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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
My friends and I boarded this ship on 7/22/18 going to Bermuda, this was a vacation we were looking forward to. And as we made the best of it and has some great and funny moments there were some moments that stood out. Boarding a cruise ... Read More
My friends and I boarded this ship on 7/22/18 going to Bermuda, this was a vacation we were looking forward to. And as we made the best of it and has some great and funny moments there were some moments that stood out. Boarding a cruise ship usually means endless possibilities, meeting nice people, and having amazing food. When we boarded The Escape it felt like walking through Time Square during holiday season, waiting over 20-30 minuets for an elevator that you have to squeeze on to just to get to you room was not my idea of a way to kick off our vacation. I didn’t see the fun party vibe welcome that usually happens when you board a cruise either or was just a walk on to this busy cruise ship and no one seemed to know what to do. Upon arriving to our cabin I will say the maintenance team on this boat was very kind to us through out the entire cruise. We finally went to the buffet and the food was sub par some of it was ok but a lot of it I couldn’t stomach. One day my friend had some kind of chicken that she bit down and nearly broke her tooth on a very sharp bone left inside. On more than one occasion we encountered staff that were just down right rude. Call the costumer service desk and get an attitude and basically hung up on. I didn’t find most of the staff to be friendly and kind except for the maintenance and a few waiters that did go out of their way for us. But with the exception of 5 people I didn’t feel welcome at all. Throughout this cruise I felt like I had to fight a battle. Another big issue I had was that for over 4,800 people there was one tiny pool and when we went to try the water slides it was yet another battle. Two of the three slides the employees told the line that they would be right back and left us standing there for over 30 minuets that I then was directing other passengers as to what was going on and I think I handled the passengers better than the cruises employees. In addition I’ve never been on a cruise where there was literally nothing exciting offered in the itinerary. The fact that one of the more exciting things to do is learn how a wrist watch works and how the engine works is pretty boring to probably most people on board, and the entertainment was that of something I would see at a child’s birthday party. And the best thing I enjoyed was Howl At The Moon which was also ruined for me when my friend asked the one worker Laura if I could sing one song with them to have fun and end the cruise with some kind of bang she said yes my friend proceeds to give her a tip. Laura takes the money looks at the five dollars and says no it needs to be 20 and I’ll let her sing..... I never in my life have been asked for more money in a situation as such. How dare your employees do that and ruin the end of our experience on this ship. The audacity! I’m a preformer and I sing in night clubs if someone comes up to me and asks if they could sing a song I just say yes without saying oh 20$ to sing. That absolutely ridiculous and put a very bad taste in my mouth I will think twice next time I book a cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I did enjoy the cruise, the staff were excellent and so was our lovely room. The food and drinks were very nice and more than acceptable. I did however find the ship to be overcrowded and clearly the price of the cruise attracts an element ... Read More
I did enjoy the cruise, the staff were excellent and so was our lovely room. The food and drinks were very nice and more than acceptable. I did however find the ship to be overcrowded and clearly the price of the cruise attracts an element of client that I prefer to be away from when I travel. I also found that there was far too much mediocre dance music being played in all public areas at all times of the day and night, including: speakers very close to your head in the gym and no way of turning them down. This made my workout a test of endurance with the need to burn off calories being marginally more important than the need to run screaming from the gym to find sanctuary in a quiet spot (my room) and escaping the din 12 inches from my head. I did eventually use the bluetooth facility on the gym exercise machines but I was still unable to completely drown out the racket. Loud dance music to greet you as you came back to the ship from shore. Music played way to loud in buffet restaurant at any time including 5am when there was only two or three people in there trying to enjoy the sunrise. I did actually complain to some important looking staff that asked me if everything was OK, they were very good about it and sent a bottle of champagne to our room, however next morning in the buffet bar at 5am the unrelenting cacophony was back with a vengeance. More poor dance music continuously pumped out through the speakers of the residential hallways 24/7. Although there was some very good poolside entertainment especially the three piece Reggae band, the overall volume was way to loud and at times I was unable to hear anything my fellow travelers were saying, completely unrelaxing. Despite this continuous assault on my ear drums I did enjoy the trip but was happy to disembark in New York City for a bit of piece and quiet! I would like to ask does anyone actually enjoy this amount of dreadful dance music and is there a specific reason why there has to be so much of it and why it needs to be so loud? Surely it can be turned off at 5am for a few minutes without incurring a mutiny on the high seas..... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
How many passengers can you cram onto the NCL Escape? NCL lists the Escape's normal capacity at 4248 passengers and 1733 crew members. Then, they advertise 3rd and 4th passengers in a cabin free. Boom!!! A significant amount of the 5 ... Read More
How many passengers can you cram onto the NCL Escape? NCL lists the Escape's normal capacity at 4248 passengers and 1733 crew members. Then, they advertise 3rd and 4th passengers in a cabin free. Boom!!! A significant amount of the 5 boroughs of NYC, as well as Long Island, Jersey, and Connecticut converged on the Escape to the tune of almost 5700 passengers. They filled the restaurants, the theater, the pool area, etc. As a former NYer, I can attest that NYers are loud; it's a NY thing. You don't walk 25 feet to speak to someone; you simply shout out what you want to say. This may work at a backyard BBQ, but in the Main Dining Room on the Escape, it created a constant roar as large groups competed with each other to be heard. After the first night in the Manhattan Room, we abandoned eating in the Main Dining Room. The Savon restaurant became our salvation for dinner; thank you Mustafa, the Maitre' D in the Savon. Mustafa found us a quiet spot to eat our dinners. Dining: The food was plentiful in the Buffet area. We normally ate breakfast in the Buffet. The omelet and egg station was never too crowded. The quality of the food in the Buffet was about standard for cruise ship buffets; good for breakfast and lunch. We ate twice in Cagney's Steakhouse and service was excellent. The ribeyes seem to get smaller and tougher with each cruise we take. I think this is because of the "free" dining package they offer. La Cucina, the Italian restaurant was excellent. As I stated earlier the Savon restaurant was very good. The wait staff was very professional; the food was always hot and well prepared; well done Mustafa. The Manhattan Room, the largest dining room on the ship, was a nightmare. There were several large groups that occupied multiple large tables. For an hour and a half, we listened to the constant roar coming from these tables; it made it hard to speak at a normal level to my wife who was sitting across from me at our table for two. You should never tell a NYer that dress is casual. There were several adult men wearing "wife beater" undershirts and shorts to the Main Dining Room for dinner. I'd be remiss if I didn't say that the Buffet was also at a noise level that made private conversation difficult. Embarkation / Disembarkation: Getting on the ship was a slow but orderly process. There was just too many people trying to squeeze into the terminal. I fault NCL for this; the passengers were just taking advantage of a cheap vacation. Disembarkation was a nightmare. Too many people try to do the unassisted walk-off when they're not all capable of managing their multiple large bags. This led to over a hour delay for passengers who had their bags transported to customs. Entertainment: The shows in the theater were about average. The game shows in the Atrium could have been better, but that wasn't the ships fault. Most of the people that were selected to participate were just kind of dull. The singing groups were very good. Onboard Experience: The common areas were almost always extremely crowded. You couldn't access the pool area