2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
The staff, service and product has changed all for the worst. The staff at the pool and atrium lounges were short with the guests and were quick to tell you what was not included in your drink package. I can tell you what was included in ... Read More
The staff, service and product has changed all for the worst. The staff at the pool and atrium lounges were short with the guests and were quick to tell you what was not included in your drink package. I can tell you what was included in the drink package. It was pre-made mixed drinks in white plastic pourable containers. These bar tenders didn't shake the drink or garnish the drink at all. All they did was pour the mixies into the plastic cup and add a splash of rum. The food that was served in the complmenty dinner was less than average and the prepaid service staff was as average as was the meal. It was as if they were on a time schedule, "lets see how fast we can serve the dinner without asking for a cocktail or any small talk". If you wanted SERVICE and a GOOD meal you just had to pay for it. After three bad experiences in the complmenty dinner room we started to pay for the dinners at Le Bistro, La Cucina, Teppanyaki and Food Republic were better than average with a better that average staff. But, unfortunatley the other "pay as you dine" restaurants such as, Moderno, Cagney's Steakhouse, and Pincho where below average. Even the bowling on this ship was scaled back, unlike its counter part the EPIC. The Escape used a smaller ball, the size of a softball. The Waterfront was a two person walkway alongside a row of restaurants. The Deal or No Deal game show took place in the atrium where many other events took place. This venue was to small and had poor ventilation and the staff would bring out folding chairs to accommodate the over flow. Everywhere we turned was a cutback including, the food, the service, the seating at the venues, the drinks at the bar, the pool area, even miniature golf was not up to par (no pun intended). Our family has been on over 17 cruise and by far this one was the most disappointing. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
This is my 17th cruise and have been on the sister ship the Breakaway, but did not remember it being nearly this crowded. Everywhere! I'll start with the good. Room was just what you would expect and he lucked out and had a ... Read More
This is my 17th cruise and have been on the sister ship the Breakaway, but did not remember it being nearly this crowded. Everywhere! I'll start with the good. Room was just what you would expect and he lucked out and had a slightly larger balcony than most. Food at the specialty restaurants was very good and even the regular dinning room was above average of what cruise food has turned into. Drink package was Amazing! We had the craft beer bar just one floor below us and visited many times to take drinks back to the room. No problem with a top shelf shot, and two beers without my wife even being there. Really spoiled us for cruises to come with this. Kids program was nice and our 5 year old had a great time. Now the bad - I have never been on a ship that seemed so crowded. I'm not sure if it is the Haven that took out so much room, but it was packed. Basically 1 pool for over 4,000 people as the other pool has a slide on one side and the kids area on the other. - Buffet was just a mad house. They don't have the pizza or burger parts out by the pool so it is all stuffed in the buffet and it was enough to make you crazy during peak times. - Main and basically only pool was Adults Only so when they had any entertainment my kids (and thus myself since they were with me) were not able to attend. Great if you don't have kids and I love adults only pools, but weird for it to be the main pool. - Almost everyone had the drink package so you had to go out of your way to find a bar to get a drink within a reasonable amount of time. There were many times the pool bar was 3 people deep. Really should remove the seats from the pool bar. Chairs - Want a chair at some point during the day??? Better wake up at 6am and be prepared to be a jerk and put your stuff on it and go back to bed. Day at sea we walked out at 8:45am and couldn't find a single "Open" chair although almost all were empty. Counted one row of 24 chairs with not a single person in them. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
After reading how awesome the haven experience is on NCL we decided to book a cruise and see for ourselves. We wanted to see if it was worth the literally 5 1/2 times the price of the regular suites. We went on the Escape leaving Miami on ... Read More
After reading how awesome the haven experience is on NCL we decided to book a cruise and see for ourselves. We wanted to see if it was worth the literally 5 1/2 times the price of the regular suites. We went on the Escape leaving Miami on January 28, 2017. We booked the haven aft penthouse suite 14900. We chose this suite because it is larger than many in the haven area and has a much larger balcony. We realized that it was at the aft end of the ship and on the complete opposite end from the haven area, but this was a small price to pay for the larger room and balcony. FIRST THE GOOD: 1. The embarkation and disembarkation is awesome. No lines and we were immediately on and off the ship without any hassles. 2. The private haven concierge staff is great and takes care of any and all needs 3. The aft penthouse suite was amazing and our steward, Gerome took great care of us and made sure we had everything we needed throughout the cruise. 4. Most shows had reserved seats for haven guests so there was no waiting on lines and always good seats. 5. The haven restaurant is excellent with both indoor and outdoor seating. (The only problem will be addressed later) NOW FOR THE BAD: 1. The haven is advertised as each suite having it's own butler. The reality is that the butler has 14 rooms to take care of. When we told our butler we wanted breakfast on our balcony we were informed that he was primarily on the other end of the ship and we would have limited times to have room service. We were also informed that logistically he had a long way to go to get to our room and the food might not be warm. Other than the butler bringing us evening snacks it is basically a useless service. 2. The haven area was basically a kiddy pool. There were people with young children and they took over the haven area. For what we paid for this first class experience the haven area should be for adults only. 3. Not enough lounges on the sun deck. We could not get a chair for most of the cruise. Like in the general population, people in the haven block off chairs at 7 AM and hold them all day. This should not be allowed. The haven are needs to be expanded to accommodate all of the haven guests or limit the number of people able to purchase haven suites. 4. Even though the haven costs more than 5 times the other suites you still must pay extra to use the thermal spa. We paid almost $400 more for the week to use the thermal spa facilities. One of the big attractions in the spa are the heated stone lounge chairs along the windows in the spa. Once again there were not enough of these lounges and we could not get one except on very off hours. People put towels and books down to hold the lounges all day. This should not be allowed. 5. Finally the haven restaurant has the best food on the ship. Unfortunately the menu has not changed since the ship was put in service over a year ago. There are about 7 items on the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They never change. If you don't like everything on the menu you are forced to eat the same meal multiple time. Then menu need to have a few different items every day. Even the main dining room on the ship changes the options available. All and all I don't think the haven lives up to its hype. There are not enough facilities to accommodate all of the haven guests. This is advertised as an exclusive experience, but falls way short. They need to get more variety in the restaurant, Keep the haven from becoming a disney for kids, expand to accommodate the number of guests and keep passengers from monopolizing the facilities so everyone can have the use and enjoyment that they paid for. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
What happened NCL? Years ago we went on the Pearl - we liked it so much we went on the Epic. Getaway was next then back to the Epic again. Then came the Escape. I wanted to rate this cruise "terrible" because one aspect was ... Read More
What happened NCL? Years ago we went on the Pearl - we liked it so much we went on the Epic. Getaway was next then back to the Epic again. Then came the Escape. I wanted to rate this cruise "terrible" because one aspect was so poorly managed. The entire experience has left me terribly upset to the point that I will not cruise with NCL again - But I'll get to that a little later. We had booked a group of 8 of us in 6 cabins. 2 couples (including myself and my missus), each in a balcony and the other 4 in solo's. It was a birthday cruise for my sisters big 4.0. Outside of NCL's control was the rocking of the ship. It put half my group in their cabins the first half of the cruise with some pretty bad nausea. The weather wasn't the greatest either but what to do. Embarkation was pretty smooth. Nothing out of the ordinary. I've always felt NCL has done a pretty good job in that respect. As soon as we boarded we managed to get the Vibe passes. The Vibe Beach Club is similar to the one on the Getaway. It's quite far out of the action and good if you want peace and quiet. It was a bit wish washy from one day to the next and by that I mean one day we were the only ones and another it was actually very packed and difficult to find enough beds in a row for our group. All good though, the servers were great and the spritz bottle along with the occasional fruit kebab was cool. Its just not the same as the Posh area on the Epic which we absolutely loved. Posh was quiet but you were still in the mix and could stand over the railing and have a perfect view of the stage/deck. We didn't bother doing the Spa as the feedback on the ship was that of lackluster. The dining was good. Absolutely loved the Steak I had at Cagney's - King Cut Prime Rib. Our cabin steward was ok, nothing too noteworthy. Certainly not as friendly as my previous stewards on NCL. The entertainment was average from what I've come to expect from NCL which on its own is still quite a compliment. It was a matter of flavour from one show to the next. We really enjoyed the Brat Pack and After Midnight. The Port of Calls situation was a bit cruddy. St Thomas was okay, we were able to get to a beach and enjoy what turned out to be the best day, weather wise, of the trip. The bummer was Tortola. The entire island seemed to be shut down due to tide warnings. So no one really made it past the shops on the pier. When the torrential rains began we called it a day. Now, where it all went wrong. When we booked the cruise we all did it at the same time with our NCL cruise consultant. Again, 8 of us in 6 different cabins. My sister (one of the solo passengers) coordinated it as I was over seas at the time. We took advantage of the "Ultimate Beverage