3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Our local senior center was offered what appeared to be a good deal for a 14 day Caribbean Cruise. We thought we would try another cruise line other than one we have frequented.. It was a good value and we enjoyed it. However, there was ... Read More
Our local senior center was offered what appeared to be a good deal for a 14 day Caribbean Cruise. We thought we would try another cruise line other than one we have frequented.. It was a good value and we enjoyed it. However, there was room for improvement. Two swimming pools with a capacity of 82 for everyone on board not in The Haven is ridiculous. This is a poor design.Cruise guests totally disregard the rule about saving lounge chairs. So, get there early at poolside. The food in the buffet was adequate; but many guests opted for the dining rooms during International and Oriental buffet nights. O"sheehan's is a really good alternative to the main dining venues. The cabin was nice and the bathroom was worth the upgrade to a mini suite for a 14 day cruise. The entertainment varied . Some acts were excellent . Some were fair. Some weren't our style. The Embarkation process was messed up owing to a virus outbreak on the prior cruise. NCL did not react well to this glitch. One guest was told her stateroom would be ready @ 11P.M. for what was supposed to be a 3 P M departure. I doubt that I will ever want to sail again from the Port of Manhattan. Certain parties ( Read as wealthy) can park where and when they want and let the busloads be damned. The port workers can also be fickle.( local & federal) One other note. The PA system is quite loud. Talking at dinner on deck 7 was quite difficult while a DJ was entertaining in the Atrium on 6 Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Embarkation was horrible. We waited, standing in the terminal for over two hours before we could board the ship. We did not receive our luggage until 1am after we went to guest services and identified our luggage. The entertainment was ... Read More
Embarkation was horrible. We waited, standing in the terminal for over two hours before we could board the ship. We did not receive our luggage until 1am after we went to guest services and identified our luggage. The entertainment was very good but for some shows we had to book in advance a and several times the shows were sold out. We dined in the Manhattan room . They food was good but nearly the same menu most days. The excursions were very good. The help on the ship were outstanding. They always had a smile and tried to always anticipate our needs. There were not enough planned activities when we were at sea. The disembarkation was horrible. We waited outside ( luckily the weather was mild) for over an hour before we could get into the terminal to claim our luggage and go through customs. I would not recommend this ship for a anyone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Embarkation was horrible, delayed, confusing and no information from cruise line as to what was going on. First week was limited public access and service due to constantly cleaning of ship by staff due to illiness cruise before! Most ... Read More
Embarkation was horrible, delayed, confusing and no information from cruise line as to what was going on. First week was limited public access and service due to constantly cleaning of ship by staff due to illiness cruise before! Most normal things were changed like buffet where you usually serve your self to long lines waiting because plates, utensils and food had to be served by staff because passengers weren't allowed to handle anything others touched. We lost many days of normal, proper ship services due to staff being used to clean ship but we're not given any compensation. Very little quiet places to sit, play cards, read or chat... everything was geared towards public use of space for games etc. Yet not enough seats. Ships overall layout not very passenger friendly. Most people didn't like the ship itself and wouldn't sail Escape again. Food, service, staff were the best...they just had conditions beyond their control. The ship should have come back a day earlier for through cleaning...not clean during our cruise time! Also, medical is on the 13th deck--who puts medical on a floor with all staterooms so sick people have to use the same elevators as people coming and going to their rooms. Escape is a ship I would not recommend, NCL has many other great ships. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our first cruise with Norwegian and it will probably be our last with them. The service was ordinary, the food was worse and the menu never changed. The food ranged from good to very poor, To make things worse there was an ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Norwegian and it will probably be our last with them. The service was ordinary, the food was worse and the menu never changed. The food ranged from good to very poor, To make things worse there was an outbreak of gastroenteritis and they started packing up three days before the end of the cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation were shambles and I hope I never have to experience anything like this again. The fit out of the ship we found to be tacky and not of a high standard. The shopping on the ship was ordinary (not that we expected much). Our suite was okay but not great and because it was forward facing we were unable to use the balcony as often as we would have liked because of the strong winds. We had the top Haven suite on the ship and wanted to dine in the Haven Restaurant but on the first day we had to wait thirty minutes before a table was available for us and at dinner time we could not get a table and we were told we could have a complimentary meal at a specialty restaurant as they did not know when a table would be available. It did improve the following day but you had to be satisfied with whatever table was available, something we have never experienced regardless of the level of accommodation we travelled in. The Haven Restaurant seemed to be short staffed compared to other ships and on one occassion my daughter missed out on breakfast because they took so long even though we told them we had to be out within 45 minutes because we were going on an excursion. To add insult to injury the Executive Chef tried telling me how to have my steak. Call me fussy but I like it cooked the way I want it not the way the Chef thinks it should be cooked. No, I did not have dinner that night. My daughter has food allergies and her choices were very limited. Entertainment ranged from excellent to average and but was fairly diverse. On the plus side our Butler and Steward were excellent and the Assistant Maître' D worked very hard in making our cruise as pleasant as possible. A very big thank you to them. The crew in general were very courteous and friendly including the ship's officers. We liked the fact that the ship's officers were always visible and were always interested in knowing how the cruise was going for us. This we believe to be a big plus. I won't say we will never travel with Norwegian again because never is a very long time, but it is more likely to snow in the middle of a summer's day in the Sahara Dessert than we would risk Norwegian again. This cruise did not suit us at all but I am sure that many people would love the Norwegian experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
I’ve been going on cruises since I was young and this was my worst experience, not completely the fault of the trip but it definitely could’ve been much better. Embarking went by smoothly as my family always goes on board as early ... Read More
