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
Sail Date: October 2018
We booked a mini suite on deck 13, it was not worth the extra money. Its basically the same exact room as a regular balcony cabin except the bathroom is slightly larger. Save your money and go balcony rather than spending extra on a ... Read More
We booked a mini suite on deck 13, it was not worth the extra money. Its basically the same exact room as a regular balcony cabin except the bathroom is slightly larger. Save your money and go balcony rather than spending extra on a "minisuite". At least on the Gem the mini suite is slighter wider than a regular balcony and has a bathtub but I guess that is on is for not researching it well enough. We have cruised on the Breakaway twice and enjoyed it so figures the Escape would be similar. I felt like the Escape was very crowded, every time we got on an elevator it was completely full and stopped on almost every floor. I expect this on the first day and prime times but this was all of the time. Garden Cafe was also always very crowded. This was our first cruise with our toddler and having a stroller on the ship was another issue, the stateroom carts are in the hallways almost all day and the hallway is too narrow to pass by with the stroller so we were constantly having to move the carts into a doorway as we walked to/from our room. I would imagine this would be even harder for someone in a wheelchair who doesn't have help to move the carts. Tendering in GSC was also a challenge. They lock the elevators so they don't stop on deck 4 where the tenders are so we took the elevators to 5 and got off and when i asked a crew member who was directing people for assistance he told me i would have to carry my son and stroller down to deck 4! You have to be kidding me, it seemed like this was the first time they ever ran a tender operation. As far as the food goes, we had good meals in taste/savor and manhattan room along with moderno teppanyaki and le bistro. Sometimes i miss the traditional way of cruising when you'd get to know the waiter/assistant waiter and talk about your day etc. We felt it was just take your order and get you out but i can overlook that as long as the food is good which it was. Went to Margaritaville for lunch one day and it was terrible. Service was really bad, food wasn't good, save your $ its not worth it. We did use the guppies program for our son and that was great. He really enjoyed going and the staff was excellent and made us feel more than comfortable leaving him. I have always liked NCL but I can't see myself ever going on the escape again. If we go back it will be on the Jewel class or a newer class of ship. Another thing that sticks out is that there is only 1 pool for the adults on this ship. Not acceptable, I don't know why they didn't put a pool in the aft section where the grotto is. The grotto is nice but its kind of useless. Im sure you'll have a nice cruise as long as you know what to expect. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Ive sailed with NCL 6 times, and I was somewhat disappointed in this cruise. The food was really lacking in taste and temperature in the specialty restaurants, buffet and O'Sheehans. Main dining rooms were good with the exception ... Read More
Ive sailed with NCL 6 times, and I was somewhat disappointed in this cruise. The food was really lacking in taste and temperature in the specialty restaurants, buffet and O'Sheehans. Main dining rooms were good with the exception of the uncomfortable chairs in Taste and Saver. The Choir of Man MEAL was down right awful and am disappointed I attended. The vegetables were not even cooked. Beef was terrible and so was dessert. The show however, was pretty good. Service was top notch throughout the cruise but it does not reverse or outweigh the negatives. The magic show in the theater was ok, I have seen better and worse fly on entertainment on NCL. The magic show was ok in the Supper Club, the meal was great however. La Cucina was nice even though I do prefer the old menu from a few week ago. Margaritaville, while great was costly for lunch. Smoking next to the pool on the top deck, not behind a barrier was uncalled for. I couldn't even walk past there or use the jogging track. What I was most disappointed in however was the maintenance of the ship. For being 3 years old, it did not hold up well at all. Menus covered in pen marks, lounge chairs falling apart, flooring worn out and cut up on the stairs (starboard side, near an upper deck) really took away from the experience. I was on the Getaway in September and that ship has faired far better. Like I said, overall the cruise was good but I'm glad this was my 4th NCL cruise of the year- this cruise would have left a lot to be desired. I will be back but I hope the quality of food improves and ships are maintained a little bit better. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Wanted to go to Canada and this was the dates that matched our availability. On and off the boat worked smoothly and timely. While the boat had room for everyone, the days at sea were just too crowded. There was room for everyone but a ... Read More
Wanted to go to Canada and this was the dates that matched our availability. On and off the boat worked smoothly and timely. While the boat had room for everyone, the days at sea were just too crowded. There was room for everyone but a venues and events were full up with folks and crowded. The Atrium was always crowded. Yes, it was cold and rainy so you couldn't use the pool deck and thus lost that physical space to put people and perhaps that's why I think it was crowded. Room was good but the sofa was too uncomfortable to use to sit on for more than a few minutes. So if you wanted to read you had to lay on the bed as it was impossible to find a quiet corner anyplace else on the boat. Complimentary entertainment was good, but the venues were crowded. Didn't attend the shows and pay the upcharge - if I wanted to pay for a show I'd have stayed at home in Vegas. Used most of the dining venues and they were all very good - food and service. And the continuous noise - some would call it background music but musical selection was not something you'd want to hum or dance to. It basically turns out to be background noise just every place you went. So if you wanted to talk to someone you had to talk loud and that just added to the noise. And for your customers with hearing aids, it really becomes noise. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