Package" promo. The cruise consultant made it clear that if one person in the group were to get it, we all had to. Done deal, one person in our group, Karen, the non drinker, asked for clarity on the rules and was met with a swift citing of the policy. No problem. Her credit card was given and off we went. Fast forward to cruise time. During our embarkation, Karen came to find out that there was an issue with her UBP. We all thought it was some sort of system discrepancy as the on board staff were unable to provide us with an explanation right away. Each member of our group spent countless hours in combination with each other and from one day to the other waiting in Guest Services line to sort this issue. We even tried the cruise consultants private number which he provided to my sister. He answered, said he'd sort it and call us back. He did not. He started ignoring all calls after that point and began communicating with the on board staff only after pressure was applied. Needless to say, they dropped the ball on customer service and I made a pledge I intend to carry forward. If they would not resolve this issue and re-instate Karen's UBP, I would not sail with them again.I was embarrassed and humiliated by the Groups sales manager who was the only senior available to handle our complaint. In front of the Guest Services Desk she spoke down to us, argued with us that it was our problem and not theirs. Her reasoning was the Karen did not pay averse of the the idea that it could have been the consultants mismanagement to begin this issue. At one point, she stormed off without an explanation. We stood there, confused, with a 'did this just happen' feeling. Eventually she return with a notepad from her desk and began launching some irrelevant phone facts and still refusing to accept responsibility. All said and done, It won't only be my business lost, I have been bringing groups of family and friends nearly every time I cruise. As upset as I was and still am, I would have better understanding if someone had called and apologized or actually bothered to do anything about our problem. In short, the UBP must be purchased by everyone in the group for all to participate in the program. Somehow she was missed and it became our problem, not theirs. Needless to say, it was a screw up and could not have been handled more poorly. My next cruise will be in November of this year and a large group of us will be going March of '18 for my mothers' 60th birthday. As the experienced cruiser in my group I've been tapped to organize it-- I am going to go back to RCCL which I left years ago for little reason other than I wanted to try something new. Buh bye NCL. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
I chose the Escape due to the special Spa Rooms. In the past my husband and I have adored spending time in the spa thermal suites on all our past cruises, so we thought what better way than to get one of their spa rooms! =D Um, no. You ... Read More
I chose the Escape due to the special Spa Rooms. In the past my husband and I have adored spending time in the spa thermal suites on all our past cruises, so we thought what better way than to get one of their spa rooms! =D Um, no. You will see why in the cabin room review. ;) Ok, now for the Dining! It was nothing exceptional, except for the first night we ate at Cagney's (the second night out.) All the other nights were either average or below average. And we had Cagney's twice and Tepenyaki once. I at at the Supper Club one night, and it was ok, nothing to write home about. Savor was ok, as was the Manhattan room. The buffet was typical. If you don't like eggs (like me) there is not much on the morning buffet to eat. =/ Entertainment and Activities. Well, the mini-golf course was fun, but we kept having to wait for the people in front, and the people behind us were rushing us (we can't go any faster ppl!) I didn't go on the ropes course due to the fact you cannot pick and choose what you want to do on the course. Rather you are put into a harness (you must wear tennis shoes, no open toed shoes allowed) and you must wear a shirt with sleeves (all I took was sleeveless!) The reason I didn't want to go was it requires you to zip-line across the width of the ship. Not something I want to do, lol. I wish it had been more free-form. =/ If you enjoy sappy type of entertainment you would like this. The Midnight show was interesting, in a Ferris Buller's day off meets Breakfast Club meets 80's musical, lol. I don't recommend under 13 as there was a lot of suggestive material. But I enjoyed it. ^_^ The other show, can't remember, was not that great. There was no story, it was like going to a jazz show with no cohesiveness. The Supper Club Cabernet was good, but again suggestive. The singer was very good. The service, everywhere except for the cabin was great. I never met our steward, and they even missed our room completely on two separate days! =O We had our make-up-room light on for over 5 hours! So don't worry about putting that up, apparently they don't pay attention to it. We did no shore excursions, although on St Thomas we went to Coco? Beach and my husband did a jet-ski rental for $60. I think next time we will try Sapphire beach. The SPA. On your way into the spa you go down what I call the 'Walk of Shame.' I'm sorry, I am not about to exercise on my vacation. And yet you had to go right down the middle of the (smallish) gym to get to the spa. Here I am in my swimsuit and cover-all going to the spa and I'm going right by everyone in the gym (it usually had 20+ ppl in there, so I did feel conspicuous.) The waiting are for the spa treatments was nice, but you had to go down stairs. Really? Yes really. You check in at the desk, wait around, then they come to take you downstairs to the very nice waiting room. I think it should all be on one deck. Who wants to go upstairs right after a massage? Really? Who thought of this?! The thermal suite was very nice. They had a lot of warm stone loungers which were perfect for drying off after your thalasso-therapy pool dip. Speaking of the pool, personally I think that Princess Regal did a much better pool (though Escape did better at putting it where you can look out on the ocean.) The Escape pool was in a direction so if the ship is rocking it is not calming at all! One night we were in there and it was moving to the point it was dipping 2ft or more! Seriously! We didn't stay long. They did have 8 massaging jet streams, 4 on each side. There is usually not that many people there (one of the main attractions) so I think that was a bit over-kill. 4 would have been plenty, and make it nicer. It was sooo, unfinished. Princess was much better. The bars in the pool was not laid out so you could lounge, but so you had to sit, and uncomfortably at that. Steam room was awesome, though on the last day the herbs were so strong I couldn't stay in long. :( Sauna was a great room, sometimes hotter than others. Would prefer a more controlled temperature. Snow room. Loved it! But wear shoes, you can stay in a tad longer when you do. ;) Salt room. I wasn't a fan of it. I had a weird aftertaste when I got out. =/ Summary: It was a nice ship, but I don't think we would go on this one again. The mini-suite left us feeling as if we wanted to be anywhere but there, the thermal suite, while lovely if you didn't want to get into the pool, left us with an 'Eh' experience. The food was edible, but other than that one great night, is nothing to write home about. The entertainment was very one-sided, should have had at least one thing more current. The ship attractions (rope-course/mini-golf course) left something to be desired. We will try NCL again (we loved the Epic,) but never the Escape. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
I did not enjoy this ship at all! The boat had a constant vibration on the whole trip. In the back of the ship in the Specialty restraints it was even worse (had to leave dinner in the middle one night it was so bad). The boat also never ... Read More
I did not enjoy this ship at all! The boat had a constant vibration on the whole trip. In the back of the ship in the Specialty restraints it was even worse (had to leave dinner in the middle one night it was so bad). The boat also never stopped swaying back and forth. Even at dock the boat felt like it would move. In the main dining room the food was average at best. We asked for a shrimp cocktail and was told they didn't have it and would get us one for the second night. On the second night we got a glass with shredded lettuce, and literally a 2 spoon full's of tiny baby shrimp with a scoop of cocktail sauce on the top of it. There were times we ordered food and drinks at the same time and our food would get there before our drinks would. Sat there many times with nothing to drink. If you ordered food from O'Sheens you could only eat it there you were not allowed to take it to your room or eat it in a different area. I can't even think of a good reason why? The pool area on the top deck is way too small and not anywhere close to enough room for the that amount of people on the ship. A lot of people complained about this and the jogging track in the area with the pool and slides. This is in many reviews of the ship though, didn't think it would be that bad but it was. Why is Jimmy Buffets MargaritaVille open open a few hours a day? Why do you walk threw the Garden Cafe to get to the pool area from the rear elevators? Other cruises I have been on had a large diversity of people from all over the world this boat was mainly all Philippines. Because the ship was vibrating so bad and moving so much I was getting motion sickness. How I don't know because I am on boats for 3 at least months a year. Anyway I called to the main desk and asked if I could see a nurse or doctor to ask what else I could take to feel better. I was told it would be 180.00 to talk to someone plus the cost of anything they would give me. So I don't feel well and they wouldn't even talk to me and give me advise on what I could to to feel better. I paid for the unlimited beverage package but didn't drink any thing on 1 day and only 3 maybe 4 drinks on 3 different days because I didn't feel well. You could order as many alcohol drinks as you wanted with one persons card. But if you wanted water or soda that was a different story. I never meet our room steward once. They did a very poor job of cleaning. There was a half full bottle of beer that sat on the counter for 3 days before we finally put it in the hall. No garbage bags in trash can, wouldn't stock enough towels (4 people), the list goes on. Finally I went and complained with 4 days left and got a different steward. Room was then cleaned and stocked well. We even got the towel animals that the kids loved to see on our last cruise from the new steward. Garbage bags in the trash and even mints on the bed. One of the other people in our group didn't have a working TV for 3 days. He called every day and they would send someone to look at it but never fixed it. Finally he went to the front desk to complain and it was fixed 20 min later. Last the TV channels in the room and the ship WiFi app. There are very limited channels. The expected ship channel, bridge, excursions, etc. Then there are about 5 news channels. One sports channel that plays what ever random sports game soccer, cricket, just what ever you can not pick. Then one channel called Favorite shows that are reruns form popular TV series. However if your sick or in your room a lot you will keep seeing the same shows over and over. They must just be on a loop. Last is the movie channel with random movies. However when one ends it maybe 20 minutes or more before the next one starts. The ship app and WiFi. The app you can buy for 9.99 so you can text and call other people on the ship didn't work a lot of the time. My phone constantly said not connected, or the other person wouldn't get the message until hours later sometimes. Needless to say I enjoyed the Vacation but didn't not like the ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Went looking for sunshine, relaxation and fun. Got very little of any. First - a warning to smokers; this ship doesn't want you. It was cloudy, windy and the seas were rough. There were 2 outdoor places to smoke - small bars - ... Read More