I’ve been going on cruises since I was young and this was my worst experience, not completely the fault of the trip but it definitely could’ve been much better. Embarking went by smoothly as my family always goes on board as early as we could. We had our lunch buffet and went to familiarize ourselves with the ship. Our luggage was waiting for us when we got to our room on the 11th floor. We had our thermal spa booked and our dining reservations done so all that was left was to sit back relax and enjoy our vacation The shows that were available was 2 theatrical ones and the rest were comedies that our family of both young and older did not enjoy, to describe it in one word it sucked. For such a long cruise we expected at least 5 or more theatrical shows even if it was only for 30 or so minutes like my other ones. Our trip started going downhill when we were ready to go to the private island, grand cayman that required you to take a small boat to get on the island, but was unable to because of the rise in sea level, which I understand is for safety reasons but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t alter the plans so that we go to a different port since we pay to go to all of the ports. They did offer the port and government fee back but that doesn’t make up for our disappointment. Going to Ocho Rio, Jamaica was great we went to the Dunn’s falls and reggae hill tour and had a great time besides getting injured during our climb up the waterfall. That’s when things went from bad to worse, acute gastrointestinal was on the cruise and it infected enough passengers for them to take action which meant longer lines at the buffet, the closing of the thermal spa and more time used to try to contain the highly spread illness. What’s worse is that even though they did everything they could to stop the spread, it did not stop many from having stomach problems in this cabin. The staff overall were great and the cabin since it was one that had a double sink and a larger balcony room felt as spacious as a cruise could be. The family was really disappointed at the 14 day cruise since a lot of time was spent feeling ill, having back pain due to a poor mattress, not being able to go to a port that was greatly looked forward too, plus a lot of waiting on long lines. The good was the one tour we took, the staff that did their best with singing the Washie washie song and making a good atmosphere over all even though the circumstances weren’t too bright, the different foods available at the buffet especially coconut ice cream, and the ports that we were able to go to were greatly enjoyable. The morning of disembarkation was pretty hectic at the buffet because of long lines that were confusing to many of the passengers on board. Just waiting for plates and utensils took 10 minutes and then waiting for the food took another 5 minutes just to get to the food. Getting off the ship though went by smoothly, we carried our luggage ourselves and got through customs with no problems. I would definitely go to a cruise again not because of this cruise but because our family enjoys cruising. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
•We chose this cruise because NYC is an easy port for us. We have been on almost 20 cruises and we are now platinum NCL members. We also considered that being right after the holidays most kids would be in school and being 14 days it ... Read More
•We chose this cruise because NYC is an easy port for us. We have been on almost 20 cruises and we are now platinum NCL members. We also considered that being right after the holidays most kids would be in school and being 14 days it would have a lot of retired people onboard. We were right in all assumptions. We fit right in with the older fatter group onboard. •One of the complaints I see often about this ship is that there's only 2 sets of elevators. This actually wasn't too bad. The problem arises because the decks aren't that large. Instead they built a lot of decks, so the ship is very 'vertical'. The public decks are 6, 7 & 8 along with 16, and 17. That means 10 flights of stairs between activities with your room somewhere in between. Every little thing you have to jump in the elevators (unless you're a track star) causing them to have trouble keeping up with the need during meal times. •The food at the buffet was a 'C' grade. I still see no difference between their Peruvian Stew, Cuban Stew and their other Stews. People that think this food is great really have to improve their home cooking. We ate at Bayamo (seafood), La Cucina, Caganey's and Le Bistro. Cagney's was a good steak and a good prime rib. La Cucina was a good oso buco. Le Bistro was a good T-bone. I would rate all of these restaurants a 'B'. Bayamo had an additional surcharge on top of the original surcharge and it was a pure disappointment. Shame, really. I would rate it a 'C-' •Mandara Spa was my biggest disappointment. The entire spa is one large coed room with a small sauna, a smaller steamroom, a small salt room (?) and a small snow room attached at the far end. The locker rooms were the same size as my cabin...barely enough room to change your clothes without getting poked by the guy next to you. So, you put on your bathing suit, dunk in the really nice treatment pool and then get to lay on a lounge chair in a temperature controlled 70° room in your wet sticking suit. Awful. What happened to His and Hers sides of the spa with separate saunas and steam rooms so that you can take a proper steam and sit back in just a robe and read instead of having to keep that clammy suit on? I do like the convenience of NYC. We'll probably stick to the Gem class ships in the future. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My lovely wife and I have been on 20 cruises with all the major cruise lines and so we have considerable experience and perspective on how the industry has changed over the years. We chose the NCL Escape because of the short 45-minute ... Read More
My lovely wife and I have been on 20 cruises with all the major cruise lines and so we have considerable experience and perspective on how the industry has changed over the years. We chose the NCL Escape because of the short 45-minute flight from Toronto to New York. We logged into our NCL account to start pre-booking the many elements of our vacation. We looked at the shore excursions, entertainment venues, and dining options. The website worked well and we booked NASA in Port Canaveral, Atlantis in Nassau, and a New York sightseeing tour on the disembarkation day that included a transfer to LGA. Most dinners could be booked in advance. The exceptions were the dinner shows in the Supper Club; those could only be booked onboard. The complimentary restaurants could be booked easily for our preferred times. We added a three dinner optional dining package for the speciality restaurants. Those evenings were more difficult to book. Within 45 days of sailing, the only times left available were before 6:00 pm or after 8:30 pm. We thought that we were too late to get the more popular times but it would appear that many of the choices were blocked for Haven passengers. The website is not responsive to previous restaurant bookings. We booked three speciality restaurants as part of the Ultimate Dining Package. My lovely wife looked at booking Bayamo and found that there is an additional surcharge of $15 per person. We booked a dinner time and paid the surcharge in advance. When we arrived at Bayamo our reservation was refused. The explanation was that the surcharge was applied to the Ultimate Dining Package; since we had used our three dinners, the surcharge was refunded and if we wished to dine there we would have to pay the full menu price. The entertainment options were more difficult to book ahead of time. Other than the two main shows, The Brat Pack and After Midnight, all the other shows were required to be booked onboard. Trying to plan a vacation ahead of time was made more difficult because only start times are indicated on the website, there is no indication of how long the shows run making impossible to figure out what could be booked next or when to plan dinner times. Worrying about weather affecting air travel we included a two-day NCL hotel add on at the Marriott Marquis in the entertainment district. The cab fare from LGA was $60. Check in was quick and our room #1705 was nicely appointed although the bathroom was dated and in need of an update. We received a printed letter from NCL explaining the transfer process. It was poorly written and even the hotel concierge could not explain the process. Hotel staff showed us where to wait for the bus in front of the hotel at Starbucks. Our calls to the local NCL phone number failed, the number was not in service. The driver did not find us until 45 minutes after our scheduled pick up time. The Escape is a large ship with 4266 passengers and this Christmas cruise was reported to have 1500 children on board. Pier 88 in New York is tired and may be the reason for long lines to pass through security and then through the check-in process. We spoke with many frustrated passengers who felt the process was complex and understaffed. Once on board, we decided to have lunch in the dining room; our cabins would not be ready until 1:30 pm. We booked a large balcony cabin #9728. The cabin had the standard appointments; a safe, bar fridge, TV, hairdryer, soap and shampoo dispensers, and a first for us, a room controlled power switch that disables all lights and outlets if your ship card is not inserted. Our cabin was on the starboard side of the ship and our hopes of photographing New York City from our balcony was thwarted. The fog was dense and we should have booked a cabin on the port side. The port side will work during the return to NYC, but we needed to be up at 3:30 am if we wanted to see the Statue of Liberty on our return. The fog was so dense and the seas so rough, the ship could not achieve a normal cruising speed and so, we were late getting to Port Canaveral. All shore excursions were cancelled with the exception of the transfers to Disney and the other amusement parks. We spoke to other guests that did go to the parks but they were disappointed that they had less than two and a half hours before they had to return to the