This is a nice ship, but really BIG! There are not enough places to sit and visit, or play a board game, or write a note, or sit and plan your next day. The outdoor area is fun but small. The slides are great, but fall in to the ... Read More
This is a nice ship, but really BIG! There are not enough places to sit and visit, or play a board game, or write a note, or sit and plan your next day. The outdoor area is fun but small. The slides are great, but fall in to the smallest pool I've ever seen on a ship. The food is good, but we found nothing "great"; and, we had expected some seafood while around Maine, but alas, flounder only. The quality of the food in all complimentary venues is good, but nothing great, or memorable. The ports in the USA were great, but the 2 ports in Canada were lame, with little to nothing to see or do. Don'[t do their "Foodie" tour as it is a walk to the "market" and then 4 wee samples of foods which were fair at best. The pier restaurants in Canada were delicious, and the small shops and restaurant in Kennebunkport were awesome! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We went on this cruise as a big group of 16 — each couple had their own room. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly — the crew seemed to have everything figured out there. The rooms were great — bigger and nicer than ... Read More
We went on this cruise as a big group of 16 — each couple had their own room. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly — the crew seemed to have everything figured out there. The rooms were great — bigger and nicer than the Princess ship we had been on the year before, and the air conditioning worked well. The bathroom was pretty spacious as well. The ship itself was beautiful and well kept up. The entertainment was so-so, there were a decent amount of choices, but things got booked up so fast that we weren’t able to see a couple shows that we were hoping to. We loved the slides and zip line area, and my one year old LOVED the kid zip line area, so we did that every day. We also enjoyed the Bocce area, ball court, and mini-golf. The food was my big problem. It was not very good, and didn’t have very much variety. The Princess ship had AMAZING food, and each restaurant had different options. On the Norwegian Escape, most of the restaurants had the same menus as each other every night, and the buffet food was just meh. Then on the day we got to Bermuda, I got food poisoning from one of the restaurants the night before (Shrimp Alfredo is what did it, I believe), and I was not able to leave my room for an entire day — therefore I missed out on an entire day on Bermuda. Luckily and unluckily I was able to send my husband and toddler on the island to enjoy themselves. I proceeded to sleep/throw up/ etc all day, and when my husband got back that night, we went to the cruise desk and reported my sickness. In hindsight, we should have reported it earlier, but I did not think about it. But since we hadn’t reported it earlier, they didn’t believe us. They said that they could investigate it with the Dr, but by that point, a lot of my symptoms had gone. I just thought that I’d have to pay the ridiculous dr fee if we called, so that’s why we didn’t earlier. The maid for our room was very friendly and helpful, and the service staff at the help desk was friendly, just not overly helpful. We did have a couple other issues, like an unexplained charge on our account and the texting on-board app not working, and they refunded us our money for both. Unfortunately the food poisoning experience left a sour taste in my mouth (literally also), and I will not be going on another Norwegian Cruise because of it. It’s not worth it to me to be sick and miss out on half of the island days. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
This is my 3rd Norwegian cruise last 2 on breakaway. I dont prefer this ship for a few reasons 1. Deck space in pool area small and crowded 2. After midnight show was long and I struggled to remain interested 3. Dining in main hall was ... Read More
This is my 3rd Norwegian cruise last 2 on breakaway. I dont prefer this ship for a few reasons 1. Deck space in pool area small and crowded 2. After midnight show was long and I struggled to remain interested 3. Dining in main hall was meadeocure flavor and presentation really fell flat 4. Choices of dinning areas limited unless you want to spend a lot of extra $$$ and thise restaurants were not even busy 5. Limited hot tubes and tbey closed at 10pm 6. Dinning options after 930 are limited to mainly snacks and bar good and for days at port tnis is especially difficult to make dinner due to limited bus schedule on the island. Overall, I have failed carnival 1 time and Norwegian 3. I may choose a different cruise line based off of this experience. The pros... Cabin cleanliness, staff service, some entertainment, length at port Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
The Escape has stylish and thoughtful decor throughout, which extends to their well-designed cabins. Our room was quite comfortable, and the included access to thermal spa area was a highlight, as we used it every day due to unseasonably ... Read More
The Escape has stylish and thoughtful decor throughout, which extends to their well-designed cabins. Our room was quite comfortable, and the included access to thermal spa area was a highlight, as we used it every day due to unseasonably chilly and wet weather. All of our specialty dining meals were indeed special experiences. The few meals we had in the included dining rooms were very non-special, approaching disappointing.. Our primary complaints were the seemingly endless fees for everything, and the overall feeling of being jam-packed with thousands of other guests, with very few areas of escape the crowd other than the thermal spa. Also, NCL seems to have little interest in gathering feedback from their guests, which seems strange for a service based business. I think we will try a different cruise line for our next cruise vacation, because our impression is that NCL's main interest is in making money from their guests. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Given rich African/Black cultural traditions and experiences in Halifax NCL needs to offer related excursions. We did the research and planned an outstanding day by visiting: 1 Africvile Museum with an outstanding presentation by ... Read More