Went looking for sunshine, relaxation and fun. Got very little of any. First - a warning to smokers; this ship doesn't want you. It was cloudy, windy and the seas were rough. There were 2 outdoor places to smoke - small bars - and they were always crowded and you frequently had to stand since few seats were provided. Since it rained, you got wet and cold. One indoor place about 20 x 20 with NO VENTILATION! Also, you are not allowed to smoke at the bar so even if the bar was it, you had to stand a few feet away in the rain. Like to swim? too bad, a half-lap pool was it for 4,200 people. Like a jacuzzi? too bad - there are 4 for 4,200 people and some people just took up residence for hours at a time and the bartenders waited on them. Want some entertainment? Get your tickets early since all shows sell out and then you are left with nothing to do but sit in your room and watch very expensive movies, or shop, or join the dancing throngs. Excursions to beaches got cancelled because of swells - translation? some idiot was going to swim out too far and then they would drown and our insurance company forbids that. We watched the smart experienced travelers just hire a cab and go anyway. Food was hit or miss - sometimes really good - other time only so-so - even at the specialty restaurants. I got the stomach bug and to be fair they took good care of me but then we were quarantined to our tiny cabin with much smaller than a regular twin beds. Again, to be fair, room service for food and movies were free. We will nto be gong back. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Choose the ship for my grandchildren. (Ages 13-22). While the water slides and zip lines were cool, the lines were always so long, my grandsons were only able to do each once. There is only one pool which is ridiculous since there were ... Read More
Choose the ship for my grandchildren. (Ages 13-22). While the water slides and zip lines were cool, the lines were always so long, my grandsons were only able to do each once. There is only one pool which is ridiculous since there were 4200 people on board. You could go the pool at 7am and there would be no seating. If you looked at saved chairs later, they had never been used. "Free" restaurants were mediocre. La Cucina was the best restaurant. Teppanyaki was good also. Arcade will nickel and dime kids to death. Shopping on board was very poor. Excursions were out rageously expensive. Dr Free drink package does not even compare with Celebrity. Could not get single malts or other drinks without paying extra. Limited alcohol selection. Very limited wine selection. I was only offered one Cabernet the entire week. Bar by pool would only stock merlot. Our cabin was very nice;cabin steward was very good. Garden cafe buffet was always crowded. Very difficult to find seating. Embarction was strange. You had to reserve a time to get on the ship. I have never had to do this. Fortunately our daughter found it and we were able to board with them as we were a group traveling together. Disembarction was easy and timely. Fitness center always crowded. Need more machines, esp recumbent bikes. You even had to have reservations for entertainment which is ridiculous. Would never do a mega ship again. Too many people. Will bog back to our Celebrity ships. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
First let me say my room, a 2 bedroom 2 bath, was beautiful & the best part of my trip. With that being said, let me explain my disappointment with this ship. First day on we discovered we didn't have the drink package ( ... Read More
First let me say my room, a 2 bedroom 2 bath, was beautiful & the best part of my trip. With that being said, let me explain my disappointment with this ship. First day on we discovered we didn't have the drink package ( but after paying 11k for our room, I had thought that was one of the bonuses when I booked, wrong and no one cared lol) so then after realizing we'd have to pay another $600 per person to get it, we opted out! Like really NCL? Oh and the spa thermal pool , ice room & saunas needed another $200 per person to use??? What was special about having a haven room?, nothing lol Then our room was nasty, hair on counter & floors along with toothpaste , gross. And because we were staying in the haven ( Which is way over hyped because our treatment wasn't anything special) you're supposed to have a private butler & really be treated like a queen, wrong again. Matter of fact just about everyone working on that ship acted as if we were bothering them! Very poor customer service! 2 days into our cruise we started smelling sewer in our bathroom, to which we were told " we don't smell anything", come day 3 they now smelled it?!?! So they gave us a 200$ credit, wow big of you. The food was horrible, nothing special about the haven restaurant either. The haven hot tubs had unattended children, under 11, so that was a no go. Most interesting thing was seeing our private butler shopping ashore ? Good thing I didn't stay in the room that day lol, seriously NCL?!?! My internet didn't work for 2 days but it didn't really matter as it took 10 min to load for anything, so that was a waste! Every restaurant / bar closed at 10/11 except for one which was a club in the mix of the casino. The 24/7 pub restaurant was inconsistent. The one restaurant that hit everything 100% was the French restaurant. Customer service & food was A plus! The boat was really dirty, I took pictures because I just couldn't believe it. Elevators were ridiculous too. Waited over 30min to get to our room many times. 85% of the employees were phillipino / Asian and hard to understand. No shows really, as they did have a comedy club with the same acts for the week?!!! This just wasn't the experience I expected from NCL. I had always heard great thing about Norwegian but after doing research since getting back, it seems the new direction Norwegian has taken, is upsetting many! I've been treated better by carnival for a quarter of the price. I will never spend 11k on a Norwegian ship again as I could have spent 1300$ on a balcony room, had a drink package and treated as I was and saved 9k!!! ( cause that's what my 2 other kids rooms cost)... beware of this ship!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We had a horrible time with our booking agent that had much of the family information input incorrectly, which then effected our room and drink packages right off the bat. They were unwilling to work with us based on the offers they had ... Read More
We had a horrible time with our booking agent that had much of the family information input incorrectly, which then effected our room and drink packages right off the bat. They were unwilling to work with us based on the offers they had made, so we gave them the conversation date and time, but they somehow "lost" the record of that specific conversation. After 3 phone calls and roughly 5-6 hours of time, they finally got us input correctly, but we were still not given the package they originally offered. Embarkation was fine and quicker than expected. The ship itself is quite large, and has many activities for kids. The top deck is a bit chopped up though, and leaves no room for lounging poolside. There was also little to no service poolside for wait staff and a lot of waiting at the bar for drinks because of under-staffing. When we sat down to figure out the prearranged show and dining that we had scheduled online (because we were travelling with another family and wanted to make sure we were eating and seeing shows together), they had overbooked and shifted our entire schedule around. Another 1 1/2 hour time soak onboard. Rooms were decent and clean. The dining was nice, and had relatively good options, but many items were an up-charge to order, so that was aggravating. The boat had an incredible, almost shimmy to it, so it was tough to walk or to sleep. After having been on 5 or 6 cruises before, this was the most I've ever had a large boat moving so badly in not-so-rough waters. This supposedly led to them not being able to port in Nassau because there was something wrong with the propulsion system. The most disheartening aspect of this was that we told our children we were not doing much in Tortolla, but would be doing a lot in Atlantis. We were not informed about not porting in Nassau until after Tortolla leading to pretty extreme disappointment in the kids. The crew was relatively friendly, but not the greatest I've had. The shows were decent (After Midnight being the best), but tough to sit through with the boat shimmying all over. The final day which was supposed to be in Port was forced to be poolside once again where it was impossible to get a drink, and where they concocted some poolside events to pacify the people. And where we were forced to listen to the same DJ and Band playing the exact same music that had been played for days leading into it. After all was said and done, we came to find the automatic service charge deduction that was coming out of our credit card automatically at $13.50 per person, per day. We had never been informed of this, and I have no problem tipping when it's due. But when I'm picking up my room, getting my own drinks, and serving myself most meals, I would like a little discretion in whom I'm tipping what, especially since my kids were charged the same rate and rarely utilized any services. Aggravated and unimpressed. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We had a good cruise on the Getaway a few months ago and thought we would try Escape. It's close to the same layout, I did like the Guy Harvey theme better and the brew pub but that's about it. My wife was not happy with ... Read More