ship. The main venue for onboard activities is the Atrium on deck 6. The stage is ringed by all the ship services (concierge, Latitudes desk, shore excursion desk, Internet cafe, pursers desk) and the Starbucks cafe and bar. There was maybe enough seating for 150 guests; definitely not enough space to entertain 4200 people while the ship was at sea. We found it to be a terribly loud and congested area unsuited for entertainment; we avoided it at all cost. Once on board, we tried to book some of the entertainment options. NCL has a “Box Office” at the entrance to the main theatre. It is only open selected hours and when we tried to book a show, they were all standby line only. NCL believes that their online system available in the cabins or selected touch screens throughout the ship is sufficient for the majority of passengers. We found the system sluggish and unresponsive leading to more frustration than show bookings. We believe there were two reasons for the lack of show availability. The first was because large swaths of seats are reserved for Haven guests and are not available for general booking. The second is because it is impossible to cancel a reservation online should your plans change. We were first in the standby line for a completely booked comedy show at Headliners. At 10 minutes prior to the show started we were allowed in only to find 15 people already seated. Surely there must be a reason we could not book two seats in a 150 seat venue where only 15 people showed up. There was nothing relaxing about the way NCL handles their entertainment, it always felt like I was in a competition for seats and venues. The show schedules were such that I believe very few people would be able to see all of the shows available. The most notable problem was the final show for the magician Kyle Marlett in the main theatre. The main theatre is reported to hold 800 people. This would be the only unique performance of his for the cruise. The theatre was packed and many passengers were frustrated by people holding large blocks of seats; NCL staff were reluctant to say anything to remedy the situation. I blame NCL for knowingly creating a situation where up to 3400 passengers would be disappointed and unable to see this show. New for us was being asked to pay to see a show. The Choir of Man in the Supper Club was $19.95 per person. This was the first time we have been asked to pay for entertainment. This leads me to a broader observation of cruise pricing. I believe that the price of basic admission for a cruise is kept as low as possible to attract passengers and then the upsell starts. These fee-for-service options appeal to travellers that would not normally partake of certain services and so they save money. Others, like my wife and I, would like a more all-inclusive experience, paying for all the options up front leaving us to just enjoy our cruise. The NCL experience is a hybrid version wherein you can have this but not that, you paid for this but you cannot have that. I spent more time trying to figure out what I could drink and what I couldn’t. My meals were selected on the basis of what I could have and what I couldn’t have. Entertainment was selected on the basis of what I could book and what I couldn’t book. The following items are examples of how I believe NCL wants to extract more of my vacation dollars once I am onboard. I like to gamble when at sea. I am not a high roller and I brought US cash to avoid the 3% surcharge. I kept most of it in my pocket, there was not a $5 table to be found anywhere. The craps table was $10; after three point-seven-outs, I was down $100 and never went back to the casino again. Losing money so quickly is not a fun experience. We discovered that the Ultimate Beverage Package does not include taxes when in a US port. This is when you notice how expensive the menu price of the drinks are when a tax percentage is added to your onboard account. Six one-litre bottles of water delivered to your room were $14.95. While described as a premium product, the taste was reminiscent of the desalinated water available from the bathroom tap. While I don’t believe there is anything wrong with drinking desalinated water, I hope I didn’t pay for something that I could have had for free. Room service now costs $7.95 per delivery. If you wish to stay in your room and watch a movie, there are a few very old movies for free but you are charged to watch recent or current titles. The tender service to Great Stirrup Cay was another service that needed to be booked through the entertainment system. My wife and I didn’t book a time and chose to wait until the open calls began. By 2:00 pm, there were still excessive lines waiting to make it into the main show theatre. Once inside the theatre, there were still 800 passengers seated, waiting to be called for the tender to the island. We aborted the mission and decided to stay onboard the ship expecting the return tender system to be just as crowded and slow. We were invited to the Latitudes Welcome Back party. In the past, these parties were an opportunity to receive a free drink and some interesting appetizers. With the advent of the Ultimate Beverage Package, I see little reason to go to these events. There is nothing special about sitting in a show lounge and being served cheese squares and saltine crackers. I believe that people are pointing crazy and pay little attention to what is provided with the differing levels of brand dedication. After 5 cruises with NCL, all we get is a $9 bottle of sparkling wine, and an afternoon party invitation. We believe NCL should reexamine their loyalty program and try to find inducements that would appeal to travellers to continue to cruise NCL; their current program does not achieve the stated goal. Overall, the food quality was excellent. I still cannot get toast warm enough to melt butter with my breakfast, but that has been the same complaint on every ship I have ever been on. Food allergy awareness and the process is not consistent among the dining rooms. All servers asked if we had any allergies; my wife is allergic to tree nuts. The Supper Club puts a warning flag on the table colour coded to the type of allergy. Le Bistro asks but then serves a cheese plate containing walnuts. Taste (the restaurant) is so strict many of the menu items were excluded on the basis of being prepared somewhere other than on the ship and the contents could not be guaranteed to not contain nuts. I was surprised that so much food comes aboard prepared in third party onshore kitchens. When we arrived in the Bahamas, we again were disappointed by the disorganization of the shore excursion staff. There were insufficient numbers of staff to process and distribute wristbands to all the passengers who bought a transfer to Atlantis and Paradise Island. Because the Escape does this itinerary week after week, I have to hope that this was an anomaly; otherwise, it is something that NCL should look closely at to improve the process. While at sea returning to New York we were informed that our shore excursion, a three-hour bus tour of New York that culminated with a drop off at the airport, was cancelled. It was cancelled because only five people signed up and that was not enough to fill the bus. While I understand their perspective, it does not begin to recognise the choices we made based on purchasing this excursion. We chose a 17:00 return flight to Toronto because of the excursion. We would now have to find an airport transfer and spend the day in the LGA terminal waiting for our flight. In the two days we spent in New York pre-cruise, we avoided the Hop On/Hop Off bus tours knowing that we had a tour booked post cruise. Now we missed our opportunity to see the city as we had hoped. During our pre-cruise planning, NCL incentivised us to book excursions by offering $50 per person shore excursion credit. Having two excursions cancelled we learned that these were meaningless if the excursion was cancelled. We suggest that if you can negotiate your credits, try to make your credits onboard credits applied to your shipboard account so they will not be lost if the excursion is cancelled. I have waited a few weeks before I wrote this review. I know that issues seem less important with time and perspective. My wife and I had a lovely vacation and we enjoyed our time cruising over the holidays. I would have enjoyed my vacation that much more if it were not for the observations described in this review. Overall, I believe that other cruise companies do a better job of accommodating passengers on large (over 4000) ships than NCL. I might choose NCL again but based on this experience, I will also consider other ways to spend my vacation dollars. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I felt that there was way too many uosales on the cruise line. Not much is included. The food in the specialty restaurants we visited was really good. You had to pay extra for them. The service in Cagney’s Steak restaurant was ... Read More