Given rich African/Black cultural traditions and experiences in Halifax NCL needs to offer related excursions. We did the research and planned an outstanding day by visiting: 1 Africvile Museum with an outstanding presentation by Brittany Vaillancourt 2, the Black Cultural Centre, We met Johnson on the evening of September 24, when we realized the mix up over our Savor Restaurant reservation. In addition to immediately seating us, when he learned about the birthday celebration, he not only make arrangements for the customary cake and singing, he provided complimentary wine for the table. For the balance of the cruise, Johnson gave us ultra VIP treatment (from strawberries in our rooms to complimentary wine). When we celebrated my mother’s 90th birthday he made arrangements for NCL celebrations at dinner on the 28th and 29th!!!! She felt honored and remains thrill about the attention and care shown. He was attentive to our every need. He has a warm and engaging personality and exquisite training in customer-centered care and treatment. We also very much appreciated Stefanny Moore (wait staff in Savor) and George (wait staff in O Sheehan’s). Our cabin Stewart Jose was also attentive, respectful and highly pleasant...had more than passing concerns about the pre-boarding contact with NCL. The website is inefficient, slow and not well designed. Calls to the NCL help lines resulted in 10-15 minute holds, not given the option when setting up account to register credit card, then receive an email on September 20, 4:443 pm regarding “We are happy to announce that we have added additional functionality to our On-Line Check-In. You can now record the credit card that you will be using onboard as well as purchase our Essentials Travel Protection (if you have not already obtained travel protection) which will provide trip delay and medical coverage while you are on your cruise vacation.” When signing into my online account the option was NOT available. I in turn called 1-866-234-7250 and was on hold for 14 minutes only to be advised that the option was not available to me and that an mass email was sent to all customers. The embarkation process was inefficient and long. In part this is due to the large number of people on the cruise. However there is an absence of customer care with the process. We were asked to complete forms while in line, without tables and writing instruments. The Canadian declaration form seemed ill timed and a waste of time for the majority of the vacationers. Not able to use the dining package due to the venues being over subscribed. Challenges with setting up complimentary internet package. Only one staff to assist everyone. We had to wait more than 30 minutes to receive assistance.. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Introduction We previously sailed on the Escape in 2016. When we saw the fall colors itinerary on this ship, we decide to book the Escape again. We have traveled on several cruise lines, but have the most cruises on NCL and MSC. ... Read More
Introduction We previously sailed on the Escape in 2016. When we saw the fall colors itinerary on this ship, we decide to book the Escape again. We have traveled on several cruise lines, but have the most cruises on NCL and MSC. Embarkation We arrived at the port by 10 a.m. Our flight arrived early, and we decided to go to the port early. This was a good idea. They opened security a few minutes after our arrival. We were given boarding number 1 as Platinum members. We waited about an hour, and then our number was called. The process was quick and we were dining at O'Sheehan's by 11:30 a.m. Our luggage arrived by 1:30 p.m. Overall one of our better embarkation experiences. Room We previously stayed in the Haven on our last Escape cruise, but with just two folks and the ever escalating Haven prices, we were fine with a balcony. Curiously, we got four emails from NCL asking us to bid for an upgrade. As the minimum bid for a Haven upgrade was $1,000 per person, we passed. This was another good idea. The room was fine with a bed, couch, small bathroom and balcony. We never use the butler or concierge anyway so no loss on that front. Our room steward was very good. Prompt room make up and turn down. Dining This is were NCL really shines. We dined twice at Le Bistro, twice at La Cucina and once at Cagney's, Taste and the Manhattan room. All the meals were good. Le Bistro and La Cucina were particularly excellent. A side note on these venues. We are not snobs, but do like to dress consistently with the venue. These are beautiful dining rooms, yet half the folks show up in jeans and tee shirts. Le Bistro now even calls you in advance to remind patrons not to wear shorts. Freestyle appears to be taken to the nth degree by folks going casual even in fine dining restaurants. Entertainment This is a problem on all the new NCL ships. Every since they went to Broadway shows, you basically have only two or three nights in the theater. We saw the Brat Pack, After Midnight and a Magic show on the last night. The later two were very good, but the Brat Pack was disappointing. The rest of the days, we congregated in the atrium which had some music acts. The problem is the atrium's acoustics are terrible. It was not built for musical performances and seating is limited. The comedy shows were all reserved by the first day. There are alternative shows in the dinner theater for a fee, but known of them seem particularly worth the fee. There are few enrichment activities on board, unless you count towel folding and bingo as enrichment. Onboard Experience NCL is geared to sell things 24/7. Art auctions, bingo, fee shows, tee shirts, drink packages and Cruise next rewards Ad nauseum. About four of the T.V. channels are devoted to sales. We don't experience anywhere near this level of sales pitches on any other cruise line. We attended the Lattitudes Party. After the crew introduction, exclamations of how much they loved us and one drink per person, we were told basically to get the hell out of the room because they had to set up for another event. Total time 30 minutes start to finish. Shore Excursions Another hit and miss area. Our tour to Bar Harbor was cancelled due to the inability to tender. Our Nova Scotia tour, booked through NCL, reminded us of the Peterman Reality Tour from Seinfeld. The tour guide was fixated on tales of woe including: 911, a Swiss Air plane crash and the Titanic which she connected to Nova Scotia's involvement. Interesting stories, but a bit much for folks on vacation. After driving about one hour to Peggy's Cove, we started our return and the bus promptly broke down. We waited about an hour for a replacement bus. This bus arrives, but the air conditioning and sound system is out. We made it back to the next stop the Titanic Cemetery. At this point, many folks are hot and are few looking sick. The tour company indicates a third bus is coming. At this point, about thirty of us revolt and tell the driver we are not going