Sail Date: October 2015
I was thrilled to be on the Inaugural trans Atlantic sailing of the ESCAPE. I flew to London the day before, took the National Express Bus to Southampton, over nighted at a local hotel and took a cab to the ship. It was the UK so of course ... Read More
I was thrilled to be on the Inaugural trans Atlantic sailing of the ESCAPE. I flew to London the day before, took the National Express Bus to Southampton, over nighted at a local hotel and took a cab to the ship. It was the UK so of course it was cloudy and raining. The dock is very convenient to town. The check in was a nightmare. Lines snaked all over the place. The only Latitude check in was for Gold and Platinum. It was not a good first impression. Once on board the cabins were ready and you could move right in. Taking a walk around the ship brought to mind the Breakaway with a very similar layout. You could easily adjust to this ship. I was in cabin 13188 a minisuite. It was nicely decorated and laid out. It was a bit larger than a balcony cabin, but not much. The bathroom was the largest I have ever seen on a ship. There was a double sink and the shower was huge with lots of nozzles. Fantastic shower. I was traveling alone so the storage was not a problem, but it would have been if I had someone else sharing the cabin. Not enough storage. The AC/Heat worked very well. Lighting was good. No electrical outlets by the bed but there were three plugs by the desk. I really enjoy the open dining on NCL which is why this is my third cruise in one year. I never had to wait for a table at any restaurant. However, that was the end of the good times. I was VERY disappointed in the food. They have changed the menus and the offering were really odd and unappetizing. The portions are smaller, the courses less in number. Even in the complimentary restaurants there were items for purchase. I did not like that at all. I think they are testing out having everyone eventually pay for each meal. It was impossible to get coffee unless you ordered desert. I ate in Cagney’s and it was wonderful. The Garden Café was a terrible disappointment. There was a good variety of offerings, but at lunch and dinner rather then being hot and fresh the food was cold and congealed. Every dinner was a total disaster with temperature and freshness. Overall the food was terrible, the worst I have ever encountered. The crew and staff could not have been better. Even for a new ship they preformed very professionally and friendly. I was very impressed. The Atrium was well used for activities, but it is far too small for all the activities. People would be standing 6 or 7 deep. You could not see anything. They should have held them in the theatre. They also blocked the flow of walking traffic. Entertainment overall was excellent. They had tremendous performers. If I did not like a show it was not due to the performers it just was not my type of entertainment. The TV entertainment was horrible, unless you wanted to pay extra. My big complaint was the Internet. The price is immoral. The quality is pathetic. You use all your minutes just signing in. The last day it did not work for most of the day. When it did it was incredibly slow. To charge the outrageous cost they should provide A+ access. They do not. The ship is too large for me, but that is my preference. It was very nice, but nothing exceptionally special. It was nice being on the maiden voyage, but other than that it was not memorable. My next cruise is on RCCL which gave me a better price. Although I like the open dining, they have to give you food worth going to eat. At this time this ship does not do that. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
Firstly emberkation was very good from Southampton ,ship was lovely loved the band in the 5 o,clock somewhere bar and the piano player in the district , loved all the shows on board , tenors of rock, las Vegas tenors, million dollar ... Read More
Firstly emberkation was very good from Southampton ,ship was lovely loved the band in the 5 o,clock somewhere bar and the piano player in the district , loved all the shows on board , tenors of rock, las Vegas tenors, million dollar quartet etc , loved comedy club we had no trouble getting seats as we reserved a time on the tv screen. We weren't keen on the hypnotist as we have seen better and we hated the fuelling pianos as they kept asking for money we stuck it for half an hour they only played 3 songs amongst the begging and wanting us to scream and clap and sing along did not feel they were worthy ,we walked out ,we stuck to the included restaurants food was very good and hot , only ate once in buffet , ship was not too crowded apart from foyer not enough seats great game shows etc there , great entertainment crew . Only disappointment was they ran out of special brews on tap on first day ,not good , we did not go in the pools as weather not hot enough until last 4 days , cabin was good did have trouble with the patio door banging as seal had come loose for 1st 3 nights had a small $60 compensation for lack of sleep , thought we deserved more , good cabin steward never bothered us , disembarkation in Miami was better than we have had previously although the queues were longer after we joined it there should have been more customs officers to deal with us all. We would sail again with Ncl in warmer climes next time though.We paid for two shows in the supper club fabulous venue the brat back for the record was fantastic and the wine lovers show was very entertaining .We had no trouble getting tables for 2 in dining rooms., we paid over £880 for our drinks package and probably had our money's worth . Drinks are expensive ,We had a good package price with 5 days stay in Orlando but would have liked a cheaper drinks package price.All staff were very good , bar staff worked very hard , not enough of them we felt sorry for them . The ones in the District bar were very entertaining . Do not listen to the bad reviews as we don't think it was a bad cruise at all especially compared to the similar transatlantic on the Quantum of the seas same time last year which was riddled with faults. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Firstly emberkation was very good from Southampton ,ship was lovely loved the band in the 5 o,clock somewhere bar and the piano player in the district , loved all the shows on board , tenors of rock, las Vegas tenors, million dollar ... Read More
Firstly emberkation was very good from Southampton ,ship was lovely loved the band in the 5 o,clock somewhere bar and the piano player in the district , loved all the shows on board , tenors of rock, las Vegas tenors, million dollar quartet etc , loved comedy club we had no trouble getting seats as we reserved a time on the tv screen. We weren't keen on the hypnotist as we have seen better and we hated the fuelling pianos as they kept asking for money we stuck it for half an hour they only played 3 songs amongst the begging and wanting us to scream and clap and sing along did not feel they were worthy ,we walked out ,we stuck to the included restaurants food was very good and hot , only ate once in buffet , ship was not too crowded apart from foyer not enough seats great game shows etc there , great entertainment crew . Only disappointment was they ran out of special brews on tap on first day ,not good , we did not go in the pools as weather not hot enough until last 4 days , cabin was good did have trouble with the patio door banging as seal had come loose for 1st 3 nights had a small $60 compensation for lack of sleep , thought we deserved more , good cabin steward never bothered us , disembarkation in Miami was better than we have had previously although the queues were longer after we joined it there should have been more customs officers to deal with us all. We would sail again with Ncl in warmer climes next time though.We paid for two shows in the supper club fabulous venue the brat back for the record was fantastic and the wine lovers show was very entertaining .We had no trouble getting tables for 2 in dining rooms., we paid over £880 for our drinks package and probably had our money's worth . Drinks are expensive ,We had a good package price with 5 days stay in Orlando but would have liked a cheaper drinks package price.All staff were very good , bar staff worked very hard , not enough of them we felt sorry for them . The ones in the District bar were very entertaining . Do not listen to the bad reviews as we don't think it was a bad cruise at all especially compared to the similar transatlantic on the Quantum of the seas same time last year which was riddled with faults. 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
If this had been our first cruise it would also have been our last, fortunately we have previously cruised with Cunard and P & O. Panic on 1st night as one of our cases was missing, due to rough treatment the label had gone missing, I ... Read More
If this had been our first cruise it would also have been our last, fortunately we have previously cruised with Cunard and P & O. Panic on 1st night as one of our cases was missing, due to rough treatment the label had gone missing, I had even gone to the trouble of covering paper tag with cellotape to ensure it would not rip. another case had the pull up handle broken so that was fun to move at airport. Luckily the missing case was eventually located. No coffee pods in rooms as not ordered for the cruise, but you could have coffee delivered free by room service if you wanted to wait up to 1.5 hours for delivery by which time a brandy would have been more apt. Never had a hot meal in any restaurant. They list Taste, Savour and Manhattan as separate restaurants but the menu was the same in each. 2nd night beers started to run out, around 7th night Baileys ran out. Neither myself or my husband are big drinkers but you are on holiday and you had to have the best of what was left or in my case as a very light drinker nothing at all as the only drink I wanted was a Mudslide, just the one every evening. The accommodation was very nice, nice balcony, spacious shower ec, no complaints about the staff who were extremely pleasant and very helpful. There is a glass staircase which I am sure everybody was initially very careful using due the assumption that it would be very slippery. Due to the curve of the staircase the steps narrow at the inside of the curve, but for some reason the designer thought that narrowing the step so much that only a child's foot would fit comfortably was ok. I injured my heel on this step (my heel rubbed down the previous step ) which was incredibly sore, the next morning I was unable to put my foot flat on the floor and had to go to the medical centre, after telling the "doctor" how I hurt my heel she supplied me with 11 Painkillers, a foot and ankle support at the cost of $189 and no actual diagnosis on the injury, I am assuming just bad bruising, although I could not walk very well for around 4 days. I think she just wanted me out of there before I blamed NCL. On disembarkation day we all had coloured luggage tags and specific times for leaving the ship. We were ready about an hour before our assigned time which as these things go was running around an hour late.He.Ho. So we eventually disembarked and went to collect our luggage which was all set out in areas with a flag to indicate your colour, simple, or so you would think. So 2.5 hours later we were through customs and heading for our transfer bus to Orlando. This whole process should have taken between 25 minutes to 45 minutes or so we were told by customer services when they phoned our stateroom to tell us which colou tags to use and to confirm our transfer, but then two of our cases were put in the wrong place, now bearing in mind that there were probably around 4000+ cases on the dock the two cases took some finding. The whole process too almost 4 hours. So while the majority of the people who were going on to Orlando arrived around 1.30 to 2.30 pm. Our bus of around 8 very angry people arrived at about 6pm when some of our fellow cruisers were coming back from the parks or shopping. Oh yes, Before all the non smokers complain about the smell of smoke near the ONE smoking room I think they should be aware that their was no air conditioning or ventilation of any kind in that room, which for such an expensive ship would not have been hard to incorporate. While NCL are happy to sell cigarettes and cigars by the thousands they do not give the smokers the dignity of having a clean room to smoke them in. So believe me non smokers the smokers were complaining loudly too. 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
As this was the Maiden voyage of Norwegian Escape there were a few, if not many, teething problems. The situation was not helped by poor weather confining 3000plus passengers inside the ship. Public spaces were simply not large enough ... Read More
As this was the Maiden voyage of Norwegian Escape there were a few, if not many, teething problems. The situation was not helped by poor weather confining 3000plus passengers inside the ship. Public spaces were simply not large enough to cope. The Atruim was used for much of the entertainment but getting a seat was near impossible - unless you got up early and reserved a seat - as often happens on deck. Supplies for the ship had not arrived. The well advertised coffee machines were in the cabin but the coffee pods had not arrived in Southampton to be loaded. Many cocktails were unable to be made as some ingredients had not arrived. Being on a free wine package it was interesting to see just how many drinks were unavailable. (Although I always found something!). If you wanted a certain white wine you had to track it down in the various bars around the ship. (That is until it ran out completely!). Even printed menus had a suggested wine of the day which was unavailable. Staff were new, although I am told only new to this ship, they have to have several years experience with other ships in the fleet before being working on a new ship. They were learning to work together and become familiar with their working areas. Something that will certainly happen but did not happen immediately. We were left sitting in the restaurant for 40 minutes on two evenings without so much as a jug of water. When we complained we were told our waiter was not scheduled to start yet. Others around us were on dessert by the time our waiter arrived. Le Bistro, was very slow and the food inedible. Even the assistant Maitre D said he would make the chef eat the undercooked, raw meat that was served to me just to show what he was seving. When I complained about my profiteroles he suggested they were so hard they should be used as frisbees - his words not mine! Needless to say a free meal was given but what a waste of an evening! One good thing was that the chief officers were available for at least half an hour every morning in the Atrium. We spoke to Sean who consequently called the various heads of department to deal with our various complaints. He ensured our concerns were dealt with immediately. Compensation was very generous as they realized we were simply telling the truth about our experience. The ship itself - certainly a huge step up for NCL but still lagging behind other ships, RCL, Cekebrity, Princess etc. rather traditional for my taste, dark veneer rather than modern. Opinion on the whole was mixed some loved it, others were disappointed. We had a mini suite and this was well worth the extra money. We had more length to the cabin and a lot more width. Plenty of space between the end of the bed and the wall, an area often quite tight. I can honestly say that the bathroom was the best we have had on any ship. It was as big as many hotels. We had a full width shower with seven body jets as well as Jack and Jill sinks. There was plenty of storage and plenty of space for dressing inside the bathroom. We were lucky enough to go to the inauguration Christening ceremony and joined the party with Pitbull. This was memorable. NCL put on a fantastic show. It made our cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Arrived in London on 10/28/15 and stayed at the Grand Harbor Hotel.very convenient to resturants and shops.Cruise terminal also located right down the street from the hotel. The Escape is NCL's newest cruise ship.It is the latest ... Read More
Arrived in London on 10/28/15 and stayed at the Grand Harbor Hotel.very convenient to resturants and shops.Cruise terminal also located right down the street from the hotel. The Escape is NCL's newest cruise ship.It is the latest in size and offerings within the cruise industry.We were glad that we had plenty of time at sea to explore the ship in its entirety.We started out on the pool deck which offered plenty of chaise seating.We enjoyed the theater,casino and shopping on board.We had rain and rough seas for the first few days so when the sun peeked out,I made my way to the ropes course which was a challenging experience but well worth it!We then went down the water slide and laughed and screamed the whole way down!Loved it so much we went again several times!We decided on the 5 night speciality dining since there was some new options on the Escape.We were happy with all of the dining especially the 5 O'Clock Somewhere bar and resturant!Le Bistro was our favorite. Cabin was a balcony standard size.Ship was only half full and because of this it was pleasant everywhere on the ship.Not too sure I would want to experience Escape At full capacity.It definately is a ship designed to sail out of Miami ! It is a southern Carribbean themed ship right down to activities and dining.Spa was wonderful but did not have steam room working.Would have spent more time in spa but wanted to explore all of the ship.I really think that you would need more than 7 days to be able to experience everything on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
Thought I would try Norwegian for the first time, have always used Royal Caribbean and Celebrity before. Couldn't refuse the deal, an 11 day cruise plus return flight from Florida for less than the cost of a return flight! Nice ... Read More
Thought I would try Norwegian for the first time, have always used Royal Caribbean and Celebrity before. Couldn't refuse the deal, an 11 day cruise plus return flight from Florida for less than the cost of a return flight! Nice ship, modest luxury and (being inaugural cruise) in perfect condition. CABIN: We started with an inside cabin, which was very cramped, barely room to squeeze past the side of the bed and virtually no storage (1 wardrobe, no drawers at all). However we found out that the ship was not full and asked for an upgrade. The Guest Relations guy needed to speak to a manager who was not there, but we got a promise of a call back that evening. No call back, assumed the answer was no. Two days later I asked at GR desk, to be told we had been upgraded to a balcony cabin,but nobody had told us, so we could have moved two days earlier! Much better cabin, but still had to squeeze past the bed. DINING: Comprehensive mix of dining options, a few complimentary rooms, and several paid restaurants. Menu and food in the free rooms was reasonable, but much better in the specialty rooms, which all had themes. Some also had side sections on open deck, great in the Caribbean, not much good for the first 8 days trans Atlantic! ENTERTAINMENT: This was spectacular, though possibly all the stops had been pulled out for the maiden cruise. In particular Tenors of Rock were brilliant, Brat Pack was cleverly interactive, Million Dollar Quartet was great (if you were old enough to remember the 50s) and After Midnight and Comedy club were high quality. LAYOUT: Very different style of layout to Royal Caribbean/Celebrity/Princess - small central Atrium and everything arranged over decks 6,7 & 8 apart from the Theater. What they called the Atrium was a 2 level entertainment area which had nowhere near enough seating for the various demos, classes and trivia quizzes. Guest were bringing chairs from the adjacent meeting rooms or had to stand by the bar. The huge Manhattan Restaurant had a large dance floor which would have been far better a venue. DECKS: Hated the layout of the pool decks. Adult flumes, junior flumes, rope walk and a large central bar overshadowed the main pool deck making it feel cramped - you had to pick where to sit to avoid losing the sun after an hour or two. The saving grace was Spice H2O with its fascinating rock caves and waterfalls, great for cooling down. The hot tubs started off cold, were OK by day 8, but unbearably hot by the end. CONCLUSION: Nice enough ship, great entertainment (if sustained) good food options, but disappointing deck layouts. Would not feel safe with small kids. Would not rush to book NCL again, prefer Royal Caribbean. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Norwegian Escape Review. Transatlantic Crossing Southampton to Miami 10 Days 29th October to 8th November 2015 First Impression: As we traveled from Southampton airport and drove to the port we could catch glimpses of this huge ... Read More
Norwegian Escape Review. Transatlantic Crossing Southampton to Miami 10 Days 29th October to 8th November 2015 First Impression: As we traveled from Southampton airport and drove to the port we could catch glimpses of this huge ship waiting. When we entered the port we were stunned at not only the size of Escape, but the size of the magnificent art work on her hull; the art work painted by Guy Harvey is a realistic depiction of the sea live that can be found in the Caribbean and the Bahamas; and is huge and in my personal view the best in Norwegians fleet. Norwegian Escape is tastefully decorated, the main walkways are painted white and the support pillars have been molded to look like the trunks of palm trees. In the center of Escape there is a glass stairway that connects decks 6, 7 and 8, which tastefully has two mood lights lighting up the glass treads, blue lights during the day and red lights at night; very nice. In the same Atrium is a massive two deck LED chandelier which changes colours, daytime a white crystal affect and at night time it comes to life changing from yellow, red, blue and even changes to a U.S flag effect; 3 quarters coloured red, and the top quarter blue. It is a stunning sight but not obtrusive. The ceiling also has small LED lights that change colours but is all most missed due to that fantastic chandelier, but still effective. Around this area you will find; Le Bistro French restaurant, and Headliners Comedy club (howl at the moon also). The second Atrium is just as impressive if not a bit more functional, in this area you will find the Guest relations, i-connect (internet stations), Shore excursions desk, Restaurant reservations desk, a huge 3 deck high LCD screen surrounded with comfy chairs, and the Atrium bar. Connecting the two Atrium's on deck 6 is the Art Gallery, which is a large area showing off different styles of art, including autographed memorabilia. All the art is presented from Park west Galleries and they have a wide range of art and sculptures to fit all pocket sizes. They change the display on a regular basis, its a nice way to pass away a few minutes looking at the display, and you don't get hassled. Over all impression is a well designed areas, which are light and airy. There are nine Specialty Dining Restaurants offering delights from all over the world; French, Italian, Brazilian, Japanese, Chinese, and Argentina including Tapas, sushi, and Steak house restaurants. I can only review three of the above, because of the Specialty Dining package we picked, as we thought it was enough with the complementary dining on offer, but the choice is yours. Cagney's Steak House; is exactly what it say's, it specialises in all types and sizes of steaks cooked to your own taste, I ordered a 8oz fillet mignon cooked to a blue stranded (which means its scared by the pan to sear the edges and that's it) and it came out perfectly cooked, my wife ordered the Sea Food Plater which had King Prawn's, Sea Bass, Calamari, Crab Cake and Scallops; all tasted very nice. The deserts menu is a bit small but is very tasty and are good portions. The service was excellent, from being shown to our table, to the waitress serving us. It was my Birthday the night we went, and was given a sponge cream cake and had Happy Birthday sung to me by the serving staff, thank you. Moderno Churrascaria; is an Gaucho style restaurant, Brazilian-style steakhouse offers succulent meat carved right at your table by experienced pasadores, ready to serve, per your table marker: red for “stop, I’m full,” green for “keep it coming!” and they do its non-stop meat fest. Indulge in a variety of cuts and meats, as well as classic churrascaria fare including imported cheeses, olives, cured meats, ceviche and specialty salads. Teppanyaki; is a authentic Japanese hibachi restaurant, where the chief not only cook's your food in front of you, but does it in a showman way, with twirling knives, spinning and flipping eggs, and catching them on the edge of his Spatula, and drawing butterflies out of the egg yoke. I ordered Fillet Mingnon (Blue) and Lobster, and Dawn ordered Shrimp and Scallops, and the food was wonderful. The starters were Miso Soup and Seaweed Salad with Ginger Dressing, not bad would not order it if there was a chioce. Desert was a choice between fresh fruit and Green Tea Cake, both were very nice. We tried the Complementary Dining and found the food was cooked to a high standard and sometimes the Garden cafe food was hotter and fresher, for example I love eggs Benedict with ham for breakfast, downstairs in Taste they arrived cold and the hollandaise sauce was dry, while in the Garden Cafe they are freshly made in-front of you and as much hollandaise sauce as you want. The Menus in the Manhattan, Taste, and Savoy Restaurants had two menus one side stayed the same each night, and the other side was altered nightly, the food and service in these restaurants were fantastic, I told our waitress that Fruit Trifle was my favorite desert, she turned up with not one but four Trifles, that's excellent service. O'Sheehan's Neighbourhood Bar & Grill delivers a good but limited menu, in what NCL presumes is a genuine Irish bar. O’Sheehan’s is a open restaurant with the O’Sheehan’s bar just across the walkway, so it can be a bit loud and not always good if you want to have a chat over your meal. Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville at Sea; we only went the once and that was on the first day with decent weather during the crossing, talking to our fellow Americans who know this chain of eatery said it was very close to the onshore experience. The only problem was the waiting from ordering to receiving the meals was up to one hour, and for a burger and chips (fries) that was a bit much, in saying that it was a lovely burger with British chips and a great view outside of the ship. The Garden Cafe’ is a large buffet area on deck 16 which is open 23 ½ hours a day with a large selection of ethnic dishes, from Italian, Indian, Tai, and Chinese, there are cold meat, cheese and freshly baked breads. Hot meats are carved in front of you, (you can prompt them to cut it a little bit thicker) with burgers with different toppings and foot long hot dogs. There is a large selection of deserts sponge cakes, ice creams, and a crumble pie of sorts, all very nice. There are three main shows on Escape; Million Dollar Quartet, After midnight, and For the Record: The Brat Pack, Live at the Supper Club. Million Dollar Quartet, and After midnight, are free shows in the Escape Theater. There is a cover charge for the The Brat Pack show which is in its own theater called the Supper Club. These shows require a pre-booking to gain entry and they book up fast, so a top tip is pre-book the shows you want to see as soon as you have confirmed the cruise booking, as they are not on every night. Million Dollar Quartet is the story of 'Sun Records' just after they sold 'Elvis Presley' to RCA. A new piano player called 'Jerry Lee Lewis' is after a record deal with Sun records and is an annoyance for 'Carl Perkins' who is trying to gain another hit. 'Johnny Cash' has signed a new contract with Capital Records but has not told Sun Records, who has a contract ready for Johnny to sign; opps to late. 'Elvis Presley' has dropped into the studio to convince 'Sam Phillips' owner of Sun Records to sell up and join RCA. The show runs for 1 hour 40 minutes and is a nonstop rock fest with some of the stars greatest hits, Jerry Lee adds some light moments with some fantastic piano/singing performances. try and see the show twice, its worth every second. After midnight; Welcome back to that electrifying time when Harlem’s Cotton Club was the place to be. Winner of the 2014 Tony®, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Astaire Awards for Best Choreography, AFTER MIDNIGHT is the smash-hit musical that combines the big-band songs of Duke Ellington, a stageful of megawatt performers, a roof-raising onstage jazz band, and the best dancing from Broadway. Witness The Cotton Club come to life in a never-before-seen phenomenon at sea. Experience Broadway at its finest in the Escape Theater! For the Record: The Brat Pack, Live; Relive the glorious 1980's at For the Record: The Brat Pack where classic soundtracks bring the movies to life in an immersive rock n roll concert and dining experience. Escape into an 80's teenage dream as you "Danke Schoen" like Ferris, "Try A Little Tenderness" with Ducky and heat up your night like a "St. Elmos Fire" at this nostalgic feast for the senses. No leg warmers required. 'Oh What a Place, Oh What a Night', Howl at the Moon – Duelling Pianos is a show that you must not miss, for four hours of non-stop high energy, duelling piano and drum playing, blasting hits out from a wide genre list; such as Rock, Heavy Metal, Country, Pop, and anything in between. Send up your favorite tune you want playing, and they will play it. They do have some way of picking what comes next, if your tune arrives with some dollar note or a shot, it moves up the list, if you don’t want to hear the song then you can put a dollar down to stop it, it all makes up to a great night of music and fun. Tickle your funny bone at Headliner's Comedy Club with performances by Levity Entertainment Group’s roster of top-notch comedians. Employing over 300 artists nationwide, Levity is the largest producer of live comedy, creating tours and TV specials for the biggest names in the industry, including Daniel Tosh, Amy Shumer, Gabriel Iglesias and Jeff Dunham. With several hilarious shows per week, prepare for a sidesplitting good time with Levity Entertainment Group. The other performers in the Bars and spaces such as the Atrium all perform to a high calibre, are worth sipping a cocktail and chilling out to their music. All the Bars offer bar stools, and comfy seating with waitress services, once again the bar staff are fantastic and will keep the drinks coming. In all bars are flat screen TVs showing the latest sports from around the world, we watch the Rugby World Cup, and Formula 1 racing live in the bars. There is live entertainment in all the bars, especially in the '5 o'clock somewhere bar' and the 'Skyline Bar' . Staff and Crew: O'Sheehans Bar and the Best Barman-Thank You The Staff and crew are the best we have ever cruised with. With over 70 different nationality's, they are all ways pleased when you say hello or good morning to them. Restaurant staff and Bar staff always seem to have an extra second to have a chat with you, and somehow remember your name and favourite tipple when you return. Halloweens Ghastly Face's - just joking. They seem willing to do anything for you so you have a great time, we like talking to the crew, to try and gauge how NCL treat/look after them, there were crew members who have been with the company for 18 plus years, some hoping that their children will join NCL. That seems to tell its own story on how well they are looked after, we've seen a few of there poolside parties after the guest's have gone to their cabins, and they have a ball. We did have a few problems manly with Guest Relations, we actually boarded the Escape with the wrong key cards that we were given when we checked in, it took nearly a dozen times over three days to get the right key cards with our names and our packages linked to the cards, and we weren’t the only ones to have problems It seemed that a new computer system was being used and it allowed no room for flexibility, I would expect that when Escape was sitting in Miami Port the glitches would be sorted out. Our Cabin Steward was not the best we have ever had in fact the opposite, we are high up in the Latitudes program and we had no dressing gowns, cups, ice, nightly chocolates, bin’s not emptied, I had to ask for a new bar of soap, he only left one large towel throughout the cruise, our latitudes free box of chocolates and Escape pin badges, since this was the inaugural cruise of their new flagship he was not up to standard. Activities: The Ropes Course, is the Largest and the Highest ropes course at sea, and it’s fantastic and scary all in one go. There are two ‘Walk the Plank’ which are 172 feet over the sea. The course covers three decks in height, the last level is the same height as the top of the funnel. There are 5 ‘Sky Rails’ some of which swing out over the sea, and combine to make the largest ‘Sky Rails’ at sea. At the bottom of the course is the Kids Rope Course, just like the adult/kids course but only a foot off the ground compared to the 4/8 and 12 meters of the main course. It’s a test of balance and nerve even with the knowledge that you can’t fall due to the harness and safety line connecting you to the course, but the nerves still jangle. Escape has areas for everyone, there’s a ‘Kids Aqua Park’ with slides tipping buckets, water cannons and plunge pools. ‘Spice H2O’ is an adult only with two spa tubs and a first at sea a ‘waterfall grotto’, in the evening this area can be transformed into a show area with a large LCD screen or a disco so you can dance the night away. We found that the two spas were too hot, and we could not go in them. There are two large slides that go out over the side of the ship, a large blue slide that you slide down on either single or double inflatable rings, over a see through Perspex section of tube. The next slide is the ‘Aqua Racer’ where you race with your friends in a adjoining slide, this slide was not available on the crossing, as it had not been certified by the US Coast Guard. There are Jacuzzi tubs on the pool deck which always seemed open. Altogether there are 12 pools and hot tubs to choose from. Mandara Spa & Salon is the same as the one on the Norwegian Epic and other Breakaway class of ships, with the exception of a ‘Salt room’ and a ‘Snow room’, this area is a limited area so book early if you intend to use the spa, saunas, hot stone beds, and various water treatment areas. There is a large fitness area with all the up to date equipment, from treadmills, bikes, weight machines and dumbbells. To help you stay entertained and under the ‘Ropes Course’, there is a 9 hole crazy golf course, that looks like it’s in a industrial area; and is quite challenging. Next to that is a greened strip that can be used in a various ways from, a putting green, crown green bowls, and croquet. There are also four table tennis tables in a area away from any wind, and Shuffle board courts to while away any time at sea. There is a large area where you can play Basket ball, Tennis, 5 aside football and even dodge ball. One evening we watched the engineering crew playing Basketball and they were good. In O'Sheehans Bar there are two pool tables, two ten pin bowling lines, and various other games such as Darts and quiz's to be played. Casino; Escape’s Casino is the largest in the Norwegian fleet. Escape casino offers plenty of thrilling casino games for every type of player. Whether you’re a beginner or regular at the poker table, there’s something for everyone. There’s Blackjack, all types of Poker games and roulette and hundreds of slot machines with different themes. It nice that NCL have made it a non-smoking casino, and it didn’t seem to affect the amount of people playing the tables. Staterooms; We stayed in a cat. BA Balcony cabin on deck 14, the room it’s self is nothing special, with a double bed that can become twin beds, flat screen TV and a settee/3rd bed. The bathroom consists of the normal shower, toilet and sink with a large mirror. The room seems to be a bit on the narrow side with a lack of storage space. The balcony is the standard balcony with two chairs and a table, it was great sitting on the balcony looking out on to the Atlantic Ocean and seeing absolutely nothing, and pitch black at night, wonderful. We also visited some of the staterooms at the upper end of the scale in the Haven suite. Haven guests all have Butlers and Concierge to look after them 24 hours a day, they also have their own Guest Relations, Bar and Dining room. They have a private sun area with a pool, spa and sun chairs and a retractable roof for all weather use. The Haven area is only accessible by a key card so only Haven guests can enter. They have large Spa suites for 2/3 guests, a Family suite that fits 6 guests (I think 6 is a bit tight), and then there’s the Owners Suite which has the largest Balcony that wraps around the corner of the aft ship to nearly half way around, it has a large bathroom with a his and her sinks, large shower and bath tub, a changing room and a large living area. There is also another bedroom which has its own shower/bathroom, and a pull out bed. My opinion is if you know and travel with six other people (family/friends) and weigh up the benefits of the extra person discount offered in the stateroom (all staterooms offer the same discounts) times by 4, it will bring down the cost of the suite to around £1500/person, and compare that to a BA cat. Room of £1300/person is worth checking it out. NCL even offers, (sometimes), OBC, Drinks packages, Speciality Dining packages included in the Haven price. Overall impression: In our impression of being on the Escape for 10 days with no chance of getting off, I was concerned that we would get bored and long for land after three days, Not so. This ship has so much to offer as you have already read, but what I have not mentioned yet is all the daily activities put on by Julie or Cruise Director (yes the same as the Love Boat), with Zumba lesions, dance classes, cooking demo’s, bingo, quiz’s, film s shown in the theater, poolside activities, and to many to mention. We have been on five different cruise companies, and rightly or wrongly compare all the ships we’ve been on. Escape comes on top for Entertainment, crew friendliness, and standard of the food in all areas, and we will defiantly sail on her again and soon. Escapes Hull artwork by Guy Harvey is the best in the Norwegian fleet, and can’t be compared to any other company’s ships. Escape is airy and light and most of all smoke free. 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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