We had a good cruise on the Getaway a few months ago and thought we would try Escape. It's close to the same layout, I did like the Guy Harvey theme better and the brew pub but that's about it. My wife was not happy with our room choice, 10th floor at the front with quite a walk getting to/from the elevators and just the bed to sit on. I had a 30 oz Yeti and filled it up to avoid all the back and forth, but room service would work too. Our room steward was great. The food was not nearly as good, even at the specialty restaurant. Exceptions were the lobster and lobster Bisque my wife had. Steaks at O'Sheehan's reminded me of a waffle house. My neighbor thinks this is a Norwegian problem, the are skimping with a new CEO cutting costs. Decent meals are in the specialty restaurants, I guess that's the message. The restaurant staff was trying but I think poorly trained, after I asked for a table to be wiped again and the supervisor did a poor job I can see why, even the waiter saw it was a poor job and did it again. The tables in the buffet were not kept clean. We had the all-you-can-drink package. We're beer and wine folks and not too picky about brands, but several people were complaining about having to pay extra for good drinks with the drink package. Perhaps the downside of that package was the group my wife told me about at the pool, who were totaled and dropping F-bombs at high decibels. With only one adult pool they could try to keep a lid on this, but even after reporting it no crew member said anything. Pool access is not good, my wife says she misses Carnival for that. I liked floors 18-19 to hang out to read and watch the ocean. I imagine The Haven is nice if you want to pay a lot more. I caught cabs to Megan's Bay in St Thomas and Brewers Bay in Tortola, $8 ride and please tip and bring small bills. Megan's was as expected, crowded but nice place to hang out in the water. Brewers has fewer people, facilities and has a beach break, I enjoyed the change. Neither are good for snorkeling. The ship dive excursion in Nassau was ok, sites were not exactly the GBR but the Stuart Cove staff was good. Recommend for beginners. Diving note, I'm going to Roatan next week so wanted to get wet, but I waited too long to book the Rhone dive in Tortola. From what I heard it was pretty good, so book that early. Getting on and off the ship was......Bad. They don't mention that is you get on at 4 for a 7PM sailing you go directly into the safety drill with all your stuff, so don't arrive then. They somehow lost the credit card information I provided at check-in, and were rude about asking for it at dinner.....really? I guess they thought I was going to jump off after the first day. Getting off was worse, an hour and a half in line total. They don't tell you if you get off in one of the last groups you are subject to one of the immigration lines closing down and herding everybody into one. Watch out for all the people cutting in line, they don't control that either. A pet peeve, they told passengers they would have college football games on the day of departure, in my case FSU/Florida. They didn't, just soccer. Apparently they told half the people on the ship the same thing, folks from all colleges were unhappy. Just tell us the truth next time. We were overall disappointed. I tried providing all this feedback in the NCL survey I received today, however it wouldn't accept and submit my review. One way to keep the scores up, I guess. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We had been on NCL previously and were pretty happy with that experience. This, however, was the worst customer service on a cruise that I've ever had. (Have taken a total of 13 over the years.) It took us 1 hour and 20 minutes just ... Read More
We had been on NCL previously and were pretty happy with that experience. This, however, was the worst customer service on a cruise that I've ever had. (Have taken a total of 13 over the years.) It took us 1 hour and 20 minutes just to check in. I've never seen a line like that and absolutely no staff people to help direct you. You were on your own. Then when we got to the service rep, their systems went down. He was unable to connect our keycard to our credit cards. That meant we had to board, get in another line, and ask them to do the job. We decided to put our luggage in the cabin first, and of course, the keycard didn't work at all on the door. We carried all our luggage to the customer service desk and the gentleman there took care of it and asked security to meet us at our rooms. The key cards didn't work again. The security guy did some work and the door finally worked. "Hopefully, that'll work ok," he said. Hopefully???? There simply was not enough staff for the large number of people on this cruise. There were lines everywhere. We weren't able to get waited on at any of their bars. EAch time we had to get in line at the bar and try to get the bartenders' attention. We like to go sit by the pool in the afternoon, get a drink, and then go back to the room to get cleaned up for dinner. Not ONCE did a waiter approach us by the pool and ask us if we wanted a drink. Usually I went to the bar and get it myself. Or just skipped it. Since we had the drink package that might have been what they wanted. Also wanted to say that the Cruise Director, Tyler, was terrible. His only means of expressing himself was screaming into the microphone no matter what the situation. We simply won't do NCL again. It made Carnival look like a luxury cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We just sailed on the Norwegian Escape out of Miami from Nov. 26th-Dec 3rd 2016. We chose this cruise because we liked 2 out of the 3 destinations, St. Thomas and Tortola. Those did not disappoint. The 3rd stop was Nassau and it was ... Read More
We just sailed on the Norwegian Escape out of Miami from Nov. 26th-Dec 3rd 2016. We chose this cruise because we liked 2 out of the 3 destinations, St. Thomas and Tortola. Those did not disappoint. The 3rd stop was Nassau and it was average at best. We expected that. We parked at Safe Cruise parking in Miami and it was an excellent experience and a very good price. Boarding the ship was easy and fairly quick because we arrived early. Our luggage was brought to our room fairly quickly as well. The last good thing I have to say about this cruise is that the staff were very friendly. We ate at the Garden Cafe buffet the first evening and we were lucky to find a table to sit at. By the time we did find a table, our food was cold. It probably took us 15 minutes to finally find a table that a group had just left. That was the story every single time we went to that buffet during breakfast, lunch, and dinner hours. The food was average at best and you had to fight rude people in line every time you went. We tried to eat O'Sheehans the next night and we had to sit on a barstool overlooking the Atrium. No tables were available in the main dining area for this restaurant that evening. We ate in one of the main dining rooms twice, and both times, we waited over an hour for our food to be served. Norwegian fails to tell people that in their main dining rooms, not all of the food is complimentary. They charge $25 if you want the lobster, or the surf and turf. The last night of our cruise I ordered an appetizer of chicken wings and they must have just come out of the refrigerator because they were cold. There was plenty of room in the pay to eat restaurants, but the complementary restaurants were jam packed for every meal. Too many people on this ship and not enough room for seating in the complimentary restaurants. Our room attendant was very nice, but she only cleaned the toilet once during our cruise. It stunk every day except the first day, and the day she cleaned it. This cruise was just a bad overall experience while we were on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
Our family of 6 (5 adults and 1 child) chose this ship for our Thanksgiving cruise because it was a new ship and also because we have never sailed on Norwegian before. We have been on 13 cruises so are not new to the experience. Also, our ... Read More
Our family of 6 (5 adults and 1 child) chose this ship for our Thanksgiving cruise because it was a new ship and also because we have never sailed on Norwegian before. We have been on 13 cruises so are not new to the experience. Also, our cruise deal was good, included drink package, gratuities and 3 specialty dining packages. Needless to say we were excited for the new experience ... The ship was beautiful of coarse, and cabins nice but very average in size and appointments. We felt the ship to be very crowded, with public areas not sufficiently big enough to hold adequate numbers of passengers. Reservations had to be made to see ANY show or comedy club. Although our packages included 3 specialty restaurants, we were unable to get reservations at ANY specialty restaurant before 9:30 pm. Needless to say we did not utilize them. Dining room and buffet food average at best, I think the buffet was a little better than the dining room actually. O'Sheehan's was the best by far! Bus staff in the buffet were constantly over your shoulder waiting to swipe away your plate as soon a s they felt you were finished...VERY annoying! Unless you plant yourself on a bar stool somewhere it would be difficult to drink too much because getting waited on at the bar was a true testament to one's patience! In closing I must ass that this is the first bad review I poor review of a cruise before. I am really pretty easy to please but I would have to think long and hard before going on a ship this size again, and Norwegian would certainly not be one of my top three choices. Thankfully our family always has a good time wherever we go and always make the best of it no matter what! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
NCL Escape Nov19-Nov 26Th, 2016 We were a family of 15, with 6 first timers on a cruise. Everybody was excited which was short lived when one of our family member was denied entry to board the ship because of missing travel documents. ... Read More
NCL Escape Nov19-Nov 26Th, 2016 We were a family of 15, with 6 first timers on a cruise. Everybody was excited which was short lived when one of our family member was denied entry to board the ship because of missing travel documents. Other than that the embarkation process was smooth and easy. We had booked 7 balcony cabins in total with six 2 member cabins and one 3-member cabin. Once we boarded the ship we realized the 3-member balcony cabin was the same as the 2-member balcony cabin but they had charged us extra. The cabin had 2 separate beds, so we had to run down to guest services to get this sorted out. The staff at guest services was very incompetent and after much deliberation he resolved the issue by combining the beds together and making sofa bed for the third person. There was nothing extra in the cabin to justify the additional charge for a six-year-old, not even a 3rd towel which we had to request. Housekeeping crew were friendly and prompt in upkeep of the cabins. Entertainment: They had some great shows, but it was frustrating to learn that most of the shows were sold out. I had to stand in a long line to get on one of shows after much negotiation with the Box office staff, we managed to watch the Broadway show After Midnight. Both Headliners and Levity comedy clubs are excellent. Howl at the Moon was an awesome show. Bars and Lounges all very pleasant and excellent bartenders. I liked the Spice H2O and 5 o clock Somewhere bar. The Atrium had regular shows with audience participation. Our kids participated in Harry potter Game show which was very entertaining and they had a blast. We also liked complete the phrase game show. Pool area was small and congested. All the decks were occupied and crowded. Jacuzzi tubs were taken most of the time. Young adults in our group somehow managed to get in the Tub after watching