on a third bus, many of us have dinner reservations and we want to return to port. The company relents and returns one bus to the port and one to continue the tour. The next day I go to shore excursion desk to express my issues with the tour. The gentleman, after hearing my story, launches into a defense of NCL. Basically, he asserts that NCL has no responsibility for tours that it sponsors through its web-site. I attempt to explain the law of agency to the employee, and the concept of customer service, but this falls on deaf ears. After much debate, he agrees to a 30% reduction of my fee. However, we still never acknowledges NCL's roll and responsibility in this matter as promoters of these tours. Service With the exception of the above incident, service was good. Waiters, the room steward and others we encountered were all friendly and competent. Value for money It is clear since Mr. Del Rio was named CEO, the emphasis at NCL is drive revenue and reduce costs wherever possible. As a NYSE listed company, I certainly understand quarterly margin pressure, but you can take this concept too far and it impacts the customer experience. I recently priced Alaska cruises for next year. NCL's price on the Joy for a balcony for two was more than the cruise I booked on Holland for four in a 500 to 700 sq. ft. Neptune Suite. The pricing increases on NCL has been relentless the past few years, and it is very noticeable when you compare pricing with other cruise lines. My wife is about to turn Platinum Plus on NCL and I am one cruise away, but even with status, I doubt we will be back at NCL anytime soon unless the value for money proposition changes. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Just got off the Escape. I should say this was a 7 day cruise to Maine and Canada out of NYC. The Escape is about 3 years old and was a BIG ship by Norwegian standards. We had 4300 passengers, and I guess if there was a theme here it ... Read More
Just got off the Escape. I should say this was a 7 day cruise to Maine and Canada out of NYC. The Escape is about 3 years old and was a BIG ship by Norwegian standards. We had 4300 passengers, and I guess if there was a theme here it was massive crowds everywhere. We have been on Allure of the Seas, which is bigger, but this one felt much more crowded, the most crowded I have ever been on out of 25 cruises. Long lines to get on the ship too. We waited 90 minutes to get our room key, but lines after us were even longer. So let me talk about the crowds first. Getting food at the buffet and finding seating wasn’t bad, and getting a seat in the main dinning room wasn’t bad, but the hallways, especially near the buffet was just packed with people. The Atrium, which I’ll talk more about later, gets so packed that everyday they need to add hundreds of folding chairs to contain all the people, and finding a seat there can be impossible. Then there were the elevators. Instead of 3 banks of 6 elevators each, like you would expect on a ship this size, this one has 2 banks of 8 elevators. You often have to wait for elevator after elevator to find one that WASN’T packed full of people. And here is another weird thing about the elevators. So lets say you are on the 8th floor, but want to go to the 18th floor. So the elevators are in a bank of 8, with most only going to the 17 or 16th floor, and only maybe one goes to the 18th floor. (They say the floors serviced above each elevator) So you press the “up” button which connects to all 8 elevators. Lets say an elevator comes but it only goes to the 16th floor, so you press the “up” button again, and maybe it only goes to the 16th floor, so you have to press the “up” button again and again and eventually you get the 18th floor elevator. This has to be the most stupid design I have ever seen. STUPID STUPID. So let me describe the ship more. Its a new ship, so you expect an grand multistory atrium, with grand stairways and those fancy glass elevators. NOPE none of these are in the Escape. The atrium is a single story, but it does have a hole in the top where people at O’sheehan's can look down. And note that the atrium on the Escape is the main stage here entertainment like game shows and bands play. There is never enough seating, so they bring in hundreds of folding chairs and there still isn’t enough seating. It makes the place more look like a Sunday bingo parlor than a billion dollar cruise ship. Very cheap looking. Overall the ship has 23 bars (I think) and many extra charge restaurants. There is this room called “5 O-Clock Somewhere” that LOOKS like a bar, but its really a room where they hold jewelry and watch sales. Headliners is another used for comedy shows, and also, wait for it, art auctions. Overall this ship is very plain. No notable paintings or sculptures. On the back of the staircases are just mirrors. There is no theme, like on most ships, that I could see. I should note that the nicest part of this ship were on top. The ropes course, the pool, a grotto, and miniature golf, but as I said, this was a cruise to colder climates so we didn’t get to use these things. The ropes course was open but it was cold and windy, so you need to be very brave. There was no covered pool on this ship, so maybe not the best choice for cold weather. So the room. We were in a mini suite and it was big by cruise standards. It was maybe a foot wider and a few feet longer than typical for a balcony. Plenty of storage, with room between the couch and the closet. There was maybe 2 feet between the end of the bed and wall, which is really good. And the bathroom was roomy. A double sink and a shower that must have been 6 feet wide. The shower had 6 water jets you could control in groups. Very nice. Bath gel was on the wall, as was shampoo/conditioner combination. I DEFINITELY like separate shampoo and conditioner much better. No DO NOT DISTURB door hanger here, the room had Do Not Disturb and Make Up the Room lights which can be switched on. You need to put your ship card in a slot to power the room, like in European hotels. Food: The only cost restaurant we went to was Food Republic so I will start there. Its a la carte and ordered with a tablet at your table. We ordered a California Roll which cost about $8.50 after taxes and gratuity. The menu was mainly sushi rolls and small snacks. My wife asked if they had any “Tempura” but they didn’t know what that was. The California Roll was OK, maybe halfway between a good Japanese restaurant and grocery store sushi. I’d give it 6 or 7 out of 10. Next the buffet. For breakfast, the only thing missing for me was smoked salmon. Eggs were good, and there was an omelet