I felt that there was way too many uosales on the cruise line. Not much is included. The food in the specialty restaurants we visited was really good. You had to pay extra for them. The service in Cagney’s Steak restaurant was excellent. I recommend the Food Republic and Cagney’s steakhouse. The buffet was just okay most of the time. There was only one restaurant that was included besides buffet and dinning room. Most of the entertainment on broad was really good. We saw three shows ( After Midnight, the Choir of Man and Brat Pack) and they were very good. Chelsea Reynolds and the piano player at The District brew house were both very talented. The comedians and dueling piano were just okay. We played bingo and that was fun but very expensive for what you got. It was in the theater and it was punch cards. You didn’t use a dabber. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Very good dining. Staff is friendly and food and beverage employees are for most of them really working hard to satisfy guests. I mean it. They are excellent. I felt that the boat was booked beyond the real capacity of the staff and ... Read More
Very good dining. Staff is friendly and food and beverage employees are for most of them really working hard to satisfy guests. I mean it. They are excellent. I felt that the boat was booked beyond the real capacity of the staff and venues. And felt like always racing to have a table, chair or a seat at the theater pool restaurant atrium shore excursions and buffet. I disagree on the fact that there are more restaurant and shows with extra charges than the free ones and that they charges more for certain liquors. The haven section is a big joke making you feel like you didn't pay enough. Why don't they build a Norwegian Heaven instead. Finally talking with other guests that were one ncl for the first time I found that I paid more for less. Even after coming back for the fifth time. Been on the Dawn and Gem and the entertainment crew was better. The only entertainment thumbs up is the regular parties at h20 other than that it's the first cruise that I sometimes felt bored. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We picked Norwegian for our past experiences and leaving out of our home city is always a plus. The Escape is quite large, which means it gets crowded with passengers, but it also means that there are many options for food and things to ... Read More
We picked Norwegian for our past experiences and leaving out of our home city is always a plus. The Escape is quite large, which means it gets crowded with passengers, but it also means that there are many options for food and things to do. Our cabin was not particularly clean when we arrived and a few of the signature restaurants had so-so food. As for entertainment on board, the production shows were nothing special, but the dueling pianos (Howl at the Moon) more than made up for that -- Excellent. Also, there was something bad about the towels in the spa -- our bathing suits got discolored/ruined. Biggest issue was that the ship arrived back in New York the evening before, so all passengers did not get the full day at sea as booked. It's also bothersome to be in port at 9:00pm, and not have the option to get off and go sleep in our own beds at home. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
For Barbados, St. Thomas and St. Lucia ports which I'd never been to before. The weather was great at all the ports except the cold in NYC where we started. It was cold until we got down to Florida and encountered rain the night ... Read More
For Barbados, St. Thomas and St. Lucia ports which I'd never been to before. The weather was great at all the ports except the cold in NYC where we started. It was cold until we got down to Florida and encountered rain the night before we got back to NYC. All ports were average ports, but Barbados, where most of us complained. We were the 3rd ship in port, but even so, the walkway for us to the terminal needs to be improved. It was totally impassable for any wheelchair. There were stairs at least 2 other times where the other ships were docked at which we had to go up/down. They ran a shuttle for people that were unable to walk, but the traffic on the road was busy with painting cranes and trucks. Did NCL beach excursions on all ports except St. Lucia, where I took a tour to the Pitons. All were enjoyable. I had a studio close to the lounge (love the cappuccino machine for morning coffee). It was similar to the lounge in the Epic, but had 11 "scenic" screens....no tv and no bartender after 5 p.m., but a wine vending machine. The gym would be very crowded during the day, so went at 9 p.m. to beat the crowds. Thought it should be bigger for 4200 cruisers. Our solo host was Silvia and she organized dinners, shows and dancing for the singles in the group. They'd invite all to meet in the Lounge at 5 p.m. daily, even if not in a studio (listed on the daily activity newsletter). This was my first time at NYC (Manhattan) port, but found it was very easy to get on/off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Norwegian Escape is a large ship, we booked this cruise to see if we would like cruising on a ship of this size. Food was very good especially Cagney's and Bayamo which was excellent. We found breakfast to be a problem whether we ate ... Read More
Norwegian Escape is a large ship, we booked this cruise to see if we would like cruising on a ship of this size. Food was very good especially Cagney's and Bayamo which was excellent. We found breakfast to be a problem whether we ate in Taste or Savour it took a very long time to receive your meal and it was usually cold, the order was incorrect or the most frustrating was a wait of 45 minutes to receive meal and the eggs whether an omelet, over medium, scrambled or eggs benedict were not cooked with raw egg whites. At the time of our sailing December 9-21 2018 there were no straws on the ship. We were a group of 8 and all used the Norwegian app and paid the $9.95 to be able to text one another this worked great and we had no problems with app what so ever. Huge shoutout to the staff, they work really hard to try and make sure you have a great holiday! The entertainment on this ship is lacking and we were very disappointed, we have sailed on 4 previous Norwegian cruises and we could hardly believe we were on the same cruise line. We went to shows in theater, Howl at the Moon, comedians and lounge acts, at all of these venues the volume was so excessively loud that people walked out, there was no variety the same shows over and over. We did 14 day cruise on Norwegian Star last year (2017) and entertainment was different every evening. We reserved Choir of Men and this was an excellent show, however the food they serve is terrible. Make sure you arrive early to stand in line to get a good seat and plan dinner after the show. We did one ship excursion in Antigua, and on our own at other ports. If you need transfers to airport at end of cruise book early as they sell out and you have to go across the street from terminal and stand on the sidewalk to find a cab. New York traffic is crazy busy and juggling luggage on a street corner looking for a cab with hundreds of other people is not a fun way to end your cruise. The great smoking debate continues on this ship, as smokers even we were confused, you can smoke on deck 17 in two locations outdoors and the casino as well as a little indoor room on deck 8, this room was a total joke. The casino is in the middle of ship and is very open, the smell of smoke wafts through 2 decks and even as smokers was annoying. Why not give smokers a place outside on deck 7 or 8 to keep more of the smoke outside.?? On other ships in Norwegian fleet you could smoke on one side of the boat or other on the same deck as a lot of the public spaces. We have been loyal Norwegian consumers but will be looking at other cruise lines for future cruises as this cruise was mediocre at best and the entertainment was very very lacking. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our third and least favourite cruise with Norweigan. Our first was last year on Jade to the Carribean. We got engaged on that cruise and everything about it was perfect. We booked this cruise with Cruise Next while we were on ... Read More
This was our third and least favourite cruise with Norweigan. Our first was last year on Jade to the Carribean. We got engaged on that cruise and everything about it was perfect. We booked this cruise with Cruise Next while we were on that cruise. After that we did the inaugural sailing on Bliss from Southampton to New York in April. We enjoyed this because sailing on a brand new ship was a great experience. The only thing we didn’t like was that cruise was the entertainment was a little limited. Embarkation from New York on the escape was very fast and much quicker than Miami and Southampton. However disembarkation was very slow. We were very disappointed with the entertainment. There were only 3 free mediocre shows and some comedy which were repeated over the 12 days. Completely different to Jade which had different types of shows every night and all were excellent. We had already seen Martin Brock on Bliss and if I’m honest, once was enough. This was the first cruise we travelled on with our daughter who is 12. She was not allowed to join the entourage club because she was 3 months too young and she didn’t want to join the club with the younger kids. The cruise was very busy (too busy) and I think we prefer the smaller ships in future. Food was ok but not as nice as Jade or Bliss. Our daughter is a bit fussy and asking for a plain ham sandwich seemed to be impossible. The menu’s didn’t seem to change much. Waiters were mostly very friendly but there were a couple that seemed like they didn’t want to be there. On one occasion we had to wait an hour for our main course and were not asked if we wanted a drink. On another occasion we asked what the soup was and the waitress didn’t know but kept asking what we wanted to order. And on another occasion I ordered chicken fajita wraps in O’sheans but didn’t get any wraps. I had to stand in line to try and get someone’s attention. The two girls with the blueberry muffins were fun and made us laugh. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We wanted to get away before the holidays. The embarkation in New York was very quick and easy. The disembarkation was one of the best we hace experianced in a long time. The cruise line is getting better with this process. Our first ... Read More
We wanted to get away before the holidays. The embarkation in New York was very quick and easy. The disembarkation was one of the best we hace experianced in a long time. The cruise line is getting better with this process. Our first stop in Florida was delayed by 3 hours due to injuries suffered by crew members, of course this was unavoidable. But because of the late hour of arrival (4:30 PM) did not get off the ship because it would be dark by the time we got back. The 2nd stop, their private island was canclled due to strong currents, also unavoidable, safety first. So we did not get off the ship from Sunday until Thursday. Which is a long time to be stuck on the ship for us but we made due. Unfortunately this late arrival (not for injuries) and missed stop happened to us in May 2019 as well. The ship is big with alot of people. But there is too many activities held in the Atrium and not enough room. Some of the activities should be held in the theater or other venues. NCL has changed their bars to the point you can only get certain drinks at 1 or 2 bars., ex: flavored Martinis can only be ordered at the Atrium bar where all the activity is, too noisy not enough seats! There were very few shows that we enjoyed this trip The best one was in the Supper Club, the Choir of Man. There were 2 other shows in the venue that were also very good. The only 1 that was a pay for show was the Choir of Man, well worth the cost and saw it twice. The shows in the threater were ok but not as good as the Choir of Man. The service in the dining rooms was good and the food was very good as well. The only big issue we had this trip was the room steward. We like to give an extra tip when we first arrive so the few extra things we ask for will be taken care of, ex: extra coffee in the room. Well not only did we have to keep asking for more coffee we had to get wash cloths, and had to complain because the room was not cleaned by 3 PM in order to try to get a nap before dinner. From now on the extra tip will be much smaller in the beginning if at all. This was a 2 week cruise and had 5 stops that we were able to get off on. We were on a tour to a beach in Ocho Rios, would not recommend, old and in need of up keep. Told a small tour in Grand Cayman was ok. Have been there many times and have seen it all. In Belize we took a tour of the Mayan ruins but the time to get there and back was very long. The beach in Harvest Caye was much nicer but at the end of November after all the storms there was a lot of sea weed. The last tour was in Cozumel to a resort which included food and drinks. You need this extra because it was for 4 hours. There were stores and 2 pools along with the beach. But again there was a lot of sea weed at this time. This was the nicest tour of the whole cruise. I would recommend this cruise but not in November. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Hello my cruise travelers. I’m a platinum member on the NCL. I just came off the lovely NCL Escape November 25th, 2018, which is my 11th time cruising with NCL, and here’s my experience on the NCL Escape. I feel NCL is starting to ... Read More
Hello my cruise travelers. I’m a platinum member on the NCL. I just came off the lovely NCL Escape November 25th, 2018, which is my 11th time cruising with NCL, and here’s my experience on the NCL Escape. I feel NCL is starting to cut corners. First night use to be Lobster tail night, I use to look forward to having dinner the firsts night to get my Lobster tails, but for some reason they stopped. Plus, there’s no more 6 dollars Black jack tables, the minimum is 10 dollars which I think it’s way too much for first time players and players who’s not that fortunate financially, I was also disappointed that we didn’t stopped at Great Stitrrup Caye for some reason, when the weather appeared to be perfected when we checked the forecas They need to turn the 5 o’clock bar into a jazz and blues club, because what ever it is now it was always empty. I still love NCL they just need to stop cutting corners. Also they should had added a bar in the solo lounge like the breakaway and better menu at the complimentary restaurants. They menu were awful!! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This is our 4th NCL cruise since 9/2017. If our first NCL Gateaway/Baltic Sea experience in 9/2017 were like this Escape to W. Caribbean, we would probably NOT take 3 consecutive NCL cruised thereafter (Jade, Gem & Escape just now). ... Read More
This is our 4th NCL cruise since 9/2017. If our first NCL Gateaway/Baltic Sea experience in 9/2017 were like this Escape to W. Caribbean, we would probably NOT take 3 consecutive NCL cruised thereafter (Jade, Gem & Escape just now). We rank (my husband, I and my sister for whom I paid for staying in a studio) this Escape cruise as AVERAGE, the first such grade we ever offer for a cruise, including those on Carnaval, Royal Caribbean and Princess. The principal reason is the entertainments. While the theater show of After Midnight was outstanding, the Brat Pack was a disaster due to its "gross" language and contents which were incompatible with the average age of the ship's majority retirees-passengers. We have NEVER witnessed so many people exist right in the middle of performance in any professional shows! The cruise also repeated "same" theater shows multiple times. NOT GOOD. Besides, the comedians were not funny. Magic shows were not that "magic". Supper Club shows generally charged a fee. If the cruise wanted to cover the cost, then why not factored it into the pricing at the beginning? In addition, many shows required reservation onboard (pre-board on-line booking had not been available). We certainly did NOT feel "free" to waste time in line in front of Box Office to make any such reservations. While the cruise entertainments were BAD generally, we give an A to Cruise Director Alvin et al for their effort - they could only deal the cards being given! The foods on board seemed a bit better than the other 3 NCL cruises mentioned above, including the special dinings. The services in all restaurants and Garden Cafe seemed a bit better also. They are the reasons why we rank this cruise experience AVERAGE. Otherwise, we would rank the entertainment alone POOR. The NCL back office who managed this Escape entertainment should be fired, in our opion. At least it could keep us thinking twice before we go on another NCL cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We sailed on NCL Escape for 14 nights beginning November 25, 2018. I'll start by saying we aren't a fan of these bigger ships. I don't like that there isn't a promenade deck to walk all the way around. The ... Read More
We sailed on NCL Escape for 14 nights beginning November 25, 2018. I'll start by saying we aren't a fan of these bigger ships. I don't like that there isn't a promenade deck to walk all the way around. The "jogging" track is a joke (very short: 8 laps for a km) and isn't even open for the most part during the day. With the casino in the middle of the ship in an area open one floor above and one below, the smell of cigarette smoke was noticeable. I'd hate to be sitting in the "outdoor" area of Le Bistro eating dinner where you'd smell cigarette smoke during your entire meal. The cigar lounge had a number of cigarette smokers in it. My understanding is that is for cigar smokers ONLY. I feel sorry for the cigar smokers that would not have been able to enjoy a cigar there, not to mention those of us sitting outside the cigar lounge in an otherwise nice bar, but the strong waft of the smell of cigarettes was not pleasant. My other gripe is the lack of bar venues where you could meet with others an have a normal conversation. Nearly everywhere there was live music and it was much too loud. Background music during dinner or in a bar is nice, but blasting amplified music such that you have to shout to be heard is not. That was the experience most everywhere we went. There were times we just left, because it was pointless to try to talk. The food was mixed. Some was too salty and/or overcooked and some was very good both in the specialty restaurants and the main dining rooms. All of the staff were incredibly friendly, often actively asking for comments for anything they could do to make the cruise more enjoyable. Our balcony cabin was fine. Our bed was closer to the balcony door for the first time ever (vs closer to the entrance door) and we found we preferred that. Our cabin steward was very friendly and attentive. One minor point about the electricity management in the room is that all power in the bathroom is controlled by the switch outside it. We always put a nightlight in the bathroom for those middle of the night visits. That gives just enough light without waking us up. Unfortunately the plug in the bathroom would only work if the light was on, providing too much light and defeating the purpose we were trying to achieve. We've never had the problem before. We did buy a future cruise credit and will sail with NCL again (for the 10th time) but will look for one of the smaller ships. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Just OK. Strange timing of events. Latitudes get together 6 PM in middle of dinner hour. Change of booked shows without notification and then they rescheduled the cancelled ones and didn't inform us of cancellation or that they booked ... Read More
Just OK. Strange timing of events. Latitudes get together 6 PM in middle of dinner hour. Change of booked shows without notification and then they rescheduled the cancelled ones and didn't inform us of cancellation or that they booked another one for us at a time and date we had something else scheduled. Found out by accident looking at our calendar. No water for a day and never notified about problem or how long it might take to repair. People showing up for breakfastr in Garden Cafe in bath robe and pajamas.Guests using tables reserved for handicapped guests and not giving them up when one is needed. $100 a day for drink package and you can't even get bottled water, orange juice or specialty coffee with the package yet you can get all the pineapple and cranberry juice you want. Music in atrium and theater was really loud. Bar service was great. need to bring back martini bar and include all martinis in pkg. not just 5 0r 6 that bartenders were allowed to make. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Was disappointed with this ship, particularly in comparison with the RCCL large ships. Embarkation was slow and there was not a lot of information available as to what to do when. The good: after some first night issues, the rest of ... Read More
Was disappointed with this ship, particularly in comparison with the RCCL large ships. Embarkation was slow and there was not a lot of information available as to what to do when. The good: after some first night issues, the rest of the dining went well. The food was great. Service in general was good and the crew friendly. The stateroom attendant took good care of the room. The escape room was fun (although you have to search hard to find out info or to make reservations). The comic juggler was excellent!! The bad: the entertainment was pretty bad, in general. There are only two (free) shows and both are pretty boring. There were spotty comedians sprinkled throughout. There doesn't appear to be any rhyme or reason to the entertainment schedule. The spa and fitness offerings are pretty standard. Many other venues and corridors are crowded. The ugly. Many activities (game shows, entertainment, etc) are held in the open atrium in the center of the main deck. It is noisy, crowded and hard to find seats. I do not understand this at all!! Elevators are hard to get during peak hours. There are two banks of 8 elevators but in one bank, you have to push buttons on both sides to get all elevators in play. The best entertainment .... you have to pay for! That was unexpected. Silly things like there are no activity lists available in the lobby, charges for room service, no self service 24x7 food locations, etc. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise as we heard great things about Norwegian and it left out of our home port - New York. I thought this was a win-win for us. I was wrong. The ship was packed and every where you went there were massive crowds. Okay, ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we heard great things about Norwegian and it left out of our home port - New York. I thought this was a win-win for us. I was wrong. The ship was packed and every where you went there were massive crowds. Okay, I get that. However, you couldn't get a reservation for most of the specialty restaurants and the ones we did get - - Italian and Steakhouse were awful. We did not get specialty dining for free. We paid and boy was it not worth it. The main dining rooms were pretty good. The dining staff were great. On another note, I cannot believe a ship of this size does not have mid-ship elevators. You had to walk clear to one end of the ship or the other to get where you were going and it took forever to get on an elevator. A lot of the shows were in the atrium which was insane because you couldn't walk through to get to another part of the ship without having to navigate massive crowds that were standing room only for the shows. I will say the entertainment was great. The staff in the restaurants and bars were great. A shout out to the Tobacco Road bar staff. They were amazing as well as the Latin Band that played there a few nights. Just terrific. The room staff were unfortunately not on the same level. I met our steward once and when I called for a few items (pillows, blankets, etc.), I never heard back or I couldn't get through. Had to call at least 4-5 times before I got a response. It was never like that on Carnival. The staff there couldn't do enough for you. They are amazing. To say we won't cruise on Norwegian again is an understatement. I'm going back to and staying with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We like to sail out of NYC so we don't have to fly anywhere. We previously sailed on NCL Dawn twice and the Breakaway 3-4 times. We were excited to get the Escape with new entertainment and a bigger and better thermal spa and ... Read More
We like to sail out of NYC so we don't have to fly anywhere. We previously sailed on NCL Dawn twice and the Breakaway 3-4 times. We were excited to get the Escape with new entertainment and a bigger and better thermal spa and casino. Unfortunately, we found the crew to be friendlier and more efficient on the Breakaway, the specialty restaurant Ocean Blue on the Breakaway to be far superior to the Bayamo (seafood restaurant on the Escape), and the overall experience to be better on the Breakaway. We like to stay in the Haven, most recently in the spa Haven room with includes access to the wonderful thermal spa and has a whirlpool tub in the cabin itself. The spa on the Escape had many more lounge chairs, more saunas, but the water temperature in the thermal spa was uncomfortably warm, making it impossible to stay in it more than 15 minutes or so at a time. The water temperature on the Breakaway was cooler than the water temperature in the the jacuzzi, which is how it is suppose to be. The Haven restaurant, while it still has the best food on the ship, was not as good on the Escape as on the Breakaway. The entertainment on the Escape was also not as good as the Breakaway. The Escape has the Broadway show After Midnight, featuring 1920's Cotton Club type of music. The singers and the dancers themselves were excellent, but at times the music was so slow it was hard to stay awake. The free juggler/comedian show on the Escape was excellent, the paid Choir of Man show was fun (but not worth repeating), but the acoustics of the music of the Brat Pack in the main theater was so bad that you could not understand the singers. We miss the acrobatic show and the Burn the Floor ballroom dance show on the Breakaway. The food in the asian fusion restaurant on the Escape was literally horrible, the sauces overly sweet and the tastes not asian at all. The food at Cagney's and La Cucina was also subpar on the Escape. While we enjoyed seeing different entertainment on the Escape, overall we enjoyed the Breakaway experience more. They were able to accommodate a gluten free diet with ease in the Haven restaurant on both ships (morning french toast and gluten free english muffins for hamburger buns was great), they had gluten free pizza, bread and pasta available in the italian restaurant and at the buffet. The teppanyki restaurant also did a great job using gluten free soy sauce. The casino experience was less smokey on the Escape than on the Breakaway, but was hampered by the fact that they were hosting a poker tournament which often took up half of the casino, making it impossible to find open gaming tables for non-tournament participants. The roulette spinners were totally erratic with their spins, and several people complained they were forced to leave the tables when they started winning a lot. Service was fine overall, but it took 3 days and leaving a detailed note to get things fixed in our cabin (such as the sink drain being broken). The majority filipino staff was friendly, but often had the feeling they were extra friendly when it was time for the additional tips. Perhaps the staff is overworked and overwhelmed by the large number of passengers on the boat. That being said, the staff on NCL is much friendlier than the eastern european staff we had on our last Princess cruise. Love the casual nature of the dining and clothing requirements. Make sure to make show and dinner reservations early in the trip or you may find it difficult to get reservations unless you have access to the Haven concierge. Embarkation and debarkation was very smooth. Love that they have 30 relatively current film choices to stream for free in the Haven cabins. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Considering the size of the ship it felt crampt. The top levels were poorly designed considering the large potential space. The Kid pool was embarasingly small and tucked in at the back of the ship. I would not take this ship if you are ... Read More
Considering the size of the ship it felt crampt. The top levels were poorly designed considering the large potential space. The Kid pool was embarasingly small and tucked in at the back of the ship. I would not take this ship if you are traveling with a family that likes spending time in the pool together. You can't put the pool loungers near it as the open space if mainly focused on an adults only area or the "Haven" for folks in the uber large cabins. The majority of the restaurants are for people that want to pay additional fees. If you want to eat the food provided your only choices are between the Buffet and two other restaurants. To add insult to injury, both retaurants had the exact same menu on the days that we checked the out. On the plus side, the crew was fantastic and were all very curteous and friendly. Specially the staff in the Taste/Savour restaurants and the Kid Kennel areas :) I would not recommend this cruiise ship or NCL for family cruises based on my experience on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I sailed this cruise on November 4th. I made the most of a bad situation and had a good time despite the many quirks. I wouldn't go NCL again, I'll stick with Royal Caribbean. I'm a young 45 and my guest is 40. The crowd ... Read More
I sailed this cruise on November 4th. I made the most of a bad situation and had a good time despite the many quirks. I wouldn't go NCL again, I'll stick with Royal Caribbean. I'm a young 45 and my guest is 40. The crowd was older and often the dance floors were empty. Talk about boring! It was difficult to find a quiet space on the ship to read since 5,000 people were confirmed to be on it. When I did find a quiet spot (right outside the doors on the 17th floor) a pipe burst above my head and water started pouring out of the ceiling. The couple in the chairs in front of me hightailed it out of there. I went to my room and started crying. Seeing water gushing onto the floor of a ship brings back memories of the Titanic and it racked my nerves. Embarkation was very easy, however, once on the ship they try to shuttle everyone to the 16th floor buffet for lunch. They know they don't have seating for 5,000 people in the buffet so why they do this I don't know. My partner and I circled for 10 minutes with full plates and couldn't find seating so I dumped my plate and left. O'Sheehan's had originally said there was a 20 minute wait but when we ditched the buffet and went back to O'Sheehan's we were seated immediately. I enjoyed all of the complimentary restaurants (Taste and Savor) and specialty restaurants (Teppanyaki, La Cucina (my favorite!) and the Steakhouse.) Disembarking was a breeze. No issues there. The spa was to die for. If you must take this ship (which I don't recommend) I'd definitely advise you get the $200 per week spa access ackage. Totally worth it and about the only place you'll get a modicum of quiet. They also have a very nice gym area although on one particular day 5 treadmills in a row were inoperable. I got on the elevator once and all the lights were out. Weird. I didn't care for the cruise director on this trip. He laughs at his own jokes as if they were really funny and they weren't. They recycled the same 2 male comedians plus a female opener. The female opener was beyond terrible and no one laughed at her jokes. I heard alot of people at different venues talking about how terrible she was. There was a comic named Daniel something who was hilarious! The comedian named Smith was also pretty good. I didn't like the fact that Smith and the female recycled their jokes. If you only have a 20 minute set, and you're performing for 4 nights, why can't you have fresh material? We saw the comedians twice and decided that was enough. Some shows we couldn't get into because you needed a reservation. My impression is that they don't put money in their shows or theater seating like Royal does (with the lights, staging, etc.) so I didn't much care. The private beach was nice but again, the dj was spinning really cool music and none of the guests danced. If you're 50+ you might like this. So, between the stupid pole in front of my door, the pipe bursting above my head, the delayed-flushing toilet, and the lights out in the elevator I didn't feel comfortable. I like that Royal tries to wow you. NCL feels like you should wow yourself. Example: on Royal's Anthem of the Seas there's spectacular art on every landing...a picture-taking moment. On NCL's Escape, each landing just has a big mirror. Lazy and cheap! Anthem has the date on the floor of the elevators and it changes every day. On Escape, you're lucky to have the lights ON in the elevator! NCL's mini-golf looked like something from a post-apocalyptic movie set. It was gray, ugly and terrible! One of the bowling lanes didn't work (there were only 2 - $6 per game.) I'm sticking to Royal Caribbean. Can't believe NCL charges more but gives you so much less! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I will start by saying the ship was absolutely beautiful and is very well maintained. The staff was mostly helpful and extremely nice. The food was about the same as we have seen on other cruise lines, nothing that stood out. That being ... Read More
I will start by saying the ship was absolutely beautiful and is very well maintained. The staff was mostly helpful and extremely nice. The food was about the same as we have seen on other cruise lines, nothing that stood out. That being said, there were several experiences that left me disappointed. First, Escape holds over 4,200 passengers, which made it feel like Christmas at a shopping mall most of the time. It seems that Norwegian just stacked the decks higher to fit more people but did not provide sufficient public space to accommodate those people. The pool deck was a nightmare. Unless you got there by 8am there was no way you were getting a lounge chair near the pool. You had to settle for space on the higher decks, far away from the pool, which is not very convenient for people with children. In addition, the Escape offers only one pool that is open to children, and it is the smaller of the two pools on deck. The larger, more open pool near the music is adults only. The kids pool was tiny considering there were probably over 1,000 kids on board. It is also very closed off and parents can only see their children if they stand on one side, which is also a walkway so it is a bit crazy. There are 4 waterslides, but only 2 are open to children under 100 lbs. The ropes course was great, but the line to get on took about 45 minutes. It also goes over the mini golf area, which made it hard for people to play golf because parents were walking around the course looking at their kids on the ropes. My children normally love to go to the kids club on ships but this time they did not want to go back after the first night. They said it was very chaotic and they all got separated into different areas from their friends we were travelling with even though they were the same age. As for dining - the food was okay but the buffet was extremely crowded and frustrating. The options for the "free" food were very limited. There are at least 10-12 places you have to pay to eat in, but the only dinner choices are the main dining rooms of O'Sheehan's which were all very crowded. The staff did a good job of seating our large party on most nights, but one night at the "Taste" dining room it took us nearly 3 hours to eat dinner. 