unless you arrived before 7:00am. Large groups camped out early and seemed to monopolize the lounge chairs and pools on each day at sea. There was a brawl between two teenage groups on the pool deck on the second evening. I don't know if that belongs here or in Entertainment. Luckily, security broke up the fight because it was apparent that the parents were nowhere to be found. Shore Excursions: We took an excellent all-day tour of the island on the second day in Bermuda; absolutely a beautiful island. The first day in Bermuda, we took the ferry to Hamilton and took the free guided downtown tour given by Ed, the Town Crier. It's a free tour, starts at 10:30am from City Hall in Hamilton. Ed knows everyone in town and provides an excellent tour to include a visit to the Parliament Building and the Cathedral. On our third day in Bermuda, we walked around the Dock area and did a little shopping, Value for the Money: As this was a celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary, I would say whatever the cost, it was a good value. We honeymooned in Bermuda in 1968 and returned for our 25th anniversary in 1993 to the same hotel (Carlton Beach / Sonesta Beach Hotel - destroyed about 15 years ago by a hurricane). Conclusion: Loved our anniversary celebration. Just wish we didn't have so many fellow passengers along for the cruise. I now know why we don't cruise when schools are out. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Just got back from a 7 day cruise on the Escape to Bermuda. This was my 4th cruise on Norwegian, 6th overall. The cruise was OK, but everything fell a little short. I will not sale on the Escape again. Embarcation: A breeze. Less ... Read More
Just got back from a 7 day cruise on the Escape to Bermuda. This was my 4th cruise on Norwegian, 6th overall. The cruise was OK, but everything fell a little short. I will not sale on the Escape again. Embarcation: A breeze. Less than an hour from walking into the terminal to on board. Went to lunch at the Garden Cafe. A little crowded but found a seat. Made dinner reservations and signed up my daughter for the Splash Academy. Romms ready about 1:30. Luggage arrived about 6:00. Meals: We ate all breackfast and lunches (except on shore) at the Garden Cafe. A lot of choice, and most of the food was good (a few misses). Indian food was very good. Bread was generally very good, but hamberger and hotdog rolls.were awful. We ate the first night at Teppanyaki. Good show, and food was better than on shore. Second night ot O'SSheehan's, had the ribs, very bad. Prime rib was tough. Fries were very good though. Third nght, Cagney's, filet mignon. Very good, but I have eaten at Cagney's on every Norwegian cruise, and the food was just good. Maybe it lost its "wow" factor. Fourth night, Moderno. Excellant. We tried everything, all excellant. Has not lost the "wow" factor. Fifth and sixth nights we ate at the Garden Cafe. Had a little bit of everything. All good. Last night ate at the Manhattan (main) dinning room. Had the Veal Oscar and the tilapia. Both excellat, and service was also excellant. Was not rushed, despite the long lines waiting, but also no long delays. A few notes about dining. COMFIRM YOUR RESERVATIONS! I made reservations pre-cruise, and printed the reeipts. When I got on board, I wanted to change the reservations, so I went to the reservation desk (in Headliners). They had no record of my reservations made online. I was able to make my new reservations,and got the printed receipts. However, when I went to the restaurants for dinner, everyone had a completely different time, despite the right times on the in-room TV. After the frist two problems, I went to the restaurant reservation desk regarding my third reservation. I was told that someone cancelled my reservation. I tried to explain that I did not cancel my reservation, but was told that there was nothing they could do because my reservation was cancelled, despite my not cancelling the reservation. After this bit of run-a-round, I requested to speak to the restaurtant manager. I was quickly given the reserevation I requested i the first place. Entertainment: We went to bth main theater shows: After Midnight and The Brat Pack. Both were good, but fell a little short. We also went to The hoir of Men. Highly recommend this. Best show we saw. The commedians were good also. Pools were crowed, but we got to go on the slides on port days. There were a lot of fun. My 8 year old daughter loved them, and I enjoyed the "blue" slide (the one with the inner tube. Pool was crowded, and lounge chairs close to the pool were hard to find. Spa: Had the thermal pass. Again, the spa fell a little short. On sea days,the spa was very crowded, and almost as hard o get a lounge chair as on deck. Splash Academy: Daughter had a great time, as usual. Did not want to leave, and even went to the "late night" once. Service: Universally excellant, from the cabin steward, all dinning rooms, and other service people. Even problem with the reservations was solved. Bermuda was great. Had a mini bus tor, went to the Crystal ca ves, and wext snorkeling. All were great. We used Norwegian excursions. I looked into private tours, and could have saved a little, but not worth (in our opinion) the convenience and assurances. Disembarkation: Aweful. No one (except us) waited for their assigned time. There were many delays. The worst was the New York cruise terminal itself. We had a car service, and you have to go across 12th Avenue ( a largge and busy street) and wait on the curb for your car. This is re Overall, the cruise was good , and I would definately cruise Norwegian again, but not on the Escape. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I have cruised 15 times prior to this cruise on 3 other lines so I have lots to compare my experience to. There are only a couple of areas that I thought were better than past cruises. PROS: * Selection of food at the Garden Café ... Read More
I have cruised 15 times prior to this cruise on 3 other lines so I have lots to compare my experience to. There are only a couple of areas that I thought were better than past cruises. PROS: * Selection of food at the Garden Café buffet. They have all types of hot, cold, international, grilled, soups, salads, sandwiches, etc. The staff there was also exceptional where they will bring you beverages or help carry your plate to your table. * Our O/V family stateroom had double sinks and a tub! (See more below in my cabin review) * Howl at the Moon piano bar was fantastic. * Bermuda, although very expensive, was absolutely gorgeous and would go back! * Heritage Wharf, where we docked, is a great little area if you want to some light shopping, eat and drink outside the ship without taking a cab. There's even a free trolley that makes stops along the way if you have difficulty walking. Also, Snorkel Park is a man made beach about a 5-7 min walk from the ship where they have chair and watersports rentals, food and drinks for $5 admission. The only bad thing is that it is VERY rocky to go in and out of the water, BRING WATER SHOES!! CONS: (This may take a while) 1) The embarkation process could have been so much faster had NCL had you set up your onboard account online. 2) Big issue with wine I put in my luggage. NCL policy on the site reads as follows "Guests may bring bottles of wine and champagne on board. When bottles are brought on board and served or consumed in any restaurant, public room area or in their stateroom, a corkage fee will be charged according to bottle sizes" When I opened my luggage I was greeted with a paper saying I violated the policy and my bottle was confiscated and will not be returned until I pay the fee or they will hold it until the end of the trip. WHAT VIOLATION??? You said I could bring it on board!!!! I spoke with management and they apologized and opened it free of charge. 3) No straws on board. In an effort to clean up the environment, NCL has stopped using plastic straws. This is a great thing but there should be a metal or paper replacement for those with medical conditions who need them and at least wooden stirrers to stir the drinks. 4) WiFi is horrific! My roommate got the Social Media package and paid $88 for a week of almost unusable service. 