station. Seats were available and lines weren’t bad, BUT here is the negative. The buffet runs about 1/3 the length of the ship, and different things are in different locations. Want a toasted bagel, ham and eggs, and be prepared for some walking. Lots of walking. For lunch, the buffet wasn’t great in my opinion. They had pizza, burgers, salads, hot dogs, but only two different sandwiches each day, and two soups, which were usually very strange. They had an Asian section, but it was mostly Indian and not Chinese or Japanese. No sushi except one night for dinner. The pizza and sandwiches were fine, but nothing special. For dinner, the buffet was better than lunch, certainly fine but nothing you would say WOW over. Mostly baked fish, chicken, pork meals with hamburgs, pizza, pasta, salads, and a few odd-and-ends. There is no stir fry, no request pizzas or sandwiches. You won’t starve to death, but not much beyond typical fare. If its expensive, like crab, or scallops or lobster, nope, not here. For the dinning rooms, the Escape has three, Taste, Savor and the Manhattan Room. All have the same food, but for dinner, the Manhattan room has a singer, band and dance floor. This is a nice touch but note the singer leaves about 7pm, so for later dinner, no music. We had breakfast and dinner in the dinning rooms. Both were good. You can get smoked salmon on bagel for breakfast. Portions are a bit small, but you can order two so not a big deal. You can get omelettes (as long as its some combination of ham, cheese, mushrooms and spinach), pastries, fruit, etc. For dinner, the meals were good, but nothing expensive or exotic. As usual, I ordered two appetizers and an entree. On ALL cruises up to this point, they would ALWAYS bring one appetizer, then when finished they would bring the second. NOT this cruise. I mostly got both at once. Service was excellent but they also seemed short staffed. Dinners had shrimp, but lobster, scallops, and many other choices weren’t offered. They did have salmon. O’sheehan's was the third free venue, open 24 hours a day. We only had lunch there. They had bar food which was fine. I had the “buffalo chicken wings” which looked great, but had absolutely no “heat” at all. Rubin was good, soups weren’t bad. All the food was fine, but nothing that strayed too far from normal. For entertainment, we went to “For the Record” and “After Midnight” and a comedy show. All were good, but also ALL required reservations by the first day, or they would be sold-out. The theater was only one level, believe it or not on such a large ship. No balcony at all. Just regular theater seats that made it hard for the waiters to get to you if you wanted a drink. The stage had microLED displays around it, cutting edge and pretty cool. Most of the other entertainment was the usual Deal or No Deal, Bingo, Trivia, and stuff like that. We didn’t see even one “enrichment talk.” My wife likes those. So overall, a good cruise, certainly nothing special on the food side, service was excellent, but the ship was pretty blah for a new ship. It did have a two-lane bowling ally, with small balls, but it cost $6 and few used it. Very few photos were taken, and only two photo areas were set up in the atrium. We never saw anyone getting their pictures taken. Pictures were $25, and almost never saw anyone else in the photo store. You could see photos on a touch screen or in binders they had for each room. Mark my words, in the next refurb in 2020, I bet the photo gallery is history. With phone cameras everywhere, do we really need $25 photos? Customers have voted NO. Oh almost forgot, the gym. Pretty large and also never more than 5 or 6 other people in it. This was an older crowed. Not the exercise type I guess. After this cruise, the wife and I decided, no more LARGE cruises. The crowds have become too large, and having to make reservations for everything not why we go on cruises. Apparently “Freestyle” doesn’t apply to entertainment, only to food. The Escape is not a ship I’m dying to go on again. Maybe for a Caribbean cruise, but not likely otherwise. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We wanted to see Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine; and, New Brunswick and Halifax, Canada. It was also an easy trip from our home area (NYC) and we previously cruised on the Escape which we liked. I have Celiac Disease and therefore cannot ... Read More
We wanted to see Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine; and, New Brunswick and Halifax, Canada. It was also an easy trip from our home area (NYC) and we previously cruised on the Escape which we liked. I have Celiac Disease and therefore cannot eat any Gluten. The restaurant Maitre D's everywhere were excellent in watching out for my Gluten Free food. In the buffet, the servers were trained to change their gloves. My food was taken from closed trays in the back or specially made in a safe place to avoid cross contamination. Their GF pizza was the best and I had them add veggies to it. The GF french fries were fresh and excellent, but the Veggie Burger was dry and I couldn't eat it. Gluten free was always fine; however, the food quality in general is hit or miss. It used to be much better!! My husband and I found the chicken was dry sometimes, bland/lack of seasoning, too much pepper, no baked potato; sometimes the meals were tasty. The French restaurant, Le Bistro had very delicious meals! We didn't try the others. We also took some tours sold by NCL and they were very good, except for the hop on hop off bus in Halifax because it was overbooked by other cruise ships and there was so much traffic from the G7 Summit. However, when I complained to the Cruise Excursion desk, they refunded me 25%, apologized and said they would put less people on it next time. This was the first trip to these ports for Norwegian. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We picked this cruise because our first one to Bermuda was mostly rained on. So we tried again........and will have to try again some time due to the itenerary change. We only got off the ship once: at Port Caneveral. I was able to ... Read More