people leave only to jump right back in. Not a good experience. The ropes and Zip adventure was good with friendly staff helping you with the harness. Mini Golf for little kids was enjoyable, we played several times each day. They also had the jogging track on Deck 17, I got my runs done here 4 times in the week. Burnt some calories off from all the eating I did. Shore excursions: First stop was at St Thomas and we had booked the best of St Thomas which was a very bad idea. The tour guide took us to 4 different locations and seemed more interested in getting the group to purchase souvenirs. Complete waste of money. Second stop was British Virgin island, we took the sage mountain trail hike, which was ok, we ended our excursion on Cane Garden beach which was the highlight of the day. Enjoyed the beach, drinks on shore and rum punch. Beach was very clean, turquoise water and awesome waves. Last stop was Nassau, Bahamas. We decided to go the beach and hangout there. The onshore excursion desk on the ship refused to provide any information or recommendation on which beach to go to if you do not purchase any excursion from them. We ended up taking a local taxi to cabbage beach which is one of the public beaches on paradise island and located next to Atlantis resort. Water was cold but very turquoise in color, clean and we had a blast. The coconut shell drinks sold by locals was potent with unlimited refills. We also got to taste authentic Caribbean food. Food on NCL Escape was the excellent. We had picked 3 Specialty restaurants as part of our meal package. Teppanyaki: The chef was very entertaining and he had some great tricks, songs to sing and music to play with his cooking utensils. We all enjoyed watching him. Food was a bit too salty. Bayamo: Upon arrival at the restaurant we find out that we need to pay $15 more per person on top of the meal plan payment, which surprised and annoyed us. This was never mentioned. After complaining to the manager and much negotiation they offered us complementary wine. La cunia: This was the Thanksgiving dinner which we had planned and it started with the restaurant not finding our meal plan on their system for one of our family members. The hostess was rude and simply refused to acknowledge there could be a mistake. One again we had to take this up with the manager who resolved the issue. The initial experience put us off. Manhattan room, Savor and Taste are good options for non-specialty restaurants. Best was garden café buffet, always had plenty of variety to eat and everyone loved to fill their plates to the brim. From our experience, most of these specialty restaurants are overpriced and overrated with unfriendly staff who do not know how to handle customers. Overall, I think the NCL has become very commercial Cruise line. They are willing to forgo customer satisfaction to get to your wallet. Most of the staff are incompetent to handle issues and need to be trained better to address concerns of customers in a professional manner. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
Chose this cruise because it's a new ship and they offered the free beverage package and speciality dining to lure you in which they did a good job but you can only fool me once!!. We have sailed Disney Fantasy twice and Carnival ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it's a new ship and they offered the free beverage package and speciality dining to lure you in which they did a good job but you can only fool me once!!. We have sailed Disney Fantasy twice and Carnival Breeze plus I sailed NCL a long time ago so I thought it would be good to give them another shot since it's been a long time since I sailed on NCL. Loved Disney and hated Carnival. Carnival is literally sailing with Walmart trash and horrible food so we decided to try NCL Escape since this is a new ship. Boarding and departing was quick and easy so they do that well. Stayed in a mini suite with large balcony. This is by no means a mini suite. It is the same size as any regular statement balcony. Only difference is we did have the large balcony but it's really not all that. We have 2 tween kids and this room by far is way too small to accomodate 2 adults and 2 kids. Our stateroom attendant wouldn't even put up the bunk into the ceiling each night so it was extremely diffcult to get into the closet and we all hit our heads many times on the bunk. Very lazy stateroom attendant, didn't refil coffee daily and other things that should of been taken care of. There also isn't any drawers for your clothes, only cubbies. We ate at four speciality restaurants and three times in the main dining rooms. Food was good at dinner in the main dining rooms and speciality restaurants except for the buffet on the pool deck, very subpar and it was the same day after day, meal after meal. The food is definately not as good as Disney but way better than Carnival. The pool deck is a joke. There is not enough deck around the pools and if you want a chair, good luck!! Better get there before 8 am!! There is only one family pool and one adult pool. I felt bad with parents with little kids because there is no space to get a chair and watch your kids in the family pool. Whovever thought of this deck design for the pool areas should be fired. They simply made this ship big to hold more people to pay the bills but didn't think about accomodating the guests with appropriate deck space. The bathrooms on the pool deck were also gross. Toilet and paper towels all over the floor and no one cleaned them all day, disguisting. The kid's club was horrible, My kids barely were able to use it because they didn't have enough space, really NCL, absolutely absurd they didn't think of that when they built the ship because I NEVER had this happen on other cruise lines, ever!! Once again, they make a bigger ship to get more money but can't accomocate their guests just like the pool deck with their 2 pools for 4200 passengers. Yes folks, this ship can hold up to 4266 passengers and has only TWO pools. You can only imagine how nuts it is and it is so watch your little ones so they don't get hurt if they can even fit in the only family pool. The two pools are the family pool and the adult pool so your kids have only one pool to utilize and there are barely any chairs in that area for you to sit down and be able to watch your kids. It's pretty bad. Luckily, my kids are older but if you have younger ones, you will not like it. Nassau, St. Thomas and Tortola were nice so they did a good job with the itinerary. In summary I will not sail NCL again. It didn't live up to our expectations. They lure you in with free drinks and speciality dining but in the end it was a big disappoinment. NCL used to be a higer class cruise line but it's second to last with Carnival. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Arrival day - Boarding experience very poor, very chaotic, letter about previous cases of sickness but not made clear what a huge impact this would have on our overall cruise. 1hr 40 mins to board the ship from getting out of the taxi ... Read More
Arrival day - Boarding experience very poor, very chaotic, letter about previous cases of sickness but not made clear what a huge impact this would have on our overall cruise. 1hr 40 mins to board the ship from getting out of the taxi at 12.15. Staff appeared to be very stressed and miserable. Garden Cafe (buffet) for lunch - chaotic, no seating, slow turn around due to self-service not being available staff having to serve everything from food to drinks. Food temperature tepid at best. Tables very slow to be cleared. Bar service throughout ship very slow with very little staff on each bar possibly because everyone had been drafted into the Garden Cafe Evening meal taken at O’Sheean’s again food quality and temperature very poor, service slow and unattentive. 1st Day at Sea Breakfast - Garden Cafe - same experience as arrival day Lunch - Savour - service very slow, food choice limited and was cold on arrival, not all items arrived and had to chase staff for missing items. Took over 1 hour for 2 of us to have lunch and we didn’t stay for dessert. Evening meal - Manhattan - 6 of us in total - again service very slow and food quality and temperature very poor. 2nd Day at Sea Breakfast - Savour - slower than lunch and quality of food was awful. Left without finishing our breakfast as we had arranged to meet our friends - did raise concerns to supervisor on our departure who did ensure that we had a good, hot fast lunch that day in O’Sheeans however the service and quality in the Savour dinning room that evening was back to it’s usual awful self. St Thomas Breakfast awful, service and friendliness to the standard we were getting used to too, forgot my breakfast order so I had to wait longer and when it did arrive the scrabbled egg wasn’t even cooked spoke to another supervisor who apologised but enough is enough and went to speak the the Restaurant Manager who I raised my concerns to who apologised and explained that due to the previous sickness on aboard they had procedures to follow that was impacting the service and temperature of food but assured us that things would improve and true to his word we went to Manhattan that evening where the food was hot and service good, staff were very attentive. For the first time we had bread and butter brought to the table without requesting it and the milk and sugar arrived before the coffee again a first. This is the standard of service I expect when you come on a cruise and we left feeling that maybe the rest of the cruise would go well, unfortunately that was not the case and it was very hit and miss for the remainder of our stay. There was clearly an issue with a previous cruise and people getting sick and due to that processes had to be followed but to be honest any sympathy I had went out of the window when it impacted my holiday as much as it did and as we have not travelled with NCL before we have nothing to benchmark this experience to and are concerned about the cruise we have booked beforehand for next July. I guess I could have spent each day complaining so that I got good service in the evening but I’d had enough to be honest and maybe it was just coincidence that when we paid to eat in Magarittaville the service, food quality and temperature was great. Entertainment was hit and miss, Supper Club with Frankie Valli tribute excellent, Before Midnight we left after 30 mins and the Bart Pack was cancelled. Ship is beautiful and spotlessly clean, ''Washy, wash was wearing very thin by time we go off however I'm sure this was promoted more because of the sickness. Balcony cabin is good and to the same standard that we have encountered on other cruise lines, was kept clean and Willy was great. Pool area's appear small however there was plenty of seating throughout the ship on sea days and they appear to have got the adult only balance right. We had one day at sea when the weather was awful and there was a lack of indoor quiet spaces and large party spaces to move the likes of the Glow Party to but I guess they don't plan for many days like that in the Caribbean. If you book with a choice of 2 ''freebies'' then book the drinks package and restaurants we opted for the Wifi as a 2nd choice, big mistake as it's very slow and pretty much useless. We had booked a shore excursion but cancelled due to them changing our booking time so can't comment on that. Great barman ''the cowboy'' on the 5 o'clock somewhere bar, Manhattan Dining room different experience and worth a visit when service and food is good. Overall would I go back on NCL? Still unsure.........liked the ship and want to believe the issues they had with food quality and service was down to circumstances as previously I had only had heard great reviews but time will tell Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Sorry for the delayed review, first it has been busy since returning, and secondly I wanted to give NCL Guest relations the opportunity to respond to my complaints. If you don't let people know that you had a bad experience then how ... Read More