5) If you are not near the pool area, no one will come around to take a drink order. I was a deck over and a bit forward from the main pool for about 3 hours and not one person came by. 6) There is only 1 main pool which is about the size of my neighbor's pool. Try fitting 4,000 ppl around there. Aside from that, kids take over that pool and the hot tubs when they have their own water park and same size pool. 7) The design of the ship is absolutely horrible and it’s too just too big yet it was designed for a lot less people. a)There are only elevators at the front and back of the ship. I went with someone who uses a cane and has trouble walking a lot or using stairs. When she had to go from the middle of the ship on one deck to the middle on another deck, she would have to walk back to one of the elevator banks and walk back across. b) The buffet is set up only in the back of the ship whereas other ships have buffets spread out across the middle and back so you don't have to walk a mile for food and drinks. c) There is only 1 towel stand to get your pool towels from. d) THE JOGGING TRACK! My biggest pet peeve. How do you have a track going around a regular deck, just over the main pool, where there are lounge chairs, a restaurant, bar and even service bins being moved??!!! To avoid this I got up at 5:30AM only to find they had just hosed it down making it impossible to run without slipping because it's just a wooden deck (not a rubber track) UNREAL!!! e) The sliding doors do not open automatically, you had to tap a button on the door or wall. If you were carrying drinks or food, it was very inconvenient. f) We were lucky enough to have a cabin on the same deck as the kids clubs. They were running around top speed at all hours and even chose to start knocking the cabin doors at midnight. When we opened the door and yelled at them, they called the cabin and hung up. WHY WOULD YOU PUT KIDS ACTIVITIES ON THE SAME DECK AS CABINS???!!!! 8) They nickel and dime you for everything!! a) Subpar food in all dining rooms and service, while pleasant is EXTREMELY SLOOOOOOW! Breakfast, in less than half empty dining room, took more than 30 mins on 3 occasions; Waited 25 mins for drinks one night that came after the meal was served and on the last sea day I went to Food Republic for lunch to go as soon as they opened and ordered 3 items on the same ticket yet each one was brought to me 10 mins apart and they somehow seemed very confused. However, when we chose to pony up to go the a la carte Italian restaurant, the food was very good but the portions were on the small side. EX. My friend ordered the gnocchi app ($8) and there were 5, yes FIVE, regular sized gnocchi on the plate. I got the entree sized portion Linguini Cioppino ($15) and was rewarded with 1 clam, 1 mussel, and cut up pieces of shrimp and fish and about 4 forkfuls of pasta. b) Want to go to a show on board? You can catch a free one at 12:30PM or 6PM. Oh, what's that? You're out exploring the island, poolside or having dinner? No worries, you can pay us $20 to come at 9PM. c) Rip off shore excursions. $45 for a 4 hour trip to the popular beach about 30 mins away. No thanks, I went outside to the government regulated mini buses (Prices are posted and they cannot rip you off) and paid $7 each way and stayed the entire day. Bermuda island tour $109 PER PERSON for 5 hours through NCL...went the next day to the same stand and got a 6 hour tour for $60. BOOM! 9) The freestyle thing is not for us. We like going to the same dining room (with the exception of maybe another special meal), at the same time and having the same waiters that know your name and preferences. I like getting dressed up for dinner and going for "a night out" and I just didn't feel it on this ship. I've heard this is pretty much the way they operate all their ships so needless to say, we will not be back on NCL. Despite the mixed reviews, we gave it shot and were highly disappointed. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I've cruised mostly on RCL/Celebrity in the past. I choose NCL for this trip specifically because I was travelling solo for the first time, and the sailing date/port worked out for the larger trip I was doing this summer. I ... Read More
I've cruised mostly on RCL/Celebrity in the past. I choose NCL for this trip specifically because I was travelling solo for the first time, and the sailing date/port worked out for the larger trip I was doing this summer. I wasn't interested in the itinerary, just the ship. Escape is a relatively new ship, large at 160,000 tons and over 4000 passengers. I've sailed on similar and larger RCL ships, and the difference was noticeable. Escape is not designed as well as RCL ships for accommodating the volume of passengers on board. Every area seemed crowded on sea days. On RCL ships, even ones that aren't that new like the Voyager class, the ship has design features that handle the crowd flow much better, so that you rarely 'feel' like the ship is crowded, even on sea days. I also found the appointments and decor in the public areas somewhat bland compared to even older RCL/Celebrity ships. I'm not a fan of the 'freestyle' main dining rooms. That seems to mean that when you arrive, you have to wait in line for a free table. 45min on my first night. I did specialty restaurants for the rest of the cruise. The specialty restaurants were all very good. Teppanyaki is something I really enjoy at home, and it was fun to have it on a ship. I spent most of my time in the Spa's Thermal Suite. It was the one part of the ship that was never crowded and didn't have loud children running around. The suite is mounted right on top of the ship's bridge. You can relax on a heated or non-heated lounge chair, dip in the hot tub, or soak in the thylassotherapy pool. The views from here are great. Worth every penny of the unlimited access pass. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
My sister-in-law decided to have her wedding on the Norwegian Escape. It was my first time cruising with Norwegian and the experience was just ok. Here are the pros and cons: PROS Excellent Service by the crew. Crew members were ... Read More
My sister-in-law decided to have her wedding on the Norwegian Escape. It was my first time cruising with Norwegian and the experience was just ok. Here are the pros and cons: PROS Excellent Service by the crew. Crew members were friendly and helpful. Many went out of there way to assist or serve us. The Ultimate Beverage Package was great! This package gives you access to soft drinks and alcohol. You can order top shelf liquor and even shots. The bartenders were quick and efficient. The Specialty Restaurants are worth the extra money. We ate in Cagneys Steakhouse and the Moderno Churrascaria. The food at both restaurants were delicious. I had amazing lamb chops at Moderno. The service was outstanding in both. Members of my family ate in Teppanyaki and La Cucina and raved about the food and service. We had a balcony stateroom and the size was ok for two adults. The stateroom attendant was fantastic and our room was always cleaned twice a day with evening turn down service. The bars and lounges on the ship were great. We spent a lot of time in the District Brew House, especially in the evenings when Beau Tahana was playing piano. He was fantastic and put on a great show. Don't miss him! We purchased the Thermal Spa pass and it was totally worth it! Try to get your pass in the terminal before you board as it was about $30 cheaper than if you bought it once you were on board. CONS The ship was very crowded. There were times where we felt like we were in the middle of Times Square because the spaces on the ship can't accomodate the number of passengers. The food at the Buffet and the complimentary dining rooms was sub par. Many times the food was cold, overcooked, undercooked, or just didn't taste good. My father wanted a turkey burger at the buffet and was told he would have to wait 10 minutes so they can cook it. Why not put turkey burgers out on the buffet line? There are also no late night food options. There are snacks (pizza, burgers, sandwiches) available in the buffet until 11:30pm but after that the only place for food is O'Sheehans pub. Once the parties let out, it was impossible to try to get a table at O'Sheehans. We tried to order room service once (which is not free) but after being on hold for 15 minutes, we gave up. My biggest issue with food is that I thought Freestyle Dining meant I could eat whenever I wanted and where ever I wanted. You had to make reservations for all dining rooms and it became stressful worrying about where and when I was going to eat dinner. If you couldn't get a reservation for a dining room or restaurant at the time you wanted then you were stuck eating at the buffet or O'Sheehans. I was disappointed with the on-board entertainment. We saw The Brat Pack and liked it a lot. We heard mixed reviews about After Midnight so decided to skip it. Those are the only free shows available. They do have other shows that cost a fee and have a meal provided. Why not offer an option where you don't eat the meal? We saw Wine Lovers The Musical which was just ok. The show served a three course meal (set menu with no choices) and you were able to taste six wines as they actors sang about how to taste wine and pair it with food. The comedians were great but we only saw the late night show in the theater, not in the comedy club. I was also disappointed with the activities on board. There were times when we were bored and the only thing to do was sit at a bar and drink. They hold their game shows and trivia in the atrium which is not designed for activities like these. We went to all the theme parties (First Night Out Party, 80's parties, 90's parties, etc) which they hold in Spice H20 but it the space is not designed to accomodate the crowds. It was hard to dance since the space was so crowded. They also had 2-3 bartenders working the party which made it very difficult to get a drink. Overall I had a good time but I don't think I would cruise with Norwegian again. I shouldn't feel bored on a cruise or worry about my meals. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We love Norwegian Cruise Lines and this was our fourth cruise. The ship is just to big with too many passengers for the space aboard. Finding an place to sit or lounge is hit and miss. As with any other cruise line there is a problem with ... Read More