We picked this cruise because our first one to Bermuda was mostly rained on. So we tried again........and will have to try again some time due to the itenerary change. We only got off the ship once: at Port Caneveral. I was able to cross one off the bucket list: a visit to Port Canaveral. You really need 2 days there to be able to see the whole place. Tappenyaki was great. We also dined at Moderno (went away STUFFED), the Italian place, and Cagneys twice. Don't look for veal cutlet parm, chicken parm or anything parm at that Italian place! Naturally Cagneys was fantastic. Get the Porterhouse steak! Never had Oysters Rockerfeller before, glad I had them twice! Sides are nice too. Baked potato, spinach, onion rings, creamed corn is not a bowl of mush: chewy corn. Be careful of the papparatzi at the dinner venues. If they take your pic, later on during your meal they'll present it to you in a nice folder. IDK how much it is, but we declined it at Tappenyaki as it was a lousy picture of us (he was in a rush). Lesson learned at the other venues so we simply declined the photographer in taking our picture. Many unhappy campers aboard because of Florence and the change of itinerary to Port Canaveral/Great Stirrup Cay/Nassau. But we skipped Nassau to get around the hurricane to get back in time. But we were docked by 4:45 AM as per my wife. Many cruisers wanted some big "paybacks" which I'm not going to get into. They will have to deal with corporate on that. It was my first cruise on a mega ship, I prefer the regular sized ones. I was struggling with 2 to be replaced knees, so I am a bit biased! Mandy was a great room steward. I had an issue with the bed (zippers sticking me the first night) and she took care of it. The room had a low couch which I couldn't sit on, there was no desk chair in the room so I and others sat on the bed in the room. The problem was it was sinking due to people sitting on the edge. I had to sleep on that side due to my C-Pap machine (bring an extension cord if you have one) so I felt like I was going to fall off the bed at times. Mandy couldn't help me there, but that was OK. The bathroom and shower were a nice size which of course knocked down room space. I'm not much for the entertainment, except the comics. There were 2 with the third as the MC. The MC and one of them did stuff in the welcome show, then we saw each of the 2 in the Comedy Club. It's a tough "ticket". It's a small venue and you need advance reservations. We were unable to see the 18 y/o+ shows because of this. There is where I miss the Spinaker Lounge we have on the smaller ships. Did not do the Supper Club as we had 5 restaurants above. I didn't care for the Brat Pack and the description of the other shows did not impress me. We had a drink package. My wife and I should get drunk on 5 mud slides in one day, but they know what you have ans skimp on the liquor. I get it, I really do! If you want to get drunk, drink beer! They can't water that down! Kudos to the captain for keeping us safe and for the sunny weather in his navigation. Whenever Mandy (the CD) or her assistant used the PA system, they were too loud and talked too fast. Couldn't understand them due to the echoing. I know the cruise line reads these, tell them to slow down. The crew were very friendly, but when you are hobbling around with a cane, you get that. Some claim they are unfirendly. But at a certain point they would like a "hello" back. But they seldom do because most cruisers arein such a hurry all the time. I asked for a wheelchair to get off the shipbecasue I was "done" thanks to the knees and neuropathy. As platinum card holders we got yellow baggage tags and they got me off quick and right to customs. I just had to hobble a block out onto 12th Ave. where my son picked us up. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Our Bermuda trip was sadly detoured because of hurricane Florence. We were OK with going to Bahamas, but at the last minute, we didn't stop there. It was upsetting that we didn't get any credits for missing ports. My friend ... Read More
Our Bermuda trip was sadly detoured because of hurricane Florence. We were OK with going to Bahamas, but at the last minute, we didn't stop there. It was upsetting that we didn't get any credits for missing ports. My friend on Carnival received a $50 credit for a port she missed on her cruise last month. Restaurants - -The new tapas bar Pincho was my favorite hidden gem. The menu is exceptional, so I didn't understand why it was always empty. I think many of the cruisers don't understand the tapas concept, but I hope they don't close it. The restaurant closed early at 10pm. As a tapas restaurant, it should be open much later! The best things on the menu were the scallops, shrimp, tomato bread, grilled sirloin, and salmon. The sangria was amazing too. -Bayamo, the new seafood restaurant was a big disappointment. The servers werent properly trained and we were often without silverware and empty glasses. The huge crab legs for $8 were a steal and delicious. The oyster rockfellers were very disappointing. The thermal spa was a peaceful sanctuary away from the ship chaos. I do not regret getting the a spa room. The mini golf is a bit dated and wish they would upgrade it. The breakfast at the buffet it the best. The buffet lunch was very bland and everything was very salty. I wish there was more healthy food at the free restaurants. Everything seem very salty and cream heavy. The music was fantastic all over the ship. My favorite was Orly who played Santana hits in the atrium. There was a great columbian duo in the Manhattan room. I liked how they dont rush you through the manhattan room and you can linger as long as you like. The comedy shows were all sold out immediately and the standby lines started over an hour before the show. I wish they would put a better system in place so people dont waste so much time standing around. It seems like NCL is moving to an entirely a la carte model as more dining and entertainment come with a fee. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
I took this cruise because it is a no fly from NY. I have never been to Bermuda, never been on the Escape. Do not see the advantage to large ships. Except for the rope course and the mini golf - just a lot of exercise walking or ... Read More