45 minutes before we got drinks and nearly 2 hours until our main course arrived. The manager said he would "take care of us" the next night but he was nowhere to be found. We were also approached by the assistant food and beverage manager one night when he overheard us talking about the poor service at dinner and promised he would "send something special to our room"....which we never received. On other cruise lines we have been able to just show up for the entertainment and watch the shows without reservations. On Escape, you have to book ahead of time (because there are so many people), and sometimes the shows were sold out. You also needed to pay to watch some of the shows (wine lovers musical and choir of man). They also offered a lot of programs such as towel folding demonstration and cupcake decorating, but all of them were in the atrium near customer service and there was not enough space for everyone who wanted to participate. This was especially frustrating on the last sea day when it was too cold to go outside. While they did offer a few different things each hour, they were all very crowded. The staterooms were about average or slightly smaller than we have seen on other lines. The room steward was wonderful and called us by name every time he saw us. The main issue with the staterooms was the noise in the hallway or neighboring rooms carrying into our cabin - especially when the housekeeping carts were rolling by. The private island was amazing. We were very happy we decided to do the private cabana so we were on the quieter part of the beach. The only downside was that we were not near the buffet or , but we were able to get our attendant to bring food to us and we walked over to go snorkeling. The main beach looked like spring break in Ft. Lauderdale. Getting on the ship took about an hour fro the time we arrived at the terminal and we spent about 40 minutes going through customs after disembarking. The disembark procedure was different - everyone had to go to customer services and select their own luggage tags which were color-coded by time you wanted to leave the ship. It worked out fine and we were able to eat breakfast before getting off the ship. I would likely not travel on Norwegian again, and certainly would not go on a ship that held so many passengers. I encountered many people who felt the same way which is a shame because it really is a beautiful ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Let me start by saying we just got back from the Norwegian Escape, during NJ Week. This is a week that all NJ schools are closed for 2-3 days, so it's a popular time for families to go with school-age children. We went with 4 ... Read More
Let me start by saying we just got back from the Norwegian Escape, during NJ Week. This is a week that all NJ schools are closed for 2-3 days, so it's a popular time for families to go with school-age children. We went with 4 teenagers (15-17) and a toddler (less than 3). We booked this trip for a few reasons: It sailed from NYC so we didn't have to fly, it looked VERY family/kid friendly, it was a newer ship with lots to do. The Ship: The ship is GORGEOUS! It's very well maintained, very clean, and has quite a bit to do on it. After being on it for a day or so, you get used to it and know where to go and how to find places. Bars: There are a TON of bars. If I didn't have the unlimited drinks package, this would actually be annoying as it seems there's a bar every 10 feet (similar to a Starbucks on every corner in NYC). The drinks were GREAT! There's a mojito bar (Sugarcane) that had amazing passionfruit mojitos, and a bunch of other varieties. Margaritaville (on Deck 17) had amazing margaritas, etc. Drinks were great overall. DOWNSIDE: I had to choose one of 5 free things when we booked and we booked the Drinks Package. Because of how many rooms we had and how we were situated, we had one adult, one child in the rooms. Even though if we had 2 adults in a room, we each would have gotten the Unlimited Drinks package, we only were able to get a Soda package for our kids. This is fine, until we got hit with a charge for a variety of "drinks" my teens got such as a non-alcohol pina colada (that cost the same as a regular one). This seems very bizarre to me as the only reason they couldn't get one is it's not included in the soda package but if they were over 21, this would not be an issue. They credited me back the money, but I think it's bizarre that teens can get a "smoothie" drink but can get soda if they're part of the "perks package." Food: Food was pretty good. Some nights it was amazing, some it was ok. I must give a HUGE shout-out to Aleia Puey, the Asst. Maitre'D who was BEYOND helpful to us. We have a child with allergies and she was always helping us with the menu and ensuring our child was able to eat without worrying if it had the allergen in there. If you go with anyone with allergies, they will custom-make food for you, and we are forever grateful to her (and many others) who were very helpful and accommodating. The food was very meat/dairy heavy. If you're vegetarian, you have some decent options. If you're vegan, you have salad. I'm mostly plant-based, so it was tougher. Service: This was VERY hit or miss. The people who tended to our rooms were amazing and very accommodating. Many of the people at the restaurants (specifically the hostess at the Manhattan Room) and some of the staff at the buffet were just rude! They would pretend not to notice things, almost like if someone fell, they would look the other way just to not have to deal with it. Overall, service was good, but there are a few people that if they reported to me, I'd def fire over their carelessness. Activities: Great arcade! We had several issues w/ money being charged and games not working or not giving tickets (this was troubling for my toddler) but these were fixed very quickly so I'm happy about that. The biggest challenge here for us was that most activities were geared for either babies under 1, or kids over 14. There were probably some that kids who were 3-8 can enjoy but not many. I was shocked that there was no play room/indoor park for kids. The guppies room was TINY and my toddler refused to go there after going one time. There were very few options for a parent to go play w/ the child. These were all drop off services (paid) which would be fine, but my toddler is almost 3 and didn't make the cutoff to the bigger room. They should split it up into 6months-24 months, and then 2-3 years old. They currently have it as non-walkers vs. walkers. Some kids walk at 10 months, so it's a 35 month old with a 10 month old. Doesn't make sense to me. The Splash Academy is 3+. My son was bored a lot! Entertainment: This is the biggest miss on the ship. I will say Alvin, the entertainment director, was Amazing! Very engaging, always "on" and happy, and I have no idea when this guy sleeps! The shows were eh. My son loves going to shows with us, from cirque du soleil, to broadway style, and he could not sit through some of these. Some of the shows were comedy shows. I'm sure these were great, but most kids aren't into it. One of the shows, The Brat Pack, while amazing (the stars were just wonderful and had great energy and voices) is a 16+ show. They used quite a bit of offensive language (F you was said several times, as were other words), had several half naked scenes, and had a lot of strobe lights. My son loved it but couldn't sit through it. My teens loved the half naked guys of course, but it was def more of an 18+ show than a family-friendly show. The Scotty Cavanaugh (sp?) show was great where it was comedy mixed with juggling. I would've expected better show options. Excursions: This is where the rating became a 3. We've cruised before (never Norwegian) and this was the first time this happened. When we got to the private island, in order to get off the boat (using the smaller boat), we had to first file into the theatre and SIT there... for about 30-40 minutes. I was ready to forget the whole thing at that point. I understand there are many people who want to leave, but this should've been orchestrated much better. I was VERY disappointed w/ NCL at this. The island itself was very nice. Overall, I would recommend this cruise only to people going without kids. There were also a TON of adults complaining about amount of kids which was annoying. Don't they seem commercials and see that it's supposed to be for families? if you don't want to see kids on vacations, go to adult-only vacations or to cruises without an aqua park. Or not during Jersey week! 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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