We love Norwegian Cruise Lines and this was our fourth cruise. The ship is just to big with too many passengers for the space aboard. Finding an place to sit or lounge is hit and miss. As with any other cruise line there is a problem with people placing stake and not being there. I did see a great attempt at the pool to mark lounge chairs that had towels on them. Wait staff was fabulous and supervision was always checking to see that you are happy. Tobacco Road only had one bartender the entire cruise. District Brew house was our favorite and Vinnie was the BEST! The Cellars is marked up about 300% but with the Beverage package that was not a big deal. We stayed in cabin 13788 a mini suite. The only difference between this and a balcony is the shower and sink. Nothing special in the bathroom like a spa suite. Book the balcony and save! I'm very pleased that there are sharp containers in the cabins. Being Diabetic this was a big help. But I ask why you cannot find sugar free ice cream anywhere including Dolce Gelato. Norwegian always has sugar free deserts but that's it. The ship really needs to provide more shade as not everyone is a sun God. The people in the connecting cabin kept us awake until 3am with constant fighting and slamming the cabin door. I can honestly say that we could not wait to get off that ship. Will we continue to sail on Norwegian, yes! in fact we only have one more sail day to reach Silver status. I blame this all on the Norwegian Gem! To date, it was the best ship we have ever been on across the cruise lines we have taken. Every show was booked and we did not see any of shows. Any tickets that were available were to late or conflicted with dinner reservations. I'm always upset when I see reviews like this posted as the crew will go out of their way for you. I can tell you that the 5 of us will not sail on the Escape again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We were looking for a family cruise to start the summer, as we do every year. We've been solid RC customers (with a little Princess and yes even Carnival once), so this wasn't our first time on a ship however this is the first ... Read More
We were looking for a family cruise to start the summer, as we do every year. We've been solid RC customers (with a little Princess and yes even Carnival once), so this wasn't our first time on a ship however this is the first time we've felt compelled to do a review. Every cruise line seems to have it's ups and downs and NCL - Escape was no different. Hoping this review helps others in navigating the cruising world. Embarking If you're used to the fluid embarking in say Miami, Ft Lauderdale or Tampa, brace yourself. Unless you're in the Haven (which have the "special lines") you are in for a switchback line up that would make Walt Disney cry. Four "port security officers" checking names on passports with tickets before you hit the metal detectors. Parking above the terminal was convenient for the almost $300 parking fee! Cabin Family oceanview on deck 5 portside, 5156. If you are going to travel with a family of four, this is your cabin. It's a standard cabin but the space that would have been part of the balcony was included in the cabin space. Once you get by the main bed, there is not enough room for a small carry on to roll between the end of the bed and the wall, there is lots of space and a curtain that nicely separates two main areas (sitting / bedroom). The bathroom has a double sink and a full tub (with a solid glass wall that easily closes). Our cabin steward was, well, average to slightly below average. We got the required towel animals and he was good to exchange our towels (cabin ones and blue pool ones) on a regular basis. Beyond that, he never introduced himself, never said more than "hi" if we saw him in the hall, never even asked if everything was in order. Also, once the pullman was down, it never went back up - so the "couch" was useless. FYI NCL, this is one of the reasons why I hate gratuities added daily. If you're good, you'll get tipped, if not, no tip. Food We've been telling friends, family and now this review, the food was a solid, 3 out of 10. The up-selling restaurants, and you have to be on your toes on which ones those are, were useless for a family. Only two of us got the meal package so the kids were "extra", which means $30 each for dinner. Even at those up-selling restaurants, the food was nothing to write home about. The buffet was just sad. Granted that Royal Princess was one of the best we've ever had and Windjammer (place any RCL ship name here) is a close second, NCL needs some serious work in this area. There are four primary food areas (your "mains") two desert areas, and the worst salad bar (it's less than 10 ft long with a handful of options) at sea. The late night snack is almost the same as lunch (fries, burgers, hot dogs, nachos, and some desert - same as from dinner!). Even the Grandeur of the Seas pulled more together in a late night snack. Entertainment Like the cabin, it was the other high light of the cruise. Thanks to Alvin and Jo Jo for all they did. Sailing from NYC over Independence Day, you have to expect an amount of celebration for the majority of US passengers. Alvin even had a Canada Day celebration (for the 87 fellow Canadians on board). It was a nice touch that really made our day. I'm sorry Alvin as I for got the name of your boss (so I could mention her name here and get her attention for you). The floor shows and entertainers were some of the best we've ever seen. If you haven't watched "The Choir of Man" you need to see where they are traveling and catch the show (although the food was standard NCL - 3 out of 10). Deck / Pool There is little to no deck space around the main pools. It's hard to call them pools as our hot tub is almost as big as them. The main pool is "adults only", which is hard for our son who likes to just sit with us but clearly doesn't pass as an "adult". The kid pool is, again small, and full. There is a slide and water park, both are well used. The slides are fun but were useless on the day at seas when the waves were a little rough (also as useless was the rope course on that day). Disembarkcation Walk your luggage off! It's easy and we were off in less than an hour with minimal line. Overall The technical hiccups we encountered at the start, kids ship cards got the unlimited drink packages and we had to straighten that out (why you'd give an 11 year old an unlimited alcoholic drink package is beyond me). Trying to fight to get restaurant reservations once on board (our online reservations were magically erased around three weeks before) in the end was unnecessary as we could have used in the smartboards around the ship to book. If only someone has explained this before! Which is another major point, every cruise line is different and we've learned the "rules" on other lines, no one took the time to explain the NCL "rules" to us. This really was a negative factor in our vacation. An unlimited drink package but you still have to pay the gratuities. Dinner packages that aren't worth it. No place to lay by the pool or even sit in it as a family. If you've already booked, and you're checking reviews to see what you've done, don't worry, you'll have a great time, but you need to plan a bit and look beyond these annoyances. For us, we'll pass on NCL next time. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
My daughter picked this cruise in order to get married on Bermuda. I’m handicapped and everyone was so polite to me. We ate in different restaurants. Obviously, the included ones and we spent the money for the very pretty ... Read More
My daughter picked this cruise in order to get married on Bermuda. I’m handicapped and everyone was so polite to me. We ate in different restaurants. Obviously, the included ones and we spent the money for the very pretty upgraded restaurants!! I am being honest about the food. I was told by veteran cruise clients just how wonderful the food was. I was disappointed with the food. It wasn’t bad , but it certainly wasn’t amazing food. I was disappointed with the food. So was my husband especially since we were told that the food was exceptional! We picked the upgraded beverage/alcoholic package since my husband prefers certain brands of alcohol. We were SHOCKED that bottled water was not included in our upgraded beverage package. Since I drink a lot of water, we were inconvenienced to go down to the 6th deck to order bottled water which was an additional price. We both enjoyed the cruise and especially enjoyed our balcony. I’m sorry that I can’t say that we would cruise again with Norwegian but we did get wonderful service from the young man who took care of our room!! His name was Jake and he was EXCEPTIONAL!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was my first cruise experience, and while it was good overall there were some things that dampened the experience. Prior to the cruise I was able to take care of many things on the web site such as excursions and seeing the ... Read More
This was my first cruise experience, and while it was good overall there were some things that dampened the experience. Prior to the cruise I was able to take care of many things on the web site such as excursions and seeing the entertainment on board. I found this very helpful. It would have been much better if they also had the schedule of events prior to getting on board. The specialty dinners that we went to required reservations, and had we known about the entertainment schedule we would have adjusted our plans to enjoy it. Unfortunately we ended up having to get reservations later in the evening and missed a lot of the entertainment. Norwegian has an app for mobile phones, which only works on the ship. It doesn't really tie into anything done on line before the trip. It would be much better if the app was fully integrated so that you can have everything in one place. Purchased excursions don't show up on the app. Also, if you want to use the app to call other apps on the ship it's $9.99. This would be great, except that they charge you per minute for talking. Since this is only over their internal WiFi, that's just gouging the customers. Also, the app wouldn't work all the time. Several times it would not connect and show information. Speaking with other passengers this was very common. The other problem is that not everything showed in the app. We were deciding what to do one evening and several items that were on the daily printout were not in the app list of events. The app is a very, very poor product and they need to either fix it or eliminate it. The embarkation process was pretty poor. Norwegian has you select a time to arrive, as early as 9:30 am, however when you get there you are handed an arbitrary group number to board with. We were some of the first people to arrive, and had to board with group 21. Might as well showed up at 1:00. Once on board it was fantastic. The buffet was hopping, plenty of food for everyone. It was very busy with everyone getting on the ship, but there was no shortage of food and it was excellent. Our stateroom was beautiful. Very clean and comfortable. The cabin steward was really great too. We would come back after swimming, shower and use the clean towels, and when we came back later he had been in and cleaned up again leaving fresh towels. The "Free Style Cruising" is fantastic! The buffet and one of the pubs serves food 24/7. The complimentary restaurants are amazing. No reservation needed, and the food, service and ambiance is outstanding. The "Manhattan Room" with the live music while you dine was really great. The specialty restaurants are excellent as well. Food, service, everything was just great. **The one major problem with this ship is the cigarette smoke. They run the casino through the middle of the ship, and through an area that's open for 3 decks but don't have sufficient exhaust. We dined one evening at the french restaurant on deck 6. The casino was above us on deck 7. While the food and service were excellent, the smoke was disgusting. There's nothing worse than choking on smoke when you're trying to enjoy a good meal. Overall I enjoyed the cruise, however I would not go on the Escape again. If Norwegian finds it important to allow smoking, they should have it in a closed room with proper exhaust. Having to inhale second hand smoke removes any desire to be on the ship, and there are plenty of other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
My friend treated myself, my two children and his children to a this cruise to celebrate the college and high school graduation of 3 of the 4 kids. We booked 3 rooms; two interior cabins and a balcony cabin. We already heard that we ... Read More
My friend treated myself, my two children and his children to a this cruise to celebrate the college and high school graduation of 3 of the 4 kids. We booked 3 rooms; two interior cabins and a balcony cabin. We already heard that we had to pre-plan trying to get show tickets, escape room, comedy shows, etc.. and I was prepared for that. the kids were not interested in shows so it was rather easy when we got on board to book tickets... Our room steward was fantastic. He anticipated our every need. We had ice every night and saw that I had a medical condition and made sure I had water as well!!! he remembered our names, which is unusual for larger ships and was extremely helpful. The pool areas were insane. If you were not there by 8:30am, you were not finding a seat. There were too many seats "saved." Staff was very good going around removing items that were sitting there for more than 30 minutes, especially if they knew the persons were not in the pool. The hot tubs were always packed and the one pool area was so loud as they had the music blasting, you couldn't talk without shouting. We had the unlimited "free" drink package that costs us over $250.00 in taxes and gratuities extra per person x5 plus an extra $100 in taxes for a soda package. This was outrageous. They should not call it free if the surcharges are going to be this high. Nonetheless with three 21 year olds we opted for this package. NCL was very generous with their pours....when you were able to get near a pool bars. It took upwards of 20 minutes to get drinks at the pools bars and passengers (not staff) were very rude. The adult Spice H20 was very nice to hang out in, but again, difficult to find seating. They had a nice area to cool off in, the grotto and 2 hot tubs for about 250 people to utilize. There was a large TV screen, but it was difficult to see in the sun. We were on the ship during the World Cup and were unable to see the games on the screen due to the poor quality. Now lets talk about the passengers at the bar that were falling over drunk....It was down right disgusting. I am one for a good time, but they had to close one of the hot tubs because one got sick in it. The there was no control on how much drinking was being done. These drunk passengers were aggressive, pushing their way to the bar to get more drinks getting boisterous with the ships staff. It made for it being very unpleasant to be in the pool areas during the day. At night it was a party scene. Spice H20 turned into a huge party with a theme every night. We went to 80's night and of course the Glow party! We brought our own glow sticks from home along with other light up trinkets!.. The kids enjoyed the parties every night. While my friend and I enjoyed the comedy club and the dueling pianos. Dining. We also opted for the dining package. We booked our reservations 4 months out and were only able to get reservations no earlier than 9pm!! There specialty dining rooms are too small for amount of people on the ship. The French Bistro restaurant and Italian restaurants had to expand to the atrium and the promenade respectively, in order to meet some of the demands of the excessive reservations. We ate the Italian, French and Steakhouse. The French restaurant was sub-par. The food was cold. I had the escargot that was not properly seasoned and rubbery. The food server served our appetizers before getting us water or out wine. She was not versed in the wine and tried to push the overly advertised Veuve Clicquot. We had three advertisements on our table plus the ones plastered throughout the restaurant.. it was an eye sour. The entire night there was something wrong with our orders (missing entree's, cold food, wrong entrees, cold coffee) I was extremely embarrassed as I bragged how good the french food was on the NCL Epic. I made a comment using the comment card regarding this experience and the next day the Director of Food and Beverage called to us personally to ensure that we would not have this experience again... and we did not!!! The Italian restaurant was good, but nothing memorable. Service was good. The panna cotta was excellent Cagney's Steakhouse was our favorite. Steaks were good quality and side dishes were excellent. I had the ribeye. It was cooked perfectly. I also had the mashed potatoes and mushrooms, which I shared with the table. They were very good too.. I skipped dessert. The boys in the group, whom are the meat eaters, really enjoyed their meals. Entertainment was so-so.. Comedy show was excellent and dueling pianos was a lot of fun. However the Brat Pack show almost ruined John Hughes movies for me. All in all we had a great time. If I go again, I would avoid the drink package and go off season, and without the kids :) ! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
My wife and I love cruising to Bermuda, its an excellent way to experience the island and gives lots of flexibility to explore and get on and off the ship on your own terms. It also substantially reduces the daily expenses as Bermuda is ... Read More