I took this cruise because it is a no fly from NY. I have never been to Bermuda, never been on the Escape. Do not see the advantage to large ships. Except for the rope course and the mini golf - just a lot of exercise walking or climbing stairs to get where you want to go. NCL is planning to introduce new smaller ships. JoJo, who I first met as the Solo coord had many more jobs interacting with passengers was totally A+++. Unlike my last 2 NCL cruises, the solo coord actually was there to coord dinner and other activities. He is really a people person. When I was leaving the shop, I noticed he seemed to know a lot of passengers who he was saying good-by to, and asking if they needed help. The best food was the chicken noodle matzo ball soup. It was better than Princess and Princess food is really good. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This was my first cruise and I should have done more research before booking. It seems that the cruise life is for the elderly since 80% of the passengers were elderly. Between the walkers and strollers there was never any room on the ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I should have done more research before booking. It seems that the cruise life is for the elderly since 80% of the passengers were elderly. Between the walkers and strollers there was never any room on the elevators. Thank goodness my friend and I were able to walk up and down the stairs mostly to get around. The buffet food wasn't all bad but not the best either , the other 4 restaurants that we went to were great especially Source, i think it was, it's on deck 6 across from Taste, best steak. The staff on the ship were an absolute delight to deal with and they were all very helpful. I must also say very honest. I left my purse in the restaurant and the next morning everything was there when I picked it up even the large amount of cash. Now the really bad things about this cruise that I should have known through research. Wall to wall kids, imagine how fun it is to be sitting at a bar, any bar with an adult drink with a toddler sitting right next to you, yes, they have access to everything 24/7 accept the casino and 1 bar. The most unbelievable thing about this ship you may not believe but it's true. This ship holds 4300 people not including staff yet it has 1, yes you read it right 1 small pool. The pools I went to as a child in the City were bigger then this pool. Imagine a bunch of mostly very overweight elderly people sitting in a pool like tea bags or something. You couldn't swim or float because there wasn't enough room. The shows I went to see that were free were really fun and the games and stuff they have were funny and pretty good movies. But no TV and very little movies in the rooms but the ones there not a bad price at all. Also didn't like that you couldn't even smoke on our balcony. They could at least do one side of the top 2 decks for smokers. People complaining were just jerks, with the boat moving the smoke just blew right away. They also didn't bother to let us know that while we were in port in the Bahamas that the store on board and the casino would be closed, the store the entire time and the casino till 9 PM. They claim you can hear announcements through the television but they don't give you notice before the announcements they aren't clear. Daily activities for the next day needs to be given earlier. If your an older person or a family with kids you'll have a great time on this cruise as long as you don't want to swim. One last thing, I do enjoy gambling and I like the assortment of slots and amounts you could play accept the minimum on tables was $10.00 and they only had $1.00 wheel of fortune slots and no Big Wheel, despite that i did win on the final night and got out of Bermuda ahead of the storm. If I cruise again I'll be looking for a cruise with no kids and adults under 60. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our first cruise we have ever been on. Overall the food, service, and ship itself was great. We love the ocean and really enjoyed the "cruising" aspect of it. But I must say we learned a lot about being on such a large ... Read More
This was our first cruise we have ever been on. Overall the food, service, and ship itself was great. We love the ocean and really enjoyed the "cruising" aspect of it. But I must say we learned a lot about being on such a large crowded boat. The biggest disappointment was not getting to reserve a single show we wanted to see. They were completely booked up for the entire trip the very first day. They have a line you can wait on to see if any seats become available 15 minutes before the show, but we decided it would have pissed us off a lot more if we stood on line just to find out we were not getting in anyway. They had a lot of entertainment throughout the ship in the restaurants and bars, but it would have been nice to see a couple specialty shows. Another surprise for us was the small size pool for such a large boat. It was super crowded especially when they were having a contest. If you weren't out there early in the morning, you were not finding good lounge chairs anywhere close. The water slides and rope coarse on the boat were fun though! The food overall was very good. The buffet had a large variety for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There were only a few other restaurants that were complementary, three of which had the identical menu. This didn't make any sense to me but I guess they are looking for you to spend more money at their specialty restaurants. The cabins were a little tight, but its to be expected since we only got the basic stateroom with a picture window. We didn't plan on being in the room much except to shower and sleep. We did have a connecting room for our teenage kids which was nice sense these rooms are only good for two people. Unfortunately, we are torn on taking another cruise or not. For the amount of money we spent, we didn't get to enjoy all that the ship had to offer. It was over crowded and again, all the specialty shows we wanted to see were book for the whole trip on the very first day. We have enjoyed a lot of different all-inclusive resorts much better. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We are avid cruisers and have done the last few in the Haven. We enjoy the priority embarkation and debarkation, room size and most of the amenities included in the Haven. We live local so no flight involved and booking through Costco ... Read More
We are avid cruisers and have done the last few in the Haven. We enjoy the priority embarkation and debarkation, room size and most of the amenities included in the Haven. We live local so no flight involved and booking through Costco gained us a $785 Costco gift card upon return. NCL direct booking couldn't offer anything close. Entorage teen club is for 13-17 year old teens. Basically the only ones that went were the younger girls and older boys, not a good combination. Shows were average, Escape the big top hasn't changed since last year, Dueling pianos good, Comedy Excellent. Bayamo/La Cucinna Average. Cagneys below average (Steak was supermarket quality at best). Tepanyaki was above average. Bermuda is great but most of the port shuts down early, no nightlife. We rented a Pontoon boat locally and did some swimming and snorkeling on our own. I highly recommend doing so. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I wanted to give a review of the Escape, but don't have time to write out every single detail so I've narrowed it down to some pros and cons. To give you some background, I have been on RC and HA before, though it has been ... Read More