Sorry for the delayed review, first it has been busy since returning, and secondly I wanted to give NCL Guest relations the opportunity to respond to my complaints. If you don't let people know that you had a bad experience then how do you expect them to make it right? We were on the Escape 10.22.2016 returning 10.29.2016. Embarkation was walking straight in. Then we found out that the terminal was actually supposed to be closed until 1pm. That NCL was supposed to have contacted folks the night before. Umm... no one in our party was contacted. We flew into Miami was at the port by 10:45am. Took an Uber to the port. Then we found out they "were doing deep cleaning" so everything was delayed. So we sat until like 1:30pm. My husband and I have cruised before, so I think we have the process down. We love to travel in general. We have rational and logical expectations of vacation is what you make of it and don't let others dictate the quality of our experiences. Boy was this tested on this cruise. This cruise was us, and our best friends, other couples (first time cruisers), so a total of 6 people. We are all in our 40's to 50's. We have traveled together before and have a great time together. This cruise we had to really work at trying to have a good time. There had been an outbreak of a gastro virus on the cruise prior to us. The cruise line had to do a "deep cleaning", when we checked in at the port we were told and provided a flyer after we checked in that there had a been a small percent of people affected by this virus and that the cruise line was delaying boarding as they were conducting deep cleaning of the ship. I thought that was it and everything would be fine. Were not told that this deep cleaning and the extra precautions would last the entire length of the cruise and that our experience would be drastically affected. We have always enjoyed NCL and the relaxed way to cruise but do to the other issues this cruise was extremely altered. The room we had was 11232 and was a mini-suite, and the bathroom was nice with the double vanity. We had a balcony seemed to be not as small as the Getaway, but the balcony was by no means huge, but it worked great for us. Our bed was next to the balcony and that was great. Our one friend was in 11230 with their bed near the closet, and that was a tight fit. Our ports were St.Thomas, Tortola, and Nassau. The port stops were great. The Tortola day seemed way rushed as being there early and leaving early. Made for a late night early morning the night before. On the Tortola morning the only option for breakfast that early before 7am was the buffet. Well, the staff was not prepared and did not have the buffet going to accommodate everyone coming for breakfast at the 6:15am to 6:45am time frame. The buffet had been open with just few small offerings with the full options opening at 7am. This really upset the folks that were trying to get ready for an early shore excursion. It became chaotic there quickly, and the staff didn't handle it well. Also, the staff at the buffet did not how to do the handing out plates. If you walked in the person that was supposed to hand you plates would be standing behind or off to the side. So people would walk in and do the typical which was grab a plate. The staff would scold the guest and then the guest would become upset. I thought why not stand directly in front of the plates and silverware to hand out? Not only did the oddity of these things, but the staff was moved around to accommodate the "non self-servicing buffet", so a sit down restaurant that is not a sit down restaurant?? The lines that were in the buffet was more than normal, and chaotic. then throw in an early start for Tortola and folks with early shore excursions, there were some fights going on with the buffet. This was fueled by the lack of communication, and planning by the NCL management, then staff stressed and having a bad attitude well it just started making a bad situation even worse. We had a day of rough seas Thursday with weather and high winds. The waterfront deck 8 area was closed most of the day/night. I think they shut down most things by the end of the day. There were a few folks that did not handle it well. In the past cruises there employees out to hand out green apples, direct folks to bags, and get people assistance if needed. Not here. I think they placed some bags out and around, but I was surprised that there was not much more. Passengers were helping each out, so that was nice to see. The District Brewhouse was surprisingly nice. This was fun to watch the football games during the week. The beer choices were excellent and great since we had the Ultimate Beverage Pack. The Brewhouse has a small growler you can purchase for $8 and take with you. If you have the beverage package the refills are included. At least that is what we experienced. Due to the additional precautions taken for food service the guest could not serve themselves at the buffet, and at all restaurants there were no ketchup, mustard, salt or pepper shakers out on the tables. If you wanted any sauce options or pepper and salt you had to make a request. The first days of the cruise the staff obviously did not know how to handle the condiment requests as for the first days the staff would give you a funny look and not bring anything back. We do not do the buffet on cruises, not that they are bad, just not our thing. However, due to the lack of service and things open, we had to go to the buffet. Not a big deal, but it was way more chaotic, and lacking than normal do the situation. So we just tried to work around it and do our meals at different times, and sometimes just didn't do lunch. One day at lunch I went to find an apple. No fruit was out, they had the fruit under the portion of the buffet they started to use to hand out condiments. I asked 4 crew members before someone over heard my conversation and told me that the fruit was at the "condiment bar" and then I got to the condiment bar no fruit. Really? I asked the person serving condiments do they have fruit, and to my surprise it was there underneath in the cabinet. Okay. Additionally, the NCL team did not do full breakfasts in O'Sheehan's, and the Margaritaville area. They also did not do full service 24 hour food offering, so there were gaps from like 9AM to 11AM that you could not get food anywhere just as an example! I was shocked that this was the case on a NCL cruise. My one friend that traveled with us sleeps in later and she would have no breakfast option. She did call to do room service and I guess it was closed for the free delivery at like 10am, she was told that they would charge here $7.95 for the coffee. I think most mornings she just didn't do breakfast. They did not open food republic in the afternoon. The shortening of food options and hours led to having to go to the buffet or a MDR, and then they were all short staffed. We had lunch and breakfast a few days in the MDR's and service time took 1 1/2 hours to 2 1/2 hours. Most of the food items are pre-made, the overall service was slow because the servers were way understaffed so they could staff the buffet. We were seated with reservations in the Manhattan room for dinner one evening, we were seated and forgotten about for 20 minutes. We ended up leaving. No big deal we just ended up going to Food Republic (paid for a la carte). Food Republic was great service that evening and excellent food. We had the 3 nights of specialty dining. We did Le Bistro which was good food and good service. We did the Brazilian steakhouse (was good but a lot of food), and La Cucina was excellent. The specialty dining rooms were all excellent. I would consider doing only specialty dining if we return to NCL in the future for this type of cruise. With the deep cleaning concern a lot of seating areas were being closed around the ship so staff would come out in HAZMAT looking suits with these steam cleaner and fogging like devices. We were asked to move lot or there would be things just shut down. Plus, what were these folks doing? They were doing this the entire week. The entertainment was Good. Not stellar, but again I am not sure if these shows were affected too with the deep cleaning/short staffing issue? The comedians were good. The music entertainers in bar areas I felt like we were limited in the evening compared to other cruises in the past. The ones we did experience was great. Of course the Chocolate Cowboy, Clarence was on this cruise working the 5 O'Clock somewhere bar on the waterfront. I believe he said after our cruise he would have just few more then he would be off for a while. Good for him I hope he has a great vacation he works so hard! He made that time very enjoyable for us. We had him on the Getaway in August 2015 and he agreed the waterfront bar on that ship was much larger and more choices. The Atrium Bar was excellent, and Candaze was a great bartender. Her and the team were courteous, friendly, and fast. The service was consistent every day. The other bar areas were hit or miss with the service and staff. The outdoor bars were the worst service on the ship. A few times I would ask a question about what was in a drink, or make a request and I got a couple "eye rolls" with a very terse answer, like I was interrupting them. If I had been home at a bar with that level of service I think I would have considered not tipping. That never happens for me. I always give tips and give benefit of the doubt like maybe they were just having a bad moment. Not these folks they were rude and meant it. I observed this poor service with a lot of guests there. Sad. Our friends thought that on a cruise you could "always have a drink in your hand", not here with this service. Overall this cruise was a let down for me with NCL. I recommended NCL to our friends, and they still had a good time, but it could have been much better. Now having been home everyone in our party has been "under the weather" within a few days of returning during the first week afterwards, etc... we find it coincidental, like what did we get exposed to from virus/bacteria, but also from the chemicals that were being used to "deep clean"? Room cleanliness, I laugh at "deep clean". We were delayed to almost 5pm on embarkation day to get into our rooms, for "extra cleaning". When we got our room there was confetti on the floor from previous guest, used toothpicks sitting out, and hair in the shower. The shower was cleaned later on that evening after I mentioned it to the room steward. The floor and toothpicks were taken care of Monday, so two