My wife and I love cruising to Bermuda, its an excellent way to experience the island and gives lots of flexibility to explore and get on and off the ship on your own terms. It also substantially reduces the daily expenses as Bermuda is rather expensive for tourists. One notable change since the last time we cruised to Bermuda is that NCL has procured their own Ferry providing free service to St. George from the Dockyard. This provided an extra cost savings which was enjoyable, but also seemed to push a greater number of cruise guests to the town, and Tabacco Bay than we previously experienced on an October trip to the island. We chose the Escape because it was a newer ship, a larger vessel than we had cruised on before. We've experienced Bermuda on the Dawn out of Boston, and cruised many other times on the smaller class of ships. After cruising on the Escape, there was a clear difference in the cruise experience as the crew to guest ratio was a bit lower which definitely impacted service. Bar service was normal, with quick and attentive bar tenders, but the sheer volume of people made for less enjoyable experiences in specialty dining and entertainment venues. Main dining rooms proved to be staffed well, and produced a good pace of service. The Maderno Brazilian Steak House had excellent and quick service, but some of the meat was slightly over cooked, which is not out of the ordinary for the style of restaurant. Bayamo produced slightly overcooked seafood, and some of the prawns that I had were quite fishy in taste but the rest of the meal was good. La Cucina was good, but the food wasn't stellar - it just met expectations though the service was less attentive later in the dining experience than in the first half. The overall meal times for some of the specialty restaurants seemed to be extensive (2-2.5 Hours in length). This wasn't bad, but certainly could have been faster. We loved the District Brewhouse for entertainment, specifically Beau Tahana, who was amusing and fun to experience. We also enjoyed the dining at Food Republic. The service and food there was fantastic, we ate there three times because each time we went, we saw other menu items we wanted to try on another visit. One of the primary differences of this ship and its size was the impact it had on our choice of entertainment. We had high expectations for Howl at the Moon in the comedy club, but once we seated ourselves prior to the show, the entire room filled with more guests, standing to exceed capacity. Our seats were in the back, so the standing patrons blocked our view of the show - we promptly left and went to the District Brew House. Additionally, the experience of having to reserve your seats for the shows was a bit ridiculous. All the show times filled up with reservations, but you can always get in because some people never show - this was something we found out about halfway through the trip and would have been nice to know that you can always go standby for the shows. On other ships, it was always first come first serve to shows, a format that we enjoyed better than this ship. We went to Choir of Man, which was excellent. Absolutely one of the best shows we've seen while cruising NCL - if you get a chance to see their show while they're in the US touring 32 states, you should. The pool deck experience for days when the ship was at sea was crazy busy. The pool size for the volume of people on the ship was definitely not sufficient, and the deck chairs were always 100% reserved. We tended to avoid the pool deck as it seemed over crowded on most of the sea days. Our balcony stateroom on the ship was better than the staterooms on some of the smaller ships, simply because the bathroom was laid out better and provided more room so as not to make it seem like a closet with a toilet and shower. Our stateroom steward was excellent, very friendly, always prompt and courteous. We've never had a bad stateroom experience on our cruises, so this was no different and upheld the high quality standard we've come to expect. The only negative that we have for the stateroom experience is generally that the mattress could have been a little softer - but overall we did get good sleep in the room. We enjoyed the cruise, and especially Bermuda, but the lower quality of service at restaurants, lower food quality, and the crowded / fully booked entertainment options knocked this rating down from Very Good to Average. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Positives Room size, features were great. Haven Staff was great and very helpful with onboard reservations. Bermuda was beautiful and weather was great. lots of activities, bingo, TV, music Negatives Our cabin steward ... Read More
Positives Room size, features were great. Haven Staff was great and very helpful with onboard reservations. Bermuda was beautiful and weather was great. lots of activities, bingo, TV, music Negatives Our cabin steward was awful, there was trash from the last guests when we arrived, old glasses on the balcony (that was never cleaned up). No tissues, no robes. It was definitely not Haven class service. Main Dining Room Staff was slow, rushed and not very friendly. Almost every show was sold out, our family members could not get into the comedy shows or other events. This is our last NCL vacation, might consider if it was just me and my husband and we stayed on the Haven floor, but never again in the general group. We ate in the main dining room almost every night as we traveled with a large group and the service was so slow and we had a different server each night even though we were at the same table. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
I’m not generally cruise company loyal. The itinerary generally drives my decision as to what cruise company I sail with. I have completed over 8 cruises on NCL and a Platinum Latitudes member. I tend to enjoy the larger ships and ... Read More
I’m not generally cruise company loyal. The itinerary generally drives my decision as to what cruise company I sail with. I have completed over 8 cruises on NCL and a Platinum Latitudes member. I tend to enjoy the larger ships and ones that are newer. This ship is less than two years old and has really kept up looking quite nice. There are many different restaurants on the ship which never seemed to be too crowded. There are three complimentary ones - Taste, Savor and Manhattan. All three share the same menu items each night. The first two are very similar in decor and are right across the aisle from each other. The Manhattan restaurant is in a different location on the ship and was my least favorite. Getting seated in the restaurant was a disaster. There seemed to be no main process for people checking in except for being told to get in one line and then moved somewhere else. One particular gentleman, I believe his name was Marc, was quite rude and seemed to be highly flustered and not effective in crowd control. I am also used to three sets of elevators on most ships. This ship had no center sets of elevators. We were constantly going from one end to the other to get to various locations. The pool area was quite congested not necessarily from the large number of passengers but from the limited space. It was generally not a problem finding a lounge chair to sit on but it’s location may be quite far from a pool or shower to cool off in. Quite a lot of space is devoted to the various water slides and quite frankly I never really saw a large number of children utilizing them. The talent on the ships main two shows were excellent but the shows were awful! I love most ship show but I was very disappointed with After Midnight and The Brat Pack. Last year’s show on the Epic were 100 more times more enjoyable than these. There was also another show on the ship which looked to be fantastic but costed each person an additional $39.00 to attend which included a three course dinner. Why not use this show as free entertainment and leave the cooking to the other ship's restaurants? Howl at the Moon was a nice show and ran every other night. Docking in Bermuda for three days was quite different from what I am used to. I like a different port each day to see more. We did arrange two excursions on our own through Viator.com - Island tour to Hamilton and a Segway tour around the dockyard. Both were quite nice and cheaper than what was offered on the ship. I would also have preferred the first two days at sea to be on the way back versus the first two days of the cruise. The ship took two at sea days to get down to Bermuda and only one at sea day to return back. Switching this might have made the cruise a little more relaxing coming back. Seems as if everybody now has free adult beverages as one of their perks on NCL. Hardly noticed anybody ever signing for a mixed drink or beer. There were many enrichment activities scheduled throughout the day on this cruise we chose not to attend very many. The service on the ship was great, except for the rudeness in the Manhattan Restaurant. All servers, bar tenders, assistants, and cabin cleaners were quite helpful and always very kind and friendly. We did not encounter a single problem. I stayed in a studio room while others in my group had balcony rooms. Both type of rooms worked out just fine. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We were on this cruise to celebrate my son's birthday. He chose Norwegian. There are many great features on this ship; plenty of activities for kids in particular. Because of the small size of the kids pool, it was extremely ... Read More