I wanted to give a review of the Escape, but don't have time to write out every single detail so I've narrowed it down to some pros and cons. To give you some background, I have been on RC and HA before, though it has been over 10 years since my last cruise. My boyfriend also cruised with Princess almost 20 years ago. Since it has been so many years, it would be unfair to compare those other cruises to this one. We had heard excellent things about NCL from people who sailed with them previously and decided to book with them, especially since we live so close to the NY port. Pros: The ship is impressive; An adult only area is available (Spice H20); Every cruise employee was friendly and eager to please; The room steward (Jerome) always had our room in great shape; A variety of food options available; It was nice having 3 days in one port (Bermuda); The self-debarkation was fast. Cons: Food was only a step above cafeteria food (I don't blame the chefs, but believe NCL purchases cheaper items to keep costs low. While I've eaten in high-end restaurants before, I also love a good Costco hotdog and Kraft mac and cheese and those items would have been better than what we ate.); Service was very slow in restaurants (wait staff was friendly and eager to please though-maybe the kitchen was far?); It is difficult to get reservations at the specialty restaurants (which often remained empty even when they said they were booked); Crowds were overwhelming (It was difficult to get around the ship at times. Elevators were impossible. The first day especially was unpleasant with so many lines and people crowding in different areas.). Overall, we had a great time together and in Bermuda, but found the cruise to be just okay. We probably wouldn't cruise NCL again unless they had some unbelievable deal available. As I mentioned earlier, other people have said great things about NCL, so maybe your experience will be different. Just wanted to give my 2 cents! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We've been on several cruises now, and my thoughts about this particular ship are the following: 1) the decor is modern and lovely, 2) the volume of people is too much, 3) the shore excursions are well executed, 4) the ... Read More
We've been on several cruises now, and my thoughts about this particular ship are the following: 1) the decor is modern and lovely, 2) the volume of people is too much, 3) the shore excursions are well executed, 4) the food in the dining rooms far surpassed the garden cafe food, 5) the ship has a ridiculously small adult pool with limited seating, 6) our 6yo loved the splash academy, 7) the staff doesn't seem particularly happy. We chose this sailing based on itinerary (Bermuda), without much preference for what ship took us there. That being said, I will move forward choosing smaller ships with less bells-and-whistles. The Escape also chose more pay-dining areas over community spaces/pool space, so there's that to consider. If you're a foodie and don't care about pool area/library area/reading nooks, this is your ship! Overall, I'd say it was okay enough, but I would likely choose a smaller ship in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
I have cruised many times with all the major lines. I had a poor experience with NCL several years ago but thought I’d try again with this large and “fun” ship. I took my two young children along. They loved it, the zip lines were ... Read More
I have cruised many times with all the major lines. I had a poor experience with NCL several years ago but thought I’d try again with this large and “fun” ship. I took my two young children along. They loved it, the zip lines were cool (when actually open...closed a lot due to wind), mini putt, water slides. Pools were too crowded and very deep, not suitable for younger children. Limited lounge chairs available, mostly I had to just put our bags on the floors. Staff were not very helpful and cheerful. The first night, they had configured the beds wrong to what we requested. He said he was too busy to fix it that night. So how were we all supposed to sleep?? I thought that was poor service. My husband and I ended up moving The beds and stuff around ourselves and calling for extra linens. Then they gave us attitude for requesting an extra blanket. The food was pretty awful I have to say. I’m not super picky, but the buffet was way better on Princess, royal Caribbean and Celebrity. The shows were all booked out so u wouldn’t get to watch unless u were lucky. It’s like they had not enough show spots for number of guests wanting to watch...everyday! Ridiculous. The elevators...it’s like stepping into a dark small box. Not glass enclosed, no windows...just dark with A wall of dingy dark glitter gift wrap paper. If you’re claustrophobic, don’t book this ship. Speaking of small...The only time I’ve had a smaller room was probably over 20 years ago on Carnival before they retired that ship (festival). The 4 person room I had was smaller than the regular two person rooms on other ships. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
My travel agent recommended this cruise because I was taking the whole family, including grandchildren. The kids had a good time because they were together and they loved the water slides, despite the long lines. For me, I would never ... Read More
My travel agent recommended this cruise because I was taking the whole family, including grandchildren. The kids had a good time because they were together and they loved the water slides, despite the long lines. For me, I would never choose this again. The ship is too big. There were 5500 people. Getting reservation at one of the specialty restaurants was not possible. The rooms were smaller than I have had on other cruises even though we had veranda rooms. There was only one pool, aside from the kids' pool, and it had a maximum occupancy of 39 . Also, it was sandwiched between a bar and a stage that constantly had something going on, causing people to congregate on the sides of the pool, making access all but impossible. As far as the food, although I heard that the food in the specialty restaurants was wonderful we never got to experience this and the food in the main dining room, which was always overcrowded, was not what I expected. 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 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

Find a Norwegian Escape Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise