norwegian cruise. We had always liked the flexibility of Norwegian in the past and decided to bring the grand kids along this time. Weather was cold for 6 days so we could not use the rope wall, slides etc. When the weather warmed all of the outside things were still not opened. One real disappointment; on other Transatlantic cruises we got these nice certificates with our names saying we crossed the Atlantic. This time we got one generic one that said "Escape Inaugural Cruise". Whee. The most disappointing part of this cruise was the ship itself. This is by far the largest ship we have been on yet it FEELS like the smallest. Nearly every public area (even outside) is chopped into several smaller one. The pool area seems tiny. And there is no grand stair way or lobby on any level. The Atrium holds about 300-400 people max so where are the other 3900 supposed to sit for all the fun ship activities? Main hot tub was out of commission as was another on the upper deck forward (19) and the two on the main pool hold 6 people so the other 4188 people have to go somewhere else. Food; standard cruise fare. Manhattan Dining far superior to Savor and Taste and you don't have quite the experience of eating in the back of the closet the other two offer; food was not disappointing but average. As was service; they kept telling us they put the best crew on the new ship, but there were many who seemed under-prepared or inexperienced. Our cabin steward threw out or souvenir cups and left a bowl of food for two days. Shows were great; Brat Pack especially but the high ticket price was a little hard to swallow and this ship has by far and wide the most "costs extra" of any ship in the universe. We did get the complimentary drink package but were charged tips as if we drank $54 dollars a day. I think we did that maybe once. And the bar in the buffet ran out of champagne before we got to Miami. YIKES! Disembarkation was a nightmare. We had vouchers to get an early airport transfer but the "walk-offs" were still leaving an hour after our call time. When they finally opened another gangplank all the early luggage was at the other end of the terminal which you had to fetch and then come back to the other area. Although we were in the second group scheduled to get off, the ICE officer told us the ship was half empty when we were being checked through customs. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We joined this ship in Southampton, as we did many times on first sailings. No issues with getting on. We found the ship very plain in décor compared to other NCL ships but the eye got used to it. As Platinum members we were promised ... Read More
We joined this ship in Southampton, as we did many times on first sailings. No issues with getting on. We found the ship very plain in décor compared to other NCL ships but the eye got used to it. As Platinum members we were promised some of the little touches that are supposed to keep you interested in NCL The Chocolate strawberry's and bubby didn't arrive until day3 at night The complimentary room service was not available, but was now only free for basic breakfast The Ships pins we never got The 'Behind the scenes tour' didn't happen therefore we didn't feel that warmly welcomed back. The cabin was adequate but no coffee facilities The Restaurants were similar to other NCL ships but the menus have changed for the worst in the free restaurants and would no longer be child friendly or if you wanted a steak and fires if you were not adventurous, well then you had to pay extra for that. Last year we had a family party of 18 on the Epic and had no issues with food in the free restaurants but that would have created big issues trying to make everyone happy with the meals now. Tea bags were almost impossible to get standard ones overall the staff were friendly but the Free entertainment could have been more frequent and easily available We believe NCl's direction has changed and their objective is to try to get you to pay for every possible thing they can think of. However we hope that someone within the company will see sense before it does them harm. Before we always sold NCL to our friends for their Freestyle approach but no longer think we will Getting off the ship became a nightmare with US immigration Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
Just returned from the Inaugural Transatlantic Cruise on the Escape. What a Great Bunch of Friendly Staff who were learning the UPS and DOWNS of the Huge-impersonal ship the Escape and Cruise Business. Lots of great Activities when ... Read More