We were on this cruise to celebrate my son's birthday. He chose Norwegian. There are many great features on this ship; plenty of activities for kids in particular. Because of the small size of the kids pool, it was extremely crowded--shoulder to shoulder--and it became very dirty by the end of the day (it was drained daily). The rope course was a blast. My complaint is with the lack of gluten free options in the cafe. I was promised before the cruise that NCL had a great GF menu; however that did not pan out as promised. The food labels in the cafe did not include food allergies at all and there was absolutely no one who could offer help. If you have no food allergies, you would probably rate the cruise as excellent. Also, Cagney's was not worth the money. The service was horrible. I asked for butter three times and was never given any. My steak was dry and the sides came late well after the meat was served. The sides were cold and there was nothing on the baked potato. We had a spa mini suite and the spa was great. Very large large and included with the room. It was a nice, quite place to spend a few hours--great hot pool, saunas, etc. Very nice. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
There were so many people on this ship it was impossible to do too much. The elevator took forever most days. The room was nice. The food was good in the specialty restaurants. The buffet was standard nothing special. The seas were rough ... Read More
There were so many people on this ship it was impossible to do too much. The elevator took forever most days. The room was nice. The food was good in the specialty restaurants. The buffet was standard nothing special. The seas were rough and it rained a lot, everyone was inside it was very crowded. if you smoke and don’t mind being treated like a second class citizen then this is for you. I paid the same as most for their ticket but felt I was being discriminated against being a smoker. The smoking lounge absolutely disgusting they should be ashamed! you can stand out in the elements getting soaked, blown around or burnt, they close the bar because of the weather but it's okay for you to be out there. Bermuda was beautiful. Expensive be prepared. We rented a moped and toured the whole island it was stunning, the water was one of the best I have seen. So after that being said I would not take this ship again.I will go back to Bermuda. Wasn't horrible but not impressed. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I think all the hype we heard about cruising - especially about the Escape - may have set our expectations too high. The ship was very crowded and it took us four days to get the ‘lay of the land.’ Taste and Savor were very ... Read More
I think all the hype we heard about cruising - especially about the Escape - may have set our expectations too high. The ship was very crowded and it took us four days to get the ‘lay of the land.’ Taste and Savor were very enjoyable restaurants and the service at both was usually very good. The food at the buffet was also quite good and the many different selections were a pleasant surprise, but it was usually VERY crowded. The only really outstanding specialty dining experience we had was at Cagney’s; the service and food were both excellent. La Cucina was a disappointment. The service at Le Bistro was excellent, but the food was only average in my opinion. Overall, I feel that the ship is too big and, therefore, there are too many passengers which make for a VERY CROWDED vacation at sea. We may try another cruise to a different destination - probably on a smaller ship. The pool was too small for the number of passengers and it was almost impossible to get service at the bar. The DJ at the pool was just WAAAY too loud. I know they say if it’s too loud you’re too old, but we are definitely NOT too old. I’m a veteran rocker/former singer in a rock band and our son is a musician who gigs quite often and we are always front and center when he plays. That being said...there was a band, Kartunes, and a bunch of their local fans that were on our ship. The band played three different times at the pool and they were fantastic! And - this is the kicker - they were LOUD and sounded GREAT! Norwegian should consider hiring that band as a ‘house’ band for some sailings. The one very pleasant experience was meeting all of the lovely people onboard. Everyone we chatted with were veteran cruisers that were happy to tell us newbies about their many sailings and what they did - and did not - like about each. It gave us hope that our next cruise would be a more enjoyable experience. Final thought: some of the crew did have an ‘I already got my tip so I don’t care’ attitude. Those folks did not get anything extra from us. We handed out cash to the many that were pleasant to deal with and the (sadly) very few that went the extra mile to make our trip a memorable one. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We were excited to sail on the Escape. We have read many positive reviews of the ship. Embarkation was a breeze, since we are platinum plus and had group 1 boarding. Then the "fun" began. We were interested in getting the vibe ... Read More
We were excited to sail on the Escape. We have read many positive reviews of the ship. Embarkation was a breeze, since we are platinum plus and had group 1 boarding. Then the "fun" began. We were interested in getting the vibe tickets. There were three of us and we RAN to Headliners and received tickets #36-38, I believe. Funny, the people in front of us were boarding # 6. Now how did that happen? I do not think that I should have to run, as if going to a fire sale, when boarding a ship to be able to have an area of respite while sailing. We stood on that line for 30 minutes to actually receive the passes. One crew member was assigned this responsibility. We did get the passes, and the vibe experience was lovely. We had a forward oceanview room, and I would recommend this room. It felt spacious due to the configuration of the room and it had more storage than a regular oceanview would. The food was very good. NCL seems to have improved over the past couple of years. The best part of this cruise to Bermuda was THE CREW!!!!! We have never been on a ship where 100% of the crew went above and beyond to please their guests. The hotel director, Kivanc Ucar, was always visible, and once he met you, he remembered you and definitely made you feel quite special. The same could be said for the beverage director, Jose Contreras. We enjoyed our cruise on the Escape. Bermuda is a wonderful port to visit and the exceptional crew will be remembered. Since the Escape was so crowded in so many areas (couldn't book any shows once onboard, even though it was suggested to do so daily during the morning briefing from the cruise director, we had to book any restaurant reservations./show reservations 90 days before sailing, you could not get on an elevator that was not jam packed most of the day, people bumping into you while you were walking in the common areas due to volume, well you get the picture) we will not be on the Escape again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We are a young family and cruise a few times a year. We were excited about the Norwegian Escape because it was going to our favorite cruise destination: Bermuda. We are from Boston and could have easily sailed out of Boston but chose to ... Read More
We are a young family and cruise a few times a year. We were excited about the Norwegian Escape because it was going to our favorite cruise destination: Bermuda. We are from Boston and could have easily sailed out of Boston but chose to make the short trip to NY to try out the highly acclaimed Escape. Looking over deck plans and descriptions it seemed this ship would have something for everyone! We cruised as a large group: 10 adults and 6 kids, ages 7m-6 years. Cabin: We have 3 young children and this was our first cruise as a family of 5. Most cruise lines can only accommodate 4 people to a state room. Norwegian Escape has a Family Oceanview options which accommodates up to five people. Perfect. No complaints about the room. It’s more spacious than a balcony room and the kids have their own area which is sectioned off by a curtain from the adults bed. Bathroom was significantly larger than an average bathroom with a tub, which was also great traveling with kids. This was the first cruise we went on, however, where I had no idea who our room steward was. The room was tidy and always made up and turned down but usually the stewards learn our name and make it more of a personal experience. I missed that. Dining: The Norwegian Escape seems to have never ending dining options but very few options you don’t have to pay extra for. We ate at all the Complimentary restaurants: Taste and Savor, The Manhattan Room and, of course, the Garden Cafe. The Garden Cafe is great for a quick bite to eat but it’s like eating at a cafeteria. It’s loud and the food is subpar. But it’s fast service. Taste and Savor are sister restaurants that serve