days.We were curious as to how long it would take to get it cleaned. I asked for ice for the room, and I guess they didn't have a way to get ice to the rooms because of the virus concern is what I was told. Then we got ice a few days in the room. This didn't make any sense to us, as they had ice in the dining areas, and bar areas. We thought maybe this was the excuse the room steward had. NCL should have provided an option upfront with more explanation with the virus outbreak concern. We had trip insurance and I think I would have liked the option to postpone and exercise some other options. They knew that people had been sick on the cruise prior to us for multiple days. I think they chose to do this so they did not have to refund, or admit that there was a problem. NCL loaded up the next boat and stuck to their story that they "were doing their best". Their best was to clean up the issue at the guest expense, rather than doing the right thing and postponing the trip out to handle the problem. I don't think they handled the problem, and gave bad service. That is a sign of a company lacking integrity. Logically and rationally thinking about this there was not that much time to do a complete clean of the ship. They used the 7 days of our cruise to clean it. The next time I walk onto a ship and get handed anything mentioning that they were sick, etc... I think I will not board I don't want to have a bad time and would ask for another option. Lesson learned. We also felt that the level of poor service was just magnified and that the virus concern was a handy excuse by the NCL Guest relations to explain it away. There was some parts of the experience that made me wonder if they just have an issue with this ship and management of the ship overall regardless. I have contacted Guest Relations while on the ship and since being home. Guest Relation on the ship agreed with everything I said, admitted they had a staffing issue, and then offered me a bottle of wine. We have the Ultimate Beverage pack, so not sure what that was for. Guest Relations still did not know what the level of virus issues were, the level of it, and how long this was going to on. After coming home I contacted Guest Relations as I feel folks on this cruise should be discounted or provided a credit for a future cruise as the guests were put in a bad predicament and short changed. Overall I want to see how NCL handles the situation, give me a feeling like I want to do business with them in the future. We were given 50% of what we paid for, and put in a potentially unhealthy situation. After a few weeks of not hearing back from NCL Guest Relations I received an email that they are committed to providing a unique guest experience and that they would provide a Welcome Aboard Amenity to us for a future cruise, but I would need to call in. So basically they want me to call and book another cruise! As for providing a "unique guest experience" I guess they did. Unique in pay us for a horrible time, and possibly get you sick, lol! Nice! Way to go NCL. Would I go back to NCL? Not sure I have to really think about it. I think they have a lot of improvement needed. Plus up till now I have been wondering about the value they really offer. I would probably try another cruise line. Would I recommend NCL? Yes and no, not without giving an explanation about our experience as I could not just say yeah sure it was great, with our putting asterisk next to with a warning. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Too many required reservations, too stressful, this is vacation and reservations should not be required! As soon as we got to our cabin we tried to setup reservations for shows that should be "first come, first serve", all the ... Read More
Too many required reservations, too stressful, this is vacation and reservations should not be required! As soon as we got to our cabin we tried to setup reservations for shows that should be "first come, first serve", all the shows were full, we had to ask the Conceirge to book everything, which was only available to Lattitude members. Then when you get to the show there are "gatekeepers" supervising whether you had a reservation or not requiring your room key from all passengers not just one from the couple! They built the ship with less Show seats so even offering two shows a night they couldn't accommodate show goers! Recommendation: Same show 2 nights each for everyone's convenience, not the Ship's convenience, cut out Reservations! Many passengers complained about the stress of being on a schedule! We are on VACATION, have a "freestyle" atmosphere, don't talk about being "freestyle", be "freestyle"! A Cruise-Vacation should be relaxing and shows, restaurant's, tenders, etc. Should just be available NOT REQUIRED RESERVATIONS! Other people we have talked to, not even on our specific Cruise, will not sail on the EPIC again due to the stress of Reservations required! Lastly, why aren't there standard pools, why is everything geared for kids with water slides and kids equipment filling up the pool decks? Leisurely lying around poolside is not an option. Why are kids under 18 in every jacuzzi on the ship, even the ones marked "over 18 years of age required" are still filled with kids, shouldn't there be monitoring? We won't go on the EPIC again and we aren't the only ones! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
As we prepare to cruise thru the Caribbean with the Norwegian Escape, we had high expectations from reading all the buzz about the biggest ship in the Norwegian line. The checking in was smooth but the cabins were not ready therefore ... Read More
As we prepare to cruise thru the Caribbean with the Norwegian Escape, we had high expectations from reading all the buzz about the biggest ship in the Norwegian line. The checking in was smooth but the cabins were not ready therefore there was a good 3 hours waiting time. We had a cabin with balcony. The cabin was small (not at all as pictured on their website). It was well distributed but definitely small. The room although had fresh linens etc was not well cleaned. The carpet had not been vacuumed (or it did not feel or look like it was) and we actually found garbage pieces from the previous guests. So definitely the attention to detail was lacking. During the daily room make-up sometimes garbage was not collected or items that were needed daily were not provided so basically everyday we have to contact our room attendant for one thing or another. The safety drill was a complete JOKE. God forbid any issue that the crew had to deal with. They are NOT prepared. They would have no clue how to deal with it. Entertainment: The pool was tiny like tiny.. somebody's pool house would be bigger. The pool had an area where you can sit down and submerge your feet while hanging out in the "pool" area. The DJ' was on most of the time, and they play the same music videos every day. When there was a live entertainment on the pool area, it was fun and funny. Mr Norwegian or Mr good legs for example, but there was not enough (frequent enough) especially considering how many people were aboard. There were abundant bars in the ship. I could not have survived the trip without them (I got the drinks included package), but 87% of the bartenders were awful, they looked tired; they were NOT friendly at all, they were robotic, unhappy and barely polite.Perhaps overworked. The ship had good live music. there was a duo Rox and Fern who played daily in different venues, I think they were the best. The comedy shows were good for the most part. Although there were daily activities, they were not interesting enough nor sufficient for a sold out cruise. Basically if you were not drinking there was not a lot more to do. The night party venues were good but the entertainers do need a lot of improvement, they lacked interaction with the crowd. The Gym although with a good setting, charged for all the classes. Any activity had an extra cost. the Art auction was good. The crew was mostly from Indonesia,Philippines, India, some from Serbia, and one or two from Latin America. I think I saw one person from the crew that was American. Most of the crew were unfriendly and they seemed bothered when you approached them. One of the things that really bothered us was the billing. There were always issues with our bill; charges for things we did not buy or drinks we did not ordered (or that they were already included in our package). It spoiled our vacation because daily we had to check our bill to be in top of it, and almost every day we had to go to customer service to get it sorted out even until the last day when we were ready to disembark. the Food. The food was good. We love THE TASTE restaurant, but the other restaurants were good too The buffet had food for literally all tastes, the personnel in and around the buffet was very efficient. They had the tables clean and they were willing to accommodate your needs. Water was expensive but well, I guess that is the easiest way to make money. Internet service was expensive, which helped as a good excuse to disconnect from the world. A good thing was the emphasis made in having clean hands to prevent any diseases from spreading etc. There was a 'washy, washy" team every where and thru songs they encourage every body to use hand sanitizers. this was a big plus The excursions were a bit disorganized and not worth the money. One of the excursions we took to St Johns was carried out by a team that had NO people manners, no training or etc. Snorkeling was one of the activities and the guy in charge of them did not explain to anybody how to use the equipment nor even asked if anybody had any questions about anything whatsoever. he was annoyed when we asked him questions about the area where we were going to snorkel. The equipment was not well kept. We got a life vest with a hole and he insisted we used it like that. !!! Time in the islands was very short as well. Due to Hurricane Matthew the cruise did NOT stop in the Bahamas, therefore we had an extra day at sea. The entertainment that day was the worst of the 7 days. basically they put out things for people to buy on sale .. that was their big entertainment. really sad. Other cruises managed to stop on another island. Norwegian Escape just did nothing more than put their t-shirts on sale. Room service was not good. and the food from room service was the only food I would NOT recommend. IT tooks us 55 minutes to find our suitcases in our way out from the ship. Although the area seemed organized, it was not .. and we were directed from one place to another in our search for them. Overall NORWEGIAN ESCAPE did not meet our expectations. I would suggest to Escape from this cruise and to find another ship more suitable. One with a friendlier crew that makes you feel welcome, a cruise with a more exciting entertainment, and hopefully with a real pool! Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We booked the cruise Thursday the 22nd with a GREAT deal on cheapcruises.com. We've been on the Escape before and had a good time. There were some issues previously, and they hadn't been solved. Our 15th cruise: 2/Carnival; ... Read More