Just returned from the Inaugural Transatlantic Cruise on the Escape. What a Great Bunch of Friendly Staff who were learning the UPS and DOWNS of the Huge-impersonal ship the Escape and Cruise Business. Lots of great Activities when they worked ( One set of slides and Steam Room in the Spa wasn't working for the entire trip). Definitely try the Rope course and Walk the Plank over the edge of the ship for a great experience with friendly and helpful staff for even overweight and old guys ( 275/61). Bring your own coffee for the coffee maker in the room; because they didn't have a pod to fit any of the automatic coffee makers even in the Havens!! ( no problem they were glad to charge A DELIVERY FEE EACH DAY TO BRING A CUP OF COFFEE TO YOUR ROOM BY ROOM Service or you could go down to deck 6 and but a great tasting Latte from the staff; but go early ( 7:00 a- because they were under staffed and the wait would kill a caffeine addict). Balcony's were cozy but don't invite any friends over or you will have to pull straws to see who can stand or sit on the deck. The closets were wide but you might want to bring along a baby gorilla ( with long arms) so that you can reach the openings since the couch is so close to the sliding door you cant stand in front of the closet and guys don't bring a suit coat if your shoulders are wider than 44 reg. the closet isn't deep enough to close the door with a hanger perpendicular to the wall. On board Shows were spectacular ( top shelve) entertainment was 10s but even with a reservations; plan on waiting 3/4 of hour, to get a seat tighter if you have a party of 4 or more but worth the wait. ( no drinks served at your seat because the venue is smallest I have seen for a large ship. The upcharges for food is a joke and now those cruisers who were used to going to the common restaurants and sneaking a lobster with the steak on the nights where both are on the same menu; can now pay for both or eat chicken or pasta served by a very friendly professional staff in a great and beautiful venue with once again great music. JUST ASK FOR A TABLE OUT AT 1 OR 11 OCLOCK BY THE WINDOWS, other wise the center aisle is to busy and you will have walkers, stumbling people and water dumped on you by the end of the night and your ears will ring for days from the music that's way to laud if you sit next to the very beautiful dance floor and under the gorgeous chandeliers. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
Sailed inaugural transatlantic cruise to Miami. Embarkation just OK in Southampton. There was some confusion when calling guests to the counter & then reseating us & calling us again to embark. The ship had been on a short trip ... Read More
Sailed inaugural transatlantic cruise to Miami. Embarkation just OK in Southampton. There was some confusion when calling guests to the counter & then reseating us & calling us again to embark. The ship had been on a short trip from Hamburg and had sat in port so NCL execs could spend a night on board, therefore some state rooms were not ready. Luggage arrived very slowly. Some staff seemed green, others very seasoned. We learned very quickly to ask for seasoned waiters in Manhattan Room. Lovely spot to dine but music was a bit loud for conversation. Food typical NCL fare. We had dining package & would not pay Ala Carte prices for privilege. Service in Le Bistro, excellent, La Cucina, slow service. Food not worth $80 ala Carte prices. Buffet was well designed and didn't seem too crowded, but this ship was only 70% full. Lots of choices. I had a special host due to dietary issues who was wonderful and attentive in dining rooms. Staterooms - mini suite small, tight squeeze by bed, couch and counters too low, one guest thought he was in a disabled room! Not so. Designed for short people. Closet space/storage lacking. One big sink, prefer smaller sink and more counter space, no tub. Balcony tight. Started out in 10202, loud clunking noise sealed in wall cavity-3 days in it got worse. Saw 2 other neighbors moved, we moved 4th day to 13802. Much quieter. Deck 10 mid ship port could have a NOISE issue. Thermal Suite - nice large area, but since there were no ports, it could get crowded and noisy. Had to pick your time to relax. Some folks were "sneaking" in and finally they instituted a key card system to prevent that. Some jets in the hydro pool weren't working, but finally after 4 days were fixed. Jacuzzi water in this area was too cool. I didn't use it after first day. Steam room not working. Mid cruise they refunded about a third of the $249 charge. Refreshment area not kept well stocked. Large gym, great equipment. Water slide was fun, wave pool is nice and deep but rough seas will make it difficult for lap swimmers. Salt water. Rope course and zip line available. I was expecting a separate zip line that spanned the ship but it is part of the rope course. Lots of bars and unfortunately they take up most of the scenic viewing areas. This ship has no promenade