different options every night. The food is delicious and you can order as many entrees and appetizer combos that you’d like and I advise ordering a few because the portions are small. The Manhattan Room serves the same menu as Taste and Savor but is their “fancier” option when you feel like getting dolled up for the night. We didn’t eat at any of the non-complimentary options. Why should we? Almost all options on the specialty restaurant menus are available at one of the complimentary restaurants menus at some point during the week. Save your money and keep your eyes peeled at the menus. A final thought on dining and a thought that resonates much farther than just the restaurants: make reservations! This was probably the most disappointing parts of cruising on the Escape. The ship is huge yet there are waits and people everywhere! We had to wait for tables at almost every meal at every dining option...yes, even the Garden Cafe (“the cafeteria”). Unacceptable. Then, once seated, service can be extremely slow in the restaurants. We had 3 dinners where, from the time we sat down to the time we got dessert it was over 2.5 hours. And we had kids with us so we were trying to rush. Doesn’t bode well for those trying to make a show in the early evening. Spa: Every cruise I get a massage. My way of treating myself. If you’ve ever gone to the spa on a cruise you know you’re going to pay double for treatments than what you’d pay on land. You would hope paying such a hefty price tag that service would be on point and impeccable. Wrong. I had an appointment for a 75 minute massage. I arrived to the spa 10 minutes early but I was taken for the treatment 15 minutes after my appointment time. No big deal, I thought. I have my massage which was ehh OK and then get dressed. I check my watch to see I wasn’t even on the table for an hour!! I paid for 75!! I bring this to the massage therapist’s attention and she says they “reserve 15 minutes for an after-treatment complimentary skin and body consultation”. What’s that you ask? It’s when they sit you down and try to sell you extremely expensive lotions, creams and scrubs they used on you during your massage. What a scam. Never again will I get a massage on a Norwegian Cruise. Port and Excursions: Bermuda is paradise. We love it because, unlike the Caribbean Islands, it’s a “safe” destination. We can freely leave the boat and walk around without worry of people constantly trying to sell you things or rob you. We took a taxi to Horseshoe Bay. It was packed but it’s so gorgeous there the people don’t matter. We did not do any shore excursions. I compared the Norwegian shore excursions to what the companies just off the boat were offering for the same experiences and off the boat was cheaper. I guess the convenience of having Norwegian arrange all the plans could be worth it but I’d rather save a few bucks and fend for myself off the boat. On board Entertainment: I wouldn’t know. This was probably the most disappointing aspect of the whole cruise. If you’re going to build a ship to accommodate 4,000 people, you better make sure you have availability to entertain all of them. My biggest piece of advice for anyone cruising on the Escape is to book your entertainment for the week as soon as you get aboard. If you don’t it will sell out and you’ll be left to entertain yourself every night. Half of going on a cruise is for the entertainment and to have all options sell out was terrible. Kids options: We sailed with our 3 kids. The two older kids were able to go to Splash Academy daily, the on board children’s program for kids aged 3-12. My kids loved it. They had different theme nights all leading up to the most adorable show put on by the kids on the last day. Very well done and I know my kids will be talking about it for a while. The Norwegian Escape also is the only Norwegian ship to offer childcare for infants. We have a 6 month old so this was a great option for us. You have to book in 2 hour blocks which can be annoying but they take great care of the babies and always make you feel confident in their abilities. Only complaint about the Kids program is the times. All other cruise lines seem to be open during the evening for drop off so parents can go to dinner. Norwegian Escape doesn’t open their program until later in the evening which can get in the way of dinner for the adults. That’s really my only complaint about the kids program. Overall impression: The ship is definitely something to see. It’s huge and nicely decorated. The staterooms are beautiful and the food is tasty. However, understand that your ticket price is more or less paying for your bed and a few meals. They try to up charge you for everything everywhere you look. And prepare For crowds everywhere! Make reservations as quickly and as often as possible. Avoid shore excursions and trips to the spa: ripoffs. If we could do it again I think we would still choose this crusie. It worked for our family. The money charged across the boat adds up quickly so prepare your elf. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We wanted to go to Bermuda, first time on Norwegian. The Escape does not have enough amenities per the amount of passengers. The pool for adults was very small and could not even enjoy because it was so packed. The gym is super small . ... Read More
We wanted to go to Bermuda, first time on Norwegian. The Escape does not have enough amenities per the amount of passengers. The pool for adults was very small and could not even enjoy because it was so packed. The gym is super small . If you want to enjoy the sauna/steam room you have to pay a 200.00 up charge, ridiculous. We will not cruise Norwegian again. Cagneys steak house was the best, buffet was good, teppaniaki and Moderna restaurants were very good. The dining, Taste, Savor, and Manhattan room was very good but crowded and service was slow. Smoking areas were everywhere which caused us to not enjoy the back of the ship with the nice waterfall areas. The casino was fun but once again our clothes smelled just like smoke because of all of the smoking areas. I guess is you smoke then it is great but we live a healthy lifestyle and cannot stand the smell. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
The speciality restaurants are excellent. The Garden Cafe is perfect for breakfast, lunch and even for a few dinners. Taste, Savor and The Manhattan have fantastic decor and ambiance. The issue is the food at these three restaurants. ... Read More
The speciality restaurants are excellent. The Garden Cafe is perfect for breakfast, lunch and even for a few dinners. Taste, Savor and The Manhattan have fantastic decor and ambiance. The issue is the food at these three restaurants. NY Strip streak was tough. Great flavor but, tough meat. The lettuce wrap was terrible. The Bang Bang chicken and shrimp was like “pot luck”. couldn’t tell the difference between the two because they looked the same ( should have left the tails on the shrimp). Cagney’s Steak House was fantastic! La Cucina was perfection and the Japanese restaurant was fun, entertaining and good food, too. The staff are friendly and hard working. Always smiling and offering assistance. We had a good time. If the food in the general restaurants was better, it would have been a great experience. A few other points: Upgrade toilet paper. It was rough and guests deserve better. My brother “gifted” me a $500. Credit on board. No one gave me a card from him or anything and then all of a sudden there was a $500 credit on my boyfriends account. Basically there was no presentation, not cool. So anticlimactic. The Garden Cafe is the largest eating area on the ship with the smallest ladies room facilities. How does this make sense? Always huge lines and the room because of its overuse did not smell good most of the time. Why are the handicap bathroom facilities locked? It would make more sense to have these bathrooms available, too.u Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Norwegian scape overcrowed cruise. norwegian did not meet my expection that i had from them. i made reservation for restaurant i still had to wait on line. there was long line for dinner. You will hear alots of people complaining about ... Read More
Norwegian scape overcrowed cruise. norwegian did not meet my expection that i had from them. i made reservation for restaurant i still had to wait on line. there was long line for dinner. You will hear alots of people complaining about the same thing. i feel it was not organize , being in other cruises and no waiting to eat dinner. people were not friendly at all. customer sevice you will ask a question and they will not even look at you. not enough entertaiment we feld bored. there lounges are in a hallway not a private room. my room stewart was good he was the only that was friendly and nice (bagus). i being in other cruises many times and had such a great time. A lot of activities here lock of activities. there shows not good. and for the othere you have to pay extra money. will not use norwegian again did not meet my expectation . 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

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