2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our second time on the Escape, enjoyed it a little better the first time. The first time we went was in September and leaving from Miami so the weather was a bit different and the waves were a bit bigger this time. I traveled ... Read More
This was our second time on the Escape, enjoyed it a little better the first time. The first time we went was in September and leaving from Miami so the weather was a bit different and the waves were a bit bigger this time. I traveled with my husband, 14 year old son and 19 year old daughter. It was very easy getting on and off the ship. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smooth and was very organized! Entertainment- Headliners Comedy club was very good. We didn't go to the dueling pianos on this cruise but always have and we always enjoyed it. After Midnight was good. By far the best show on this cruise and probably I've seen on any cruise was Choir of Man! This bunch on guys really knew how to get the audience involved and they put on a fantastic show! Loved every minute of the show!!! Cruise Director Scott is great and the rest of the entertainment crew do a great job as well!!! There is always something to do. Dining- We ate in at Cagney's and La Cucina for Specialty Dining and both were excellent from beginning to end. The service was very attentive and perfect timing in between courses. The food was excellent! At La Cucina our favorites were the mushroom risotto and the fettuccine alfredo! Parmesan Truffle Fries, Crab Cake and Pork Belly were the favorites at Cagney's aside from the delicious Steaks! The food at O'Sheehans was very fresh and tasted great. The chicken wings and the Fish and Chips were our favorites. The service there was also excellent. We ate at each of the main dining rooms. The service isn't as attentive and the selections aren't as great but that's why they have the Specialty Dining experience. I'm not really a fan of the Buffet but that's my personal preference. They do have very good varieties and the food is not bad for a buffet. Value- I feel like if you can go on the ship and tell yourself that you are not going to spend any money, the cruise is at a decent value. It's very hard to not be tempted by the things that cost extra and if you're traveling with kids it's even more difficult. There are a lot of things on the ship that cost extra. Cabin- We stayed in a Family Mini Suite with Balcony. It was a decent size for a cruise cabin but definately a tight space as most cabins are. Shout out to Jenifer, she was very attentive to us and kept our room clean! First day we asked for extra pillows and towels and we had within an hour. Ports and Shore Excursions- If I were to do this itinerary again I would definitely go a different time of the year. Florida was cold and rainy. My husband and son went to Kennedy Space Center and they said it was great but wish they had more time as you weren't able to get off the ship until 1. My daughter and I took a Shuttle to Cocoa Beach. One huge suggestion I have about that is to book it on the ship. It costs the same and you will have priority. The long was ridiculously long for the shuttle and a lot of people were complaining about the wait. Great Stirrup Cay was absolutely beautiful and the weather was great! Other reviews that I have read have said that a lot of times you are unable to go to Great Stirrup Cay due to having to take the Tender Boat. They say a lot of times the winds and waves make the Tender Boat unsafe. You can use your beverage package on the island and the meals are included. So many other things cost extra there though, none of the water sports are included, not even a float. Nassau was a rainy day and it was difficult to shop because so many people stop you to try to sell you stuff. I would definitely suggest booking an excursion. Overall I do love the Escape and I love cruising NCL. The service is excellent and the food is very good overall! I wouldn't cruise this time of year again but I will definitely cruise NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our first cruise and it was great. The dining was excellent and there were lots of choices. I highly recommend the speciality dining. The Sting Ray experience shore excursion was the best. The shows we saw were great. Choir of ... Read More
This was our first cruise and it was great. The dining was excellent and there were lots of choices. I highly recommend the speciality dining. The Sting Ray experience shore excursion was the best. The shows we saw were great. Choir of Men was our favorite show. The spa and thermal suite were great. We spent lots of time in the spa. They offered many options at reasonable prices. Our cabin steward was the best. He was very helpful, friendly, and courteous. We had a cabin with a balcony with an ocean view. We spent a lot of time on the balcony, which really increased the size of the cabin. The spa shower was a great addition. We could have used a first time cruiser guide. We missed some things due to inexperience. On-board activities were diverse and fun. We will definitely cruise again and Norwegian will be our first choice. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
My boyfriend and went on the cruise over spring break. This cruise was awesome! They had a lot of complementary food options including a buffet, 3 restaurants, and a bar and grill. You got to choose when you wanted to each instead of being ... Read More
My boyfriend and went on the cruise over spring break. This cruise was awesome! They had a lot of complementary food options including a buffet, 3 restaurants, and a bar and grill. You got to choose when you wanted to each instead of being assigned a time, which was nice so you could go to as many activities that you wanted. The servers were hard to understand at times but the crew diversity is really cool. The bartenders were fairly polite and they even began to remember your name and orders. The water was too rough to dock at Great Stirrup Cay so we had to skip it but we got to spend 2 days at Nassau instead so that was cool. The entertainment was amazing! We went to dueling pianos 3 out of the 4 days they performed. Choir of man was super fun and completely different than any show I have ever seen. The beverage package is a must because beers are around $8 and cocktail averaged about $11 per drink. Overall, it was my first cruise and loved it! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The party we were going with chose this cruise. I liked the free style dining package and the fact that you didn't have to get dressed up for formal nights. I was not overly pleased with the dining in the two main dining rooms. The ... Read More
The party we were going with chose this cruise. I liked the free style dining package and the fact that you didn't have to get dressed up for formal nights. I was not overly pleased with the dining in the two main dining rooms. The service was slow, the food was just okay and the coffee in the morning was not hot. Also I was not happy with the pool on the ship. It was way to small for 5,000 people on board and also, there was not enough chairs to accommodate everyone. They had plenty of activities to do and getting on and off the ship was easy. I didn't like the fact that every time I called housekeeping I was charged for it. The ship was very nice and clean and the service people were great. I had a great time and I would go with this cruise line again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our second cruise out of NYC with Norwegian. No complaints. We had an indecent on our second night with the ship getting hit with a strong wind gust and the ship listing to one side for about 5 minutes. It wasn't as bad as it ... Read More
This was our second cruise out of NYC with Norwegian. No complaints. We had an indecent on our second night with the ship getting hit with a strong wind gust and the ship listing to one side for about 5 minutes. It wasn't as bad as it was made out to be in the news reports. Yes it was scary but the crew handled it well and clean up was quick and by 6:00 am the next morning there was no indication of damage. You are always going to have negative complainers. I actually heard people complaining to the staff that they should have been warned about this unforeseen natural phenomenon. How could the crew possibly predict a gust of wind. I see others complaining about long lines to get on the ship as well as once you are on the ship. We didn't experience either of these issues. Yes you needed to wait your turn and I think that is the issue with a lot of the people you hear complaining on these reviews. The only real complaint I have is with other guests. Rules ignored, rude behavior, and child like tantrums if they didn't get their way. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The first night we had very rough seas and at the captains request we stayed in our rooms after dinner. After that things were just fine. Cape Canaveral was inspiring and educational. Every person in the world should experience it and at ... Read More
The first night we had very rough seas and at the captains request we stayed in our rooms after dinner. After that things were just fine. Cape Canaveral was inspiring and educational. Every person in the world should experience it and at least every American will feel so very proud. When we got to the Bahamas we were in Nassau. And after the glass bottom boat( ho-hum), we took a transfer ( $4 each - a great deal) to the Atlantis Resort and really enjoyed the experience. The aquarium inexplicably was soo large that there were a dozen snorklers swimming on the top and the fish were amazing. On Board we would recommend the LeBristo French, the Cagney Steak House and the Japanese restaurants. Forget the Italian just not as good as the regular dinning rooms. The entertainment was first class, especially the after Midnight show featuring a 20 piece cast and a big band. Two other male singing groups were outstanding and we saw them each twice. The casino on board had a large non smoking area and we were lucky enough to leave a little ahead for the cruise. These were the best casino odds that’s have seen in 20 cruises on 5 different cruise lines Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because we were originally going to bring our 15 month old son and we figured being able to drive to the port in New York from home was easier than flying somewhere. However, this turned out to not be the case, as my ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were originally going to bring our 15 month old son and we figured being able to drive to the port in New York from home was easier than flying somewhere. However, this turned out to not be the case, as my in-laws offered to babysit :) And at that point, it was too late to change the itinerary, but that was fine. We wanted a relaxing, "do nothing" cruise, and this was it! Embarkation: Getting on the ship was easy. On the way in to the building there are tons of porters, one of whom took our baggage. We told the NCL rep that we had Platinum status, so we got to go through a separate line and wait in a separate area, and we were boarding group 1 so we got on board pretty quickly. Cabin: #10832 mid-ship mini-suite. See cabin section for more details. Dining/Bars: Overall, the dining was good. We were never hungry, lol. The wings at O'Sheehan's were fantastic. We also really liked our meals at Le Bistro and Bayamo. Teppanyaki was the absolute best, the food was so tasty and the atmosphere was fun. We also loved Food Republic...I had alot of dumplings! :) Cagney's was just okay, service was insanely slow and I wasn't too fond of my steak. And the buffet was good; there was always an array of food. The drinks were, for the most part, delicious, and we had alot of them lol. Entertainment: We saw the close-up magician which was very entertaining. We also did Escape the Big Top, which was really fun! We saw the first part of the After Midnight show, which was good but there was other stuff we wanted to do so we left early. The two comedy shows we saw were hilarious, and we also went to Howl at the Moon which was very good. Activities: We did some of the trivia sessions which were fun, and we watched a couple game shows and demonstrations in the Atrium. We also went to the Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle, which was held in the District Brewhouse. It was by far the largest M&M we've ever attended, and I think NCL did a good job with introducing the senior crew, although it was not as intimate as past experiences. My husband did the ropes course and really enjoyed it, and we did play some mini golf, too. Service: The service on board was good...not the absolute best we've ever had, but it was just fine for us. Most of the crew were friendly and accommodating, and they are definitely hard-working. We never had an issue with any of them. We especially liked the ones who sang the washy washy song in the buffet :) Itinerary: This itinerary was a different kind for us. Usually we choose itineraries that are port-heavy and keep us busy with excursions. However, this one was our "do nothing" cruise. So, while we normally wouldn't choose this (especially since we've been to Nassau a bunch of times), it worked for us this time. In any other circumstance, though, we would say this itinerary is "meh." Ports/Excursions: In Port Canaveral, we took the bus through NCL to Disney Springs for the afternoon. Getting to the right bus was a little confusing, I think NCL could have handled this better. We had about 4 hours to eat and shop there which was perfect. We didn't do anything at GSC except sit on lounge chairs and drink in the sun ;) And in Nassau, we got off the ship and walked up to John Watling's Distillery. Ship: The Escape is a beautiful ship. Everything is well-appointed and we always saw the crew cleaning. The only complaint is that there are only two sets of elevators/stairs, when there really should be three for a ship that size. Debarkation: We have Platinum status, so we were able to get off the ship after self-debarkation but before everyone else. We did not have any issues at all and got off the ship fairly quickly. Overall, we enjoyed this cruise. It was a relaxing vacation for us without our toddler...goal accomplished! While I still think we prefer Pearl-sized ships, I think we would sail on the Escape again depending on circumstances. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We have cruised with Norwegian before and were pleased so we booked the Escape to the Bahamas. We cruised on the Spirit before but this time we wanted to try a bigger and newer ship. I'm so glad we did! Service: First of all, ... Read More
We have cruised with Norwegian before and were pleased so we booked the Escape to the Bahamas. We cruised on the Spirit before but this time we wanted to try a bigger and newer ship. I'm so glad we did! Service: First of all, the service we received was outstanding. The crew in the buffet were always friendly and accommodating. The steward for our room was always smiling and helpful. We were charged for items that weren't suppose to be and after going to guest services, it was resolved. The staff at the casino were very attentive and never had to wait long for drinks. Ship: At first we thought the size of the ship would be overwhelming, it wasn't. We never had to wait long for seating or the elevators. Great Stirrup Cay: Our suggestion would be: Get there early! We were fortunate to get lounge chairs in a shady spot ( which we wanted) . However, a couple hours after being there, people were anxiously looking for chairs, it was crowded. The food was amazing and there was a huge variety of foods to eat. Spice H20: Complaint - This was suppose to be an over 18 sundeck with hot tubs. There were young kids all over! We were there to relax, not to listen to kids running around. There were alot of angry adults wondering why crew weren't enforcing the over 18 rule. It was very frustrating and happened every time we were there. We are positive people who rarely ever complain but this is one time we were very disappointed. Overall, great ship, great food, and amazing crew! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I’m going to start at top and go down the categories, ending with final comments. This is only my second cruise. Cabin- Clean but super small. Our steward Nosil was amazing! He was super appreciative of his bonus tips and that was ... Read More
I’m going to start at top and go down the categories, ending with final comments. This is only my second cruise. Cabin- Clean but super small. Our steward Nosil was amazing! He was super appreciative of his bonus tips and that was sweet. Dining- We loved Cagneys (Ribeye and surf n Turf) servers were amazing. moderno-mwe weren’t huge fans but staff was wonderful just to much spice (savory not heat)for our taste. Bayamo- (surf n Turf and seared scallops on pork Belly) everything and everyone was amazing. The main dining room- the best host and seater ever, so much personality. Servers seemed to just going through motions at all the main dining rooms. I can’t tell you how many times we were told by different F&B staff that they’ve been on for 8 months. NCL should truly shorten the length of their contracts. These people are sooooo burnt out. Food was great every lunch and dinner we ate all restaurants including sushi night at buffet. Embarkation- long nclstaff very helpful but port authority very grumpy people in general. Baggage handlers were super helpful also. Activities- Game shows fun! Bingo some drunk family dragged the last session out. The dance parties were a blast! Met a lot of great people. Cruise director, Alvin and his staff were amazing. Entertainment- Russ was amazing (acoustic) wasn’t able to catch any shows as they were all reserved up. Public restrooms- A lot better than my last cruise. Service- Steward- Amazing Bar staff- understaffed and grumpy a lot and we tipped on every drink so I could only imagine what vibe non extra tippers get. Servers- wonderful in specialty restaurants, lacking energy and personality in complimentary in general. There were a few rockstars like the host at taste and Maine dining room. Shore Excursions- We did everything through locals as NCLs are over priced. Value for money- They charge way to much for mini bar items. Slot machines tight. Starbucks prices great. Food items prices great. UBP wonderful perk Specialty perk amazing bonus also. Tendering- One of the worst experiences in my life and I’m not being dramatic. Debrking- Walked off was fast. The Sice H20 for adults only until 6 was wonderful. Photographers only had two pictures from us for all week and they took a more. Some cruisers had dozens. That was disappointing. I definitely will cruise with NCL again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Disclosures: - Traveled with wife, both in our 30s; no kids or family on the trip - Both vegetarian, with extremely minimal alcohol intake Pros: - Excellent staff and service. As with our prior Norwegian experience, the staff ... Read More
Disclosures: - Traveled with wife, both in our 30s; no kids or family on the trip - Both vegetarian, with extremely minimal alcohol intake Pros: - Excellent staff and service. As with our prior Norwegian experience, the staff go out of their way whenever possible to accommodate your needs - Sports/water complex is an unexpected treat on the open ocean. Ropes course is death defying fun (I am intensely acrophobic). And water slide usage was limited only by my tolerance for climbing the tower over and over again. Water is gently warmed in all pools, making it very comfortable in 60-70 degree weather. - The gym is excellent, and an extremely small proportion of cruisers actually use it. Felt like an enormous private gym for the most part. - Oceanview balconies have beautiful views, and are built such that one can't accidentally peek into someone else's balcony space. Cons: - 1:4 staffing levels become noticeable during busiest dinner dining hours (6PM-8PM) - Due to the time of year, cold weather At Sea days made the ship feel quite crowded - Elevators are slow during the At Sea days and embarkation/disembarkation process. Not a problem for us, as the stairs were always accessible, but I could imagine issues Tips: - Pick a dining room/time (I would recommend the Manhattan Club for the rear views) early in the cruise and establish yourself with a server. The staff are extremely service oriented and can pamper you in unexpected ways if they know what you like. - Pick a port day and stay on the ship for at least some portion. Using the sports complex (minigolf, bocce, waterslides, and rope course) without a line is worth it if planned into your itinerary - Reserve all the shows you'd like on the first night. But just show up if you feel like going to any of the free shows. All of our shows had plenty of open seats for latecomers or standby's - Get a balcony room. On a trip with 3.5 at sea days in cold weather, you'll relish some quiet time with a beautiful view - For those same cold weather days, ensure you pack some additional warm clothes. Summary: - Good ship. Great service. Would book again, but only in warm weather. Norwegian again finds that amazing sweet spot on price and service. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Went on this cruise with my husband and parents. They were celebrating their 61st anniversary from earlier in the month and I was celebrating my birthday in early March. As we've cruised several times together this one was right up ... Read More
Went on this cruise with my husband and parents. They were celebrating their 61st anniversary from earlier in the month and I was celebrating my birthday in early March. As we've cruised several times together this one was right up there... The ship is great with lots of space to spread out in (with 4000 guests you need to get away from the crowds!) Room was very comfortable and in a great location near the aft elevators. Ports: really could do away with Port Canaveral, not a lot to do unless you are doing a Disney excursion. And weather at this time of year can be cool. Great Stirrup Cay was beautiful and we really enjoyed the Eco Boat tour. Nice to break up the island time and learn something new about the area. Our favorite was Blue Lagoon. I had my reservations about it but it turned out great! Not crowded, beautiful location, enough to do and being able to walk around the dolphin encounter as much as we could was an unexpected bonus. Didn't even mind the few showers we experienced. Food: had amazing meals and service every where we went. La Bistro was our favorite! The few pounds I gained were worth it. Spa: we treated ourselves to the thermal spa and it was the best thing! We utilized the steam room, saunas, etc every day. And the gym was never crowded when we worked out. Entertainment: really enjoyed Choir of Men, After Midnight and Greg Gleason. Highly recommend all. Overall it was a great time. My dad had to rent a wheelchair and people could not have been nicer...helping out, moving seats etc. The restaurant staff were extremely accommodating. I am not a fan of how loud everything is...putting the guest services area right near the atrium with all the events there is not smart. Have to shout to be heard! Love the freedom of NCL and the staff and crew are always friendly, helpful and easy to deal with. Would recommend this trip and we bought credits to travel on NCL again! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We stayed in the Haven area. We enjoyed our aft facing penthouse. We had a cozy bedroom and an amazing bathroom with windows in the tub and shower area that overlooked the ocean. Wonderful Butler named Chris who took great care of us. We ... Read More
We stayed in the Haven area. We enjoyed our aft facing penthouse. We had a cozy bedroom and an amazing bathroom with windows in the tub and shower area that overlooked the ocean. Wonderful Butler named Chris who took great care of us. We will caution you to check the school schedules if your booking the haven and expecting a quiet retreat. They do have a nice adult deck outside and you will never wait for a drink!! The staff and restaurants were all very nice. We missed our port in great stirrup cay due to unsafe tendering conditions. There was plenty of things to do to fill our week so it was fine. We enjoyed the specialty restaurants. The manhattan room was a spectacular dining room with a mini show. Great service and great food. The entertainment was wonderful. Always something for someone. This ship will not disappoint. Can't wait to sail again soon. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise due to school vacation timing and we loved our last cruises on the Breakaway so the Escape was a win win. We chose NCL because we love the cruise line. With that said, the embarkation process was very disorganized and ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to school vacation timing and we loved our last cruises on the Breakaway so the Escape was a win win. We chose NCL because we love the cruise line. With that said, the embarkation process was very disorganized and for the first time, there were lines forming all over the place. We did not get onto the ship without being redirected three times and shoved out of the way in the port. We have never had any issue previously so we were a little shocked at what a disaster it was to get onto the ship. Once on board, the cruise of waiting and lines began. There seemed to be problems with the NCL app and we had to get into that line multiple times for it to get fixed. The lines for reservations were also endless and only a few individuals were there to assist guests. Though I am an optimist and waited patiently, I was disappointed in NCL's customer service. I just expect more from them. There clearly was an outbreak of Norovirus. I always clean my cabin down and use all precautions when cruising. Our room steward was amazing and always cleaned thoroughly as well. Seeing that this was an issue, I would have appreciated the workers in the buffet serving if this was an issue. I washed my hands going in every time I did visit the buffet, used one hand for serving myself, and washed my hands thoroughly upon exiting. Loved the food at Bayamo (though not worth the extra pricing in my opinion) and the Teppanyaki clearly is our favorite...Never disappoints! Moderno was also very good. The hostess at Savor, Sunshine, made us feel special everytime we ate there and we chose to return many times due to her warm disposition. She truly made our cruise special. This is what I look for in NCL hospitality. Unfortunately, she was one of the only shining stars on this ship. Having just recently cruised on Carnival Horizon, the poolside entertainment was always terrific. I was very disappointed in the same Jimmy Buffett video every day and the lack of live music during prime time pool time. The extra effort in entertaining guests seemed lackluster. Choir of Men is a must see.....Amazing!!!! Now, cruising is what you make of it and we had an amazing family vacation. Yes, I will continue to cruise with NCL. But, I think they need to remember that though our vacation is confirmed and we are committed upon final payment day, they need to commit to their guests upon embarkation day. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise due to the schedule and port. It helped that the unlimited beverage package and 3 specialty dining package was included. My wife and I work for public schools and go on the shared break week. We started out by staying ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the schedule and port. It helped that the unlimited beverage package and 3 specialty dining package was included. My wife and I work for public schools and go on the shared break week. We started out by staying at a hotel in NJ with a park and cruise package which worked well. When we got to the port, it was significantly backed up. It took 30 minutes just for the shuttle to get through the buses and near the entryway. It seemed that people were still coming off the ship from the last cruise even though it was 11:30. The port setup was horrible and not clear so I had to keep asking people if they were in line. We finally got to where we were supposed to be towards the back and, eventually, got checked in. Boarding started late and when we finally got onboard and settled, we tried going to Taste but it was 1:35 and they had cut off taking names for seating. We headed up to the buffet and got what little was left. We went to our cabin which, like all Norwegian cabins, is smaller than the competition. It was adequate space but no room to really stretch out. The shower cabin is tiny. I took a few minutes after we got in the cabin to set up our specialty dining reservations in the steakhouse and the French restaurant for Sunday and Tuesday, respectively. Those were at reasonable times (7:30). When we figured out our 3rd choice the next morning, I went in and there were no reasonable times left so we snagged a reservation for the Italian restaurant at 8:30 on Thursday. Cagney's Steakhouse was a great experience. They explained what was included in our package and we followed it and it worked well. The food was amazing. The timing on the courses was perfect. Le Bistro was also a fine experience. We made sure to match our courses with a drink or wine. My wife had escargot which she loves and I had the French Onion Soup, very rich. We had a cognac and an amaretto which matched our desserts very well and provided a good end to the evening. Again, timing for the courses was great. La Cucina was a different story. The food was good, the service and timing horrendous. It took 15 minutes until we even saw a waiter. We ordered and waited. The 1st course came out after about 20 minutes (not terrible). The pizza, which was the 3rd course, came out about 30 minutes later followed 5 minutes later by the pasta which was supposed to be the second course. Another 30 minute wait for the mains and we were debating even waiting for dessert. We ordered dessert and waited 15 minutes or so. Immediately, I gave the waiter the card to run our check when the desserts came. All in all, it was more than 2 hours. Very disappointing. Since this cruise was mostly just to relax, we didn't go to any of the shows or leave the ship. Entertainment was mostly the movies in the cabin, relaxing on deck reading, and catching Ant Man and the Wasp in the Atrium (from deck 7 rail seating at O'Sheehan's). The service in the cabin and at the bars was very good. The service in the main restaurant, O'Sheehan's, and Taste was uneven at points but usually very good. The buffets were constantly mobbed during mealtimes and there were rarely any tables open. Not unusual, but annoying all the same. We did the self-disembarkation which worked very well and headed to find our shuttle about a block away. On the way back, there was a huge crash with a car on its side on the other side of the Henry Hudson. That probably created some issues for park and cruisers coming in for that day. We got back to our car and headed home feeling well. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We choose this ship because we had been on it before and we like to cruise in February. Arrived at port early and got on ship fairly quick being platinum members. Once on ship, we went directly to make restaurant reservations and got ... Read More
We choose this ship because we had been on it before and we like to cruise in February. Arrived at port early and got on ship fairly quick being platinum members. Once on ship, we went directly to make restaurant reservations and got everything we wanted. After that we went to one of the smaller dining rooms (taste) and waited for others that were traveling with us to have lunch. By the time we were finished, our rooms were ready and we went to them and got settled in as much as we could until luggage arrived somewhat later. It was warm enough that we were able to be on our balcony for sail away and a beautiful sail away it was with a absolutely beautiful sunset. We were not able to stop at the private island due to rough seas and wind, so off to Jamaica we sailed. We did the Brimmer Hall Plantation excursion and it was quite interesting. After the plantation, we headed to a beach which provided the highlight of the cruise( and not a good one ) I lost my wallet. Back on the ship, guest service was very helpful in contacting our credit card company to close that card and transfer charges to my wifes card. A day and a half later I was notified that my wallet had been found and everything was still in it and the authorities in Jamaica would mail it back to New York( this proved to be quite expensive, $105.00. ) Overall the cruise was very good. Most of the entertainment was very good with Choir of Man being best followed by Howl at the Moon which we went to every night it was on. The food was very good and selection on where to eat good. My biggest gripe is the Atrium being such a congestion point. When ever something is going on there, the crowds block the aisles and being so close to the guest service desk, it is very hard to talk to a Representative with all the noise. Another gripe is the way the photograph department now works. Photos taken in the restaurants can no longer be purchased as part of a package they must be purchased separately. One cannot blame the ship for some of the sickness that was going around, they were constantly cleaning and wiping down everything and trying to get guests to wash their hands. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise due to the ports we visited, We were not disappointed with our ports. We would go back to each one. We enjoyed the food, it was delicious. Small portions which was more than enough. Our room steward was great. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the ports we visited, We were not disappointed with our ports. We would go back to each one. We enjoyed the food, it was delicious. Small portions which was more than enough. Our room steward was great. The itinerary was amazing. The entertainment was excellent. Choir of Man exceeded our expectations. After Midnight - the skill of the dancers were amazing. The Supper Club we will probably not visit again. You did not get to pick from a menu. The night we went, we were excited to see the Elton John show - but we were not impressed. Enjoyed our evenings seeing Howl at the Moon and the comedy's were pretty good as well. The ship was easy to maneuver around. Not difficult to find your way around. On the down side - the fact that we missed Great Stirrup Caye was very disappointing. As a Cruise Critic member, I had read that on several occasions NCL missed this stop. We were to tender in at 10am. As we sailed past the island at 10:10am we had an announcement that we would not be going. We also sailed right by another ship that was there tendering and people parasailing on the island. We did reach out to the Assistant Hotel Director that informed us that the safety of the passengers is their first concern. While I appreciate that statement it is difficult to reason with. We also had concern about the amount of time we waited for our food. On Saturday 2/16 we were seated at 8:30am. Our order was taken 1/2 hour later @ 9am. We received tea and juice @9:02am. Our meal arrived @ 9:25am.. Order eggs over medium and well done bacon. Received eggs easy over and regular bacon. We had the same issue with dinner in Savor and Taste. An extreme amount of time waiting for service and food. We tried the Manhattan Room, where the service was much better except for the last night when we waited 45 minutes for our meal. We were asked to leave the H2O area on a Sea day due to ashes that were coming out of the exhaust fan. There was black ash all around us and on our belongings. We were told to leave so that they would clean it off and we could return in an hour or so. We would also like to discuss dismemberment. We were walked through circles for 45 minutes just to get off of the ship, then stood outside in the February weather for more than an hour. This is unacceptable. If it had been snowing or raining we would have been soaked. Then after an hour we were next in line to enter into the building and we were told to stop and allow passengers that were just exiting the warm ship to pass right in front of us into the building. They were not Haven guest. This is not acceptable service by any means. We do not expect to be treated in this manner, at the end our of cruise. We felt as if at this point we did not matter. Hoping that NCL will work on some of the issues for future passengers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Hello. Our Embarkation & disembarkation went fast smoothly. The ship was pretty and kept clean. Our cabin on the 13th floor was a nice hit we were on the medical floor. Dining in the taste in the mornings for breakfast made ... Read More
Hello. Our Embarkation & disembarkation went fast smoothly. The ship was pretty and kept clean. Our cabin on the 13th floor was a nice hit we were on the medical floor. Dining in the taste in the mornings for breakfast made our day and dinner @ Manhattan Room made my retired spouse cruise worthwhile. Also lunch and late snack at O' Sheehan's was a fun finger licking experience. Dance your way up to The Mojito Bar on the 8th floor for great coconut and Ginger Mojito's, Also Specialty Dining at Cagney's Steakhouse & Moderno Churrascaria were mouth watering a must treat in fine dining... Music Entertainment by the Octaves was excellent Also The choir of men made us feel we were home at our local pub. also After Midnight made the family feel like we were in Harlem wow that's Broadway. Shore excursion was cancel for NCL private Island Great Stir Cay due to weather. We enjoy these other excursions Harvest Cay Belize a excellent port, Jamaica Bamboo Beach Club VIP Lunch & White House Grand Cayman w/ Lunch. We will be back soon now that's the way to Cruise NCL Style. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our first 2-week cruise and it felt 'just right.' Plenty of time to settle in but we didn't get bored. There is lots to do on the ship, whether you're active or sedentary. We found that there were lots of ... Read More
This was our first 2-week cruise and it felt 'just right.' Plenty of time to settle in but we didn't get bored. There is lots to do on the ship, whether you're active or sedentary. We found that there were lots of things we would classify as excellent (Manhattan dining Room, Choir of Man, service staff, variety of offerings in the Garden Buffet, the fitness center, dancing in Skyline and at dinner, embarking quickly as a platinum member), but we cannot rate this as excellent because of the non-existent waiter service in Skyline Bar, lousy (and pricey) meal at La Cuccina, repeat performances of ship's shows (the ones we really liked we saw 3 times, but to sit through the same exact comedy routine each night was a but much), and the staff at the Customer Service desk area is never pleasant, cabins seem even smaller than on other ships, and the bad experience of disembarkation. So, we give it a 4 stars out of 5. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We love the megaships and have never been to western carribbean, so this seemed to be a perfect getaway from the cold northeast weather. Ship is beautiful and very clean. We especially liked the boardwalk for walking or just relaxing. ... Read More
We love the megaships and have never been to western carribbean, so this seemed to be a perfect getaway from the cold northeast weather. Ship is beautiful and very clean. We especially liked the boardwalk for walking or just relaxing. Cagneys, le Bistro, la cucina and Bayama were all delicious. Although I have read mediocre reports on O Sheehans, we enjoyed several meals there. The crew was great, friendly and helpful. Room steward took good care of our needs. We did not see all the shows but we did enjoy a few. Golden octaves in Atrium were very good. We only did 2 excursions, the ncl transfer to Disney and Costa Maya ruins. I had prepurchased Epcot passes and although time in the park was short, it worked for us. First timers especially with children would probably be disappointed. Costa Maya doesn't seem to have much to offer but I did enjoy the Chacchoben ruin tour and port area by ship had lots of shops and looked nice. Our only complaint is that disembarking in New York is always slow, this time it was Horrible! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
I love NCL and the freestyle, casual cruising experience. The 14 day southern Caribbean cruise is fantastic and I have taken this cruise out of NYC for the last several years. Living in Long Island, I am less than an hour away from ... Read More
I love NCL and the freestyle, casual cruising experience. The 14 day southern Caribbean cruise is fantastic and I have taken this cruise out of NYC for the last several years. Living in Long Island, I am less than an hour away from the pier. It sure beats flying and waiting on TSA lines or having travel delays especially when leaving in the winter. It was a rough start as the previous cruise had an issue with the norovirus and although NCL told us to arrive after 10:30 AM, their communication with cruisers was very poor in not stating specifically what the issue was and because the CDC had to do a thorough inspection of the ship, most of the cruisers had to wait on long lines outside the cruise terminal in the cold for hours. Once onboard, the wait for cabins and lines for lunch were terrible with many people not being able to use their cabins until late in the evening. We were in the Haven and our room was not ready until the evening and the lines so long for lunch, we did not have lunch but instead settled for a "liquid lunch" (not so bad!). I do understand that because of the issue, their was no choice but felt that NCL should have better communicated the situation to passengers the day before. I would have arrived much later to the pier and perhaps they should have offered a $50 OBC on this cruise or a future cruise to make amends for the inconveniences. I am sure this experience soured many and perhaps will not cruise NCL again. Once the cruise was underway, it was fantastic. The ship is beautiful, the crew great and I know they had been working long hours sanitizing the ship both on the previous cruise and this one. Being in the Haven, the cruise experience is even that much better, but with the raising of Haven prices, not sure how many more Haven experiences I will have. That being said, I love sailing on NCL and the 14 day cruise out of NYC and have signed up for next year and 2021. The entertainment was good, but I actually thought the entertainment venue was better on the smaller GEM, although a few shows were very good (Cotton Club and Men's Choir). The band in the Skyliner lounge (in the casino) were also great. My Haven Aft Facing Cabin was beautiful and I always book the aft when cruising in the Haven, even though it is a long walk to the Haven and you probably do not exactly experience the Haven experience as much as those situated in the front. I think we only visited the Haven sundeck three times during the cruise and preferred to enjoy our large balcony with very comfortable lounges. The restaurants were pretty good although some of the best dishes have been eliminated from NCL's signature restaurants (Le Bistro and La Cucina) and the cold soups (one of my favorite cruise experiences) was only available in the Haven restaurant at lunch. No doubt, the Haven Restaurant offered the best dining experience and service, but that is to be expected. The ports for this cruise are the best and although I have visited them many times in my cruising career, my favorites are still Barbados, St. Marteen and St. Thomas. We did only one ship excursion in St. Thomas...Kon Tiki and it was great. I would recommend this ship excursion as it is a very happy experience with rum punch, steel drum band, dancing and a visit to a very nice beach. All had a great time. Looking forward to next year's 14 day cruise on the beautiful Bliss! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We choose this cruise of 14 days to laze. We like the ports and shore excursions. The food waz very good in every restaurants and also un the Garden Café. The service was excellent at our cabin and very good for the rest. But at the ... Read More
We choose this cruise of 14 days to laze. We like the ports and shore excursions. The food waz very good in every restaurants and also un the Garden Café. The service was excellent at our cabin and very good for the rest. But at the o'sheehan one time only the service was too fast. They put all the meals on the table at the same time. We like also the performance of the band Let's Groove and the others signers too. The shows at the theater were amazing. In spite of the big sanitize of the ship , we have great time. The crew did very well to keep every place very clean. We liked the shops but we didn't find things for kids. We wanted to buy gifts ( clothes, t-shirts earings) for our grand daughters ( 2 and 4 years old) but we found just stuffed animals. The disembarkation went very fast. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We enjoyed the eight Caribbean Island stops and the ship entertainment. It was our first time on one of the huge ships, and overall, we preferred the smaller ones from our first six Norwegian cruises. The Escape just didn't seemed ... Read More
We enjoyed the eight Caribbean Island stops and the ship entertainment. It was our first time on one of the huge ships, and overall, we preferred the smaller ones from our first six Norwegian cruises. The Escape just didn't seemed designed to service that many passengers, especially when we needed to use the elevators, get into the main dining rooms, find a place out on deck on the nice weather days, or make a reservation at a specialty dining room. We also wished this ship had a forward lounge, the way all our other ships did. We missed having a quiet place to relax where we could sight-see ahead. Not having this large forward lounge, or other large lounges, also meant that all the big group activities such as trivia, dance lessons, and games had to done in the atrium, which made that three-level center part of the ship constantly noisy instead of a nice place to relax, as it was on all our other ships. The entertainment quality and choices were fabulous. The professional shows in the theater, repeated three times each, was a good way to do this rather than the standard way the theater productions were done on our other cruises. Also, we liked the Supper Club dinners with entertainment, and the Headliners Comedy Club entertainment. The piano entertainer, JR, was really good. Since we are beer drinkers, we liked having The District Brew House with its 24 beers on tap and 50 in bottles. This was our first cruise where we could get good beers, although all other bars on the ship still served only the standard lagers. This next comment applies to all our cruises, which have been only on Norwegian, so i don't know if any other cruise lines do anything differently: We wish for more information, information, information! So much about the ship and its workings and offerings could be explained in advance, or when you arrive, rather than having to learn everything by accident, experience, asking other passengers, or never learning something at all. We knew nothing about how the Box Office worked for getting reservations all week at all the many venues that required reservations; we had to learn from other passengers, and hope that we were getting to the Box Office soon enough to get what we wanted. Even then, we couldn't figure out the list of options covering all 14 days - we just had to let the agent do it for us, and hope it was what we would like (it was). We also wish Norwegian would have information sheets to explain what drinks are served at which bars, what to expect with regard to successfully getting into the main dining rooms (we almost never could get in since there were such long waiting lines), and information to help us know various rules such as No Reserving Deck Chairs. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We started out with hours long lines waiting to board the ship due to an outbreak of Norovirus on the previous cruise. After long lines snaking in and around the pier we were finally allowed to board. Then we waited on the stairs to be ... Read More
We started out with hours long lines waiting to board the ship due to an outbreak of Norovirus on the previous cruise. After long lines snaking in and around the pier we were finally allowed to board. Then we waited on the stairs to be allowed to go to our room. We found out later that it was due to disinfecting the walls and cabins. All had to climb the stairs to get something to eat in the buffet. Soon after we were herded back down to the “ mandatory muster “. Believe it or not after that horrible introduction everything got much better! Aside from restrictions on accessibility to food in the buffet, and constantly being reminded to “ washy washy”. All negative reminders disappeared. Excellent accommodations, food and smooth seas. Every port was easy to get around, and aside from Tortola bore little signs of the hurricane damage we were expecting. By the last few days everything was back to normal, and our only regret was that the cruise wasn’t longer. A definite 2 thumbs up! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
This is our 2nd. time on the Escape, previous sailed her to Bermuda and been on the Breakaway, scored a bidding upgrade - Inside (IA) to mid-ship Balcony (BB) for a reasonable price, enjoyed our time on the balcony and/or with sliding door ... Read More