We booked the cruise Thursday the 22nd with a GREAT deal on cheapcruises.com. We've been on the Escape before and had a good time. There were some issues previously, and they hadn't been solved. Our 15th cruise: 2/Carnival; 1/Princess; 1/MSC; 3/NCL; 2/Holland America; 5 1/2 /Royal (our ship, Grandeur, caught fire and they put us off after three days--btw, they handled it great and I'd sail that ship again). Kids on the dance floor: Given, my wife and I are ballroom dancers and we go on cruises to dance. We dance as much as possible. Too many parents think their little darlings are "so cute" to be up there running around when the adults are trying to get some enjoyment out of the excellent dance floor in the Main Dining Room (Manhatten); or the Atrium. If you want your kids to dance, get them lessons. For those of you parents who wish to do this when adults are on the dance floor: do you really want your dear precious to be kicked in the head by a woman doing a spin and knocked into the Men's room? Good, then keep them off the dance floor--its a dance floor NOT A PLAY AREA. I don't dance in the Splash Academy, don't dance on my dance floor. The bands: Port Royal is very good, but were often relegated to playing short bursts in the Atrium or karaoke back up (Karaoke: Japanese for "I can't sing") The band in the Manhatten, Party and Soul, was terrible: Singer was flat and drowned out by the band, too many drum solos, didn't know songs, played jazz tunes. They were a great band for a bar, but this was the wrong venue. Port Royal should have had that slot and put P&S in the Atrium where they'd be drowned out by the people playing hockey on the 7th floor. We'd been on the Getaway and previously on the Escape. My wife went so far as to never want to come back to the Escape, but we might because the staff was so good. Kudos to Gustav, Ruth, and Michelle in the Manhatten Room, they're great. James was a great steward, staff in the Buffet were excellent and probably the best washy-washy crew on the high seas. Entertainment on the Main Deck: Wish they'd have more dance music and not Reggae, but the wife and I are ballroom dancers. Excursions: As with all excursions over-priced and based more on getting you to shop then to enjoy the experience. The wife and I book a taxi to a local beach and spend our time there. Pools: I've seen bigger kiddie pools. If you want to get cooled down, use the showers on the deck. Food: Not as good as I remembered, but the Manhatten had great steaks. We don't go to specialty restaurants, there are enough good restaurants at home, I don't need to spend extra when I've already paid for the complementary on a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
I decided to sail on the Norwegian escape because it was their newest and biggest ship, and thought it would be an exceptional cruise, based on my past experience with sailing on Norwegian's Epic ship. I was wrong! Don't get me ... Read More
I decided to sail on the Norwegian escape because it was their newest and biggest ship, and thought it would be an exceptional cruise, based on my past experience with sailing on Norwegian's Epic ship. I was wrong! Don't get me wrong the ship is pretty amazing and the staff are wonderful, however the food is not good at all. I was very disappointed in the quality and preparation of the food. I thought that maybe it was just me until I began asking other quest about their experience with the food, and the responses that I received from other quest mirrored my experience. The soft serve ice cream in the machines was very soft and not good. On more than one occasion you would find were people just left their cone and soft serve ice cream right there in the bowl on the machine because it was to soft to eat. I started to feel that Norwegian by design would make the food not so good so that you would spend money in their specialty restaurants, based on a comment by one of the staff, asking if we had tried any of the speciality restaurants. I decided to have breakfast one morning in the Savor restaurant. I only ordered pancakes and coffee. The coffee was good but they brought me three stale cold pancakes stacked on top of each other with a little powdered sugar on top with a sliced strawberry. I am not exaggerating they were stale and cold and the same pancakes that were being served up stairs in the buffet. After taking one bite, I left the food on the table and got up and walked out. After the first 3 nights of trying to find a restaurant were the food was enjoyable we just gave up and decided to just settle on the fact that we would not have good food choices to choose from on this cruise and with hesitation ate at eithr the buffet or O'Sheehans for the remainder of the cruise. On a different note the ship is beautiful, and the staff are pretty awesome. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Too many people, not enough staff, very few free dining options, tiny pool, no indoor adult lounges for dancing, no afternoon barbecue outside Smaller balcony rooms, poor cabin steward service, faulty a/ c Good entertainment , ... Read More
Too many people, not enough staff, very few free dining options, tiny pool, no indoor adult lounges for dancing, no afternoon barbecue outside Smaller balcony rooms, poor cabin steward service, faulty a/ c Good entertainment , dueling pianos, and Frankie Vallie review the best, after midnight was good, brat pack too long and a bit boring. Menu in Le Bistro has been trimmed , some of my favorites removed. My big complaint Children allowed in adult areas as not enough crew to enforce rules, many staff and passengers hit by sinus illnesses, parts of ship freezing colts, other way too humid Night of h2o party many kids drinking under age as well as young kids came in after 11 pm , bathrooms were disgusting in common areas, I was late to board ship and never recieved a life boat safety drill, I also was left at airport by transfer people who never even texted me had to take a cab to ship which ran me late, Had to visit guest services 5 times to get my bill corrected, I only bought 1 glass of wine but was charged in 2 different restaurants as well as to get a credit for transfer mishap Very disappointed Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2016
My overall vacation experience was terrible. I was not able to enjoy my vacation week at the Escape because it was extremely crowded (5,100+ souls). We travel in a group of 4 couples and NEVER were able to get not even one chair in the ... Read More
My overall vacation experience was terrible. I was not able to enjoy my vacation week at the Escape because it was extremely crowded (5,100+ souls). We travel in a group of 4 couples and NEVER were able to get not even one chair in the pool. The pool area it is extremely small for such a huge ship. We had to go hang out at the H2O area and still had a hard time fishing for chairs and shade. There are not so many umbrellas in that area. People leave their belongings holding the chairs and leave and nobody else is able to use them. We reported the issue and they told us that there was people monitoring it but there were not. In my opinion there are not enough trash cans in the big common areas, so people leave garbage everywhere, it is discounting! Since there were so many guests the ratio of crew members by guest was not enough. Crew members were constantly overwhelmed by people complaining about several issues. We had to waste time waiting on the elevators, waiting in line to go into the restaurants and the lines for the entertainments were so long that we did not get to enjoy them at all… trying to book a show or an excursion was a mission. The whole experienced was not pleasant at all, you could feel the discomfort of many people on the ship. Honestly I was frustrated most of the time. To order a drink in any bar you had to wait in line; the breakfast room was always packed and there was people eating standing. I have travel on other ships and cruise lines (Celebrity, Oceania, Royal Caribbean, and Princess) and unfortunately I can say this has been the worst experience ever. I’m really disappointed about the level of service of some crew members, that need to be train better on hospitality, they don’t seem to have any patient what so ever, they need to realize that we the guest are on vacation, but in a way I understand that they were overwhelmed therefore, the guests and the crew members were victims of an overbooked ship. We paid for an Internet package as well as the App and both systems were horrible, the Internet was extremely slow and the App not even work to make phone calls while the ship was at sea. The entertainment in the ship was good, there were a couple of fun parties but the shows are totally average. There is not a variety of shows. Nothing compare to the level of productions on other ships. We enjoy our mini suite and having a balcony, but the idea of being on a ship it is not to stay at your cabin, which we choose to do because the rest of the ship was packed. Our stateroom stewards was great as well as a couple of the bar tenders in the H2O area. I would not recommend to travel with this cruise line to anyone. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
I had a certain window of time to travel, that I would be free of chemo treatment, and that timeframe only had several cruises sailing, one of which I had already sailed to and the other to Bermuda, which we were not crazy about. The ... Read More
I had a certain window of time to travel, that I would be free of chemo treatment, and that timeframe only had several cruises sailing, one of which I had already sailed to and the other to Bermuda, which we were not crazy about. The cabin was great, however, the bartenders would continue to serve alcohol to an obviously inebriated person making for embarrassing moments. The specialty dining requires advance reservations, but when the activity itinerary is delivered whatever entertainment is available seems to conflict with those reservations. Having cruised numerous times, several of which were on NCL previously, I was completely disappointed in the lack of professional entertainment, we actually got to see one show the entire week which was a tribute band to the Four Seasons and were good, but this was an 8 day cruise of which 7 nights we looked for entertainment but could not find any shows like what I had seen on the GEM and the BREAKAWAY. As for the food, the Italian restaurant and Cagney's steakhouse were good, with the exception of their lobster, which was supposed to be steamed and showed up broiled and drowned in butter. I had to send it back as I would have been quite ill, they did replace with Chilean Sea Bass which I enjoyed. The French restaurant was disappointing and the complimentary restaurants were for the most part disgusting. I was served Weinerschnitzel that was an overcooked fried veal cutlet with no sauce, horrible, fortunately their soup and appetizers weren't too bad, as that was all I could eat in these restaurants. may have been my last big trip, as I am terminal and it should have been wonderful, but really was a disappointment. For such a new ship, too much emphasis was on the size and not the quality, but their crew was wonderful which made up for some of the shortcomings. I actually loved their smaller ships, the food and entertainment far surpassed the Escape. 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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