deck as many other new ships and no little indoor niches to sit and view the water. The bars take up all that space. As another cruiser said this ship lacked a WOW factor as far as the atrium was concerned. That area was crowded and noisy and shared space with guest services, Internet cafe and a bar. There were not enough seats for folks to watch the movie or other events. The Theater only seats 900 on a 4200 capacity ship, do the math! If you want to see a show, reserve your seats early or you will be out of luck. Many people missed the 2 Broadway shows which were excellent and people lined up early to have their room keys swiped to admit you to the theater. We also saw the Tenors of Rock, XFactor winners in the UK and they were excellent. NCL why only 900 seats! NCL also has a nasty habit of charging for in room movies at $9.99 a pop, unlike Princess. They showed 1-2 movies a day in the atrium area and people were crammed in like sardines or standing and watching the movie. Guest services were wonderful. I had a family death at home while I was on board and they offered phone and Internet gratis 24/7 I cannot say enough about this wonderful, caring accommodation. Thank you, NCL. Disembarkation in Port Miami was a disaster. Poorly organized, only 5 porters. It was nothing short of CHAOS. It took 2 hours to get off the ship and out of the port. NCL has a poor disembarkation routine. When our color was called we went down and there were very long lines. We were on that line for an hour. There has to be a more efficient way to get people off the ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
We have been of 27 cruises including 7 TransAtlantics and 8 NCL (Sky, Jewel, Sun, Epic, Getaway, & Escape) We booked a year in advance believing a maiden voyage woud have many extras as the owners would highlight their newest ... Read More
We have been of 27 cruises including 7 TransAtlantics and 8 NCL (Sky, Jewel, Sun, Epic, Getaway, & Escape) We booked a year in advance believing a maiden voyage woud have many extras as the owners would highlight their newest ship.... Wrong on all accounts... The transfer that NCL arranged from the airport to the ship was late & they had stopped taking boarding photos when we got to the ship (a dissapointment as we thought the background woud show it as a new ship........ Entertainment far from top of the line, A main theater to small for the number of passengers aboard the ship... on the subject of food, A limited & not impressive menue in the main dining room. Savor and Taste both served the same items nightly... Breakfast at these was very slow service & getting your eggs 1st but the toast later was not satisfactory... Jimmy buffets was not planned for cold windy rainy days... almost all seats are designed for the warm caribbean....We had reservations for the Italian restaurant.. a very limiter Italian menue..I had a tough time explaining to the waitress that I just wanted spaghetti with a meat sauce......O'Sheehan's served a good fish dinner also was good breakfast place ....We tried a pepperoni pizza at the Pizza bar once, the crust was thin like a cracker... This ship does not have space nor activities for it's passengers when the weather is bad.... We had several cold rain days in the crossing... this resulted in people sitting around every nook and cranny.... Which is another bad point their is NOT A COMFORTABLE CHAIR or sofa on the whole ship.... We had a balcony room and again the designers shrunk it down ... The bed was 8 inches from the closet... very unhandy to get to the closet.. storrage space under the sofa was full ... not available for guest storrage..The bath was a good design, like the breakaway.. I guess they learned not to make the mistake they did on the Epic... The balcony is smaller than other ships we have been on.. The room attrndant cleaned the room good each day, but he never started befor 9 am and many time it was sfter noon before he was done... This brings up another point that the designers failed to consider... It seems they reduced the hallways width... When the attendants carts are in the halls passage is at time difficult.... When we were two days out from Miami the weather cleared The sports & pool deck areas were full of passengers wanting to get outside.... again the design resulted in cramped quarters.... All in all We were not impressed with the new RCL ships I prefer the older ships that give you room... One last personal item NCL dwells to much on the Haven area When you have over 4000 guest but all the attention is for 200 guest, I feel offended... Read Less
Norwegian Escape Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Service 3.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

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