This is our 2nd. time on the Escape, previous sailed her to Bermuda and been on the Breakaway, scored a bidding upgrade - Inside (IA) to mid-ship Balcony (BB) for a reasonable price, enjoyed our time on the balcony and/or with sliding door open with all those nice days. Our trip to MCT - Pier 88 was an easy one, plenty of porters curbside to help checked our tagged luggage, arrived a little after 10 a.m. and breezed thru security quickly, and, directed to Platinum check-in area, back of building - all in 20 minutes with key cards issued & photos taken. We found our way to the designated, roped-off lounge with Zone #2 boarding and watched as the last cluster of disembarkation passengers came off the ship at 10:45 a.m. Haven & Special Needs began boarding shortly after 11 a.m. and we quickly got called to follow, and warmly welcomed by crew as we stepped off 2 "Z" gangways onto ship's deck 7 Fwd, and, headed inside. Staterooms were still being cleaned, fortunately - we only had 2 small carry-on bags to tote around to make our way to Taste, 1 of 2 MDR open for sit-down lunch while others were herded into elevators up to deck 16 for the buffet (Garden Cafe) already serving lunch - rooms finally announced as ready & open at 1:30 p.m. (about 30 minutes later than "usual" from experience). We're surprised that the MDR was opened after 11:30 - early than noon & with a short wait, ready for sit-down meal services and we're given a nice table for 2, not shared, by the window ... with the fuel barge outside, docked alongside for refueling. Unlike shorter 7 night cruises out of NY, these longer itinerary is reflected in the demographics ... namely, cruisers are somewhat more mature, older along with families with pre-schoolers & small children; and, those from overseas as well as Canadians. All of the onboard announcements were made in English only and there was a Noro-virus outbreak that apparently exceeded the 2% threshold among crews AND passenger during the sailing, that prompted ship-wide cleansing measures & steps for the 2nd. half of the cruise to contain the spreading. We felt that with such important health matters being addressed, that the written notices could've and should've been issued in multiple key languages, to stress the serious nature of requesting "washy washy" compliance & proper hand-wash protocol. As a whole, this cruise had perfect weather all the way, except for the last 1.5 sea days en route back to NY as we transitioned past the warm/cold weather fronts, back to winter weather & outdoor enjoyment basically eased, except for the brave souls at the hot tubs. Sea conditions were just about perfect - thanks to mother nature - waves between 2 to 5 ft. mostly, and briefly had waves of 8 to 10 ft. which is really calm for a mega ship at 160,000+ tons. Sunny days & cooler evenings and nights, except for port stop at Costa Maya, Mexcio as we ran into storm clouds, showers & rain on and off all day - where we decided to stay on the ship. The other disappointment was in missing NCL's private island at GSC at Bahamas' Berry Islands, due to wind condtions & directions (north) with safety being the prime factor, unable to tender us ashore (we missed in last Spring on the Gem & 2017 on the Breakaway, able to get an extra evening/time docking at Nassau pier by the evening) - thus, turning into an extra "fun" day at sea, headed straight for Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Fortunately, NCL's other private island, the newest, Harvest Caye at Belize has its long pier, not a tender dock and while it is smaller, perhaps, and with a longer walkway to the main "entrance" - it was nice & refreshing, and, offered plenty to do - including a giant pool with plenty of loungers and (extra charge for rental) vented clam shells for sun/uv shade protections ... and ziplines and other outdoor activities. Golf cart transport are available for guests unable to make the 1/4 mile walk each way under the shaded & covered walkway. We did NOT book any shorex offered by NCL, over-priced & under-valued and planned our own, or, just wing it when we got ashore. George Town, Cayman Island was much better & we rated it great compared to Ocho Rios in terms of things to do, see and pricing. Cozumel, Mexico is another popular cruise ports with several (7) ships in town at different locations and still, didn't feel crowded and plenty to do & see, and, the waterfront is easy to walk around, safe & there are no pushy vendors unlike Jamaica ... we scouted out what to do next time, if and when we go back again (all of these with pictures & reviewed elsewhere in the NCL forum/board here on CC) Escape has one of the best & fun crew and officers and hats off to all of them for their extra hard work during our 15 days, dealing also with the steps & measures deployed against the acute virus symptoms being reported. A CC Meet & Mingle was organized and housed at the District Brew House on Day 2 to a pack full-house, standing room only, plentiful of beer samples for adults ... something not done on other NCL ships, and, a Slot Pull was held as well as a Cabin Crawl, including 2 stops touring the Haven, thanks to fellow CC'er. We have a friend room steward that emptied our mini-refrigerator (look for the adjustable temperature dial) so that we had room to store our own chilled beverages, snacks & chocolate strawberries delivered as extra treats - and towel animals were waiting for us on several nights, until they got extra busy with special cleaning & didn't have time to do it. Ice buckets were refilled daily and on request, but stopped with the virus outbreak. Like the other Breakaway/Plus class, the ships still looks great after being in continuous service for several years, well maintained and everything worked. The main theater has improved & better seating, with the metal in the seatback and enough legrooms for others to pass thru to their seats in the same row - advance reservation is a must, especially true for the "lounge" style comedy shows and other shows held in the Supper Club (a cover charge might apply, check your bookings for details). We saw After Midnight before and booked "The Brad Pact" again, which turned out to be its final week on the Escape, replaced by the Choir of Man, which others liked, moved onto the main stage as a free show. The busy & popular Fwd atrium lobby is where many other performance, demonstrations, presentations and contests, etc. were held - often standing room only even when extra folding chairs were setup for the overflowing crowds ... among the best liked singers, Golden Octave. Margaritaville has a $15 cover charge and is open daily noon to 4 pm, whereas breakfast is complimentary & less crowded - located on deck 17 midship; but is generally empty & grossly under-utilized. Food Republic was supposed to be open on sea days but closed shut, for whatever reasons - thus, when we wanted a mid-day snack and turned off by what's in the buffet. O'Sheehan's is the go to place, 24/7 for basic comfort food and it's nighly dinner specials - service is usually quick, friendly and food comes out its own small gallery, hot & edible; and, we can also recommend it as an alternative to the MDR for a sit-down hot breakfast with its limited menu choices, still very good. Garden Cafe - we visited it a few times, mainly during off-peak and late evening for a quick bite, just to see what's offered, coffee & dessert and a place to sit back & relax, and maybe twice for lunch on port days when MDR isn't open at all. As expected, there is a good choice of variety but nothing really impressive, looks good but after a few days, everything looked the same - they do try to vary selections on themed nights, whether it's All American, Italian, Caribbean, Asian or BBQ/Grill oriented ... not a place to be if you wish to stay on a healthy diet and/or not gain 10 lbs disembarking the ship. MDR - Taste & Savor, opposite each other on deck 6 Aft are basically identical twins, serving the same food/menu items as the bigger Manhattan Dinner Room, set up as a supper club with a big dance floor for show performing, which we never saw while walking by or highlighted in the Freestyle Daily ("newspapers" distributed.) Guests without reservations are typically asked if they wish to share a larger table with other "strangers" when doing a walk-up. We booked almost all of our dining slots ahead and while onboard, day #1 so it was easier for 2 of us to be given our own table, which we insisted. If rushing and/or on a clock to catch a show or need to be elsewhere within the next 2 hours, inform your server team so they can pace their services accordingly ... a full meal routinely take 90 minutes. NCL has 14 different nighly menus, rotated and we managed to get/sample or seen all 14 of them ... some of the items were repeated more than once. Unlike years past, there are fewer variety among the starter items, i.e. French Onion soup served at least 3 times, must be easier than Chicken Noodles Soup, now replaced by Vietnamese Chinese Pho everyday for lunch. The other subtle changes, fewer red meat served (which is good, in a way) but lower grade meat used and smaller portion sizes, including the petite "sides" are becoming our talk at the dinner table, promptly us to sometimes just going ahead to order an extra entree or doubled orders of starters to share. We find friendly, cheerful and usually prompt & attentive services by our wait team, but at times, minor details were overlooked - like a table set by without butter or small knife, coffee & tea given without a spoon or creamer/milk ... or, bread crumbs not always swept after plates & cleared and taken away, before dessert is out. Our 2 evenings of complimentary dining, booked for LeBistro and Moderno were good to excellent, and, we get used now to the annoying limit to one starter & one entree, below $20 (just raised to $25) or one dessert - but free is free. Those with healthier appetite will likely find themselves still hungry after eating at Cagney's & LeBistro, whereas Moderno is AYCE and there are some good choices at the salad bar, where this time- servers handled the fork & spoon to picking & choosing what we like, due to the reported Noro incidents. We took advantage twice of free & complimentary room service in the morning, continential style on full sea days when we didn't want to leave until mid/late morning, knowing that we would be fine with a light one - delivered within the requested 30 minutes time slot, and a small cash tip appreciated from the thankful crew (a reminder, please leave those cups, glasses & plates, etc. inside the cabin, room steward will remove them as part of the cleaning routine ... instead of cluttering the narrow corridors.) O'Sheehan's served comfort food, often piping hot, especially with its expanded hot breakfast options and usually doesn't take long for us to get seated. Same is true for lunch except on port days, as the MDR is closed leaving the buffet & OSH as the basic options - I missed some of the older menu items like the chicken pot pie but it's difficult to leave on an empty stomach. Although there wasn't an official take-out option when ordering food here, we did see folks walking out with plated & covered food and utensils to take back ... could be due to the quarantine in place. For those new to NCL, on disembarkation morning - if you aren't in a hurry to leave the ship, enjoy a full breakfast in the MDR, as its Express selection unique to that "last" day has been expanded. Likewise, each morning - the MDR has a Daily Choice of 3 rotating breakfast specials, in addition a good choice of regular items for ordering. On full sea days, ask the wait staff about their Daily Special - something different - at the MDR, as otherwise, it is the same menu for the entire cruise at lunch, one of them was a thinly breaded port loin special and another being a meatballs dish. Getting around the ship - the Waterfront on Deck 8 is less populated and there are plenty of oversized cushioned chairs & sofa to sit around, relax, read and enjoy the scenic beauty of being at sea. We've noticed that a number of joggers are now using this outside deck as their walking path, which isn't designated for and it's a shared public space for everyone to enjoy ... the lifeboat deck on 6 is probably better suited as it's nearly always quiet, beware that there are no chairs or loungers, etc. for this area. The official jogging path is marked and on deck 17, some of the "lanes" criss-crossing popular venues like Margaritaville, resulting in passengers bumping into each other ... NCL, please re-design this with the next class of ships being built. On elevators, there are only 2 banks of elevators for passengers, Fwd and AFT and it's typically packed full on embarkation & disembarkation days - not all fellow cruisers showed courtesy in stepping into the rear of the small elevators instead of blocking the doors and/or access to the buttons, and made it harder for others with special needs to share & get in/out ... and, doesn't take much for those lugging oversized luggage to jam up the elevators while struggling to get around. The ports - Port Canaveral is what it is, but a 7 hours stopover is just inadequate and worst if heading into Orlando area, even if skipping the theme parks. One can only do so much re-visiting Coca Beach and/or Coca Village - the worst is its 1 PM arrival time ... our option, stay on the ship & enjoy it with fewer crowds, except lots of seasoned cruisers knew it too. GSC or NCL's private island, always a toss-up especially with a north wind blowing, even with calm seas and no waves, usually meant tender boats cannot be runned - resulting in an extra sea day, unless a berth is availabe at nearby Nassau, or else, sailings like ours would just bypass & resume sailing direct to the next scheduled port. Disembarkation has become rocket science for NCL at its NYC port facilities, info about colors & time and how-to, etc. had been distributed to all guests, 3 to 4 days prior to arrival - allowing folks to plan, decide and organize their orderly departure time & how to best take luggage off the ship - whether it's on-time, early, super-early like ours, or running late/behind schedule for whatever reasons. It has been fine-tuned by holding passengers on the ship, instead of releasing several hundreds plus onto the cold pier's exterior walkway, who then must squeeze thru the bottleneck toward the "down" escalators or sole elevator for pax in wheelchairs or walkers in need of assistance. We're among the priority disembarking pax with luggage already transferred onto the pier, and quickly made our way down to the customs/arrival hall, found our bags waiting & then queued up for the line using porter services, then breezed quickly thru - no more than 15 minutes from bottom of stairs out to curbside on 12th Avenue ... in our case, also up the giant elevators to level 2 with no-wait for a yellow taxi, taking a metered fare ride to our home in Queens, arriving on our door steps in less than 30 minutes. During our cruise, we're able to take advantage of doing 2 free bags of wet laundry, stuffed full & had it returned, folded & clean in a basket, within 2 days - as part of our Latitude Platinum perks, along with getting 2 free bottles of water. Pro tips - each person should bring his/her own BPA-free water bottle and use a clean cup each time to transfer & refill at the water station, as paying for bottled (non-mineral) water is foolish, IMHO. Unlike most NCL ships, the medical "center" or clinic is located on deck 13 Fwd, just behind the elevators and has posted hours for non-urgent care and a self-service dispensing machine is stock with basic items for sale, 24/7. Satelite WiFi internet - NCL has, without a doubt, among the pricest deal on using its high-orbiting satellite WiFi internet, for as much as $35 a day for unlimited, streaming & VPN use, one device at a time, $30 for non-streaming and $15 a day for social media use. It offered PAYG at $1 a minute, which is very costly unless you need to use 15 or 30 minutes on a cruise and plan to be off the grid. We have been Google (Project) Fi subscribers for 3 years and loved our roaming coverage in 170 countries, including 4G HSPA+ data coverage at all of our ports, reducing our needs to stay connected at sea and we managed to be online using only 320+ minutes for our entire 15 days, without buying extra, trading for an upgrade, etc. Overall speed is good, usable & adequate with high latency, not blazing fast but much improved in the last 5 years. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise since we had never been to the western Caribbean. The ship had many activities every evening - shows, Howling at the Moon, comedians, a magician, and more. All shows were excellent! Dinner at the main restaurants, ... Read More
We chose this cruise since we had never been to the western Caribbean. The ship had many activities every evening - shows, Howling at the Moon, comedians, a magician, and more. All shows were excellent! Dinner at the main restaurants, and particularly at the speciality restaurants, was excellent. Unfortunately, breakfast and lunch at the restaurants was always the same - it would be nice to vary the menu. We were very disappointed that we did not stop at Great Stirrup Cay. We were told the waters were too rough, although the skies were blue, the sea looked calm, and the sailboat along side us was not even moving. Also, there was a lot of smoking on board. The smoke from the casino drifted into many areas on the ship. And the Waves Bar area near the pool was a smoking area, making it an undesirable area, and the smoke from the bar wafted across the jogging track. 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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