Sail Date: December 2010
The ship was beautiful. However, I was extremely disappointed with the customer service on the Escape. If you had to call guest services you would have to put the phone on speaker to let it ring for ten minutes before they would answer the ... Read More
The ship was beautiful. However, I was extremely disappointed with the customer service on the Escape. If you had to call guest services you would have to put the phone on speaker to let it ring for ten minutes before they would answer the phone. Other than going to the bar poolside there were no one walking around providing you service. To eat at Margaritaville would be a 1-2 1/2 hour wait. We were giving ever excuse from the pager device wasn't working properly to the kitchen couldn't accomondate the crowd. The bars were under staffed and under stocked. The employees were unfriendly and overwhelmed. They ran out of certain liquor with 2 days left or so we were told. The dueling piano bar was a great show. NCL should have better trained their employees or pulled more experienced staff to accomondate their guest. The ATM's wouldn't work half the time and there were only 2 on board. The Escape was a disappointment. Being a new ship it was beautiful and clean. We went on the Epic last year and it over the top in customer service. If they're going to build larger ships than you should be able to accomondate guest Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
This was my 23rd cruise so I consider myself somewhat a seasoned cruiser. The ship is nice in its own way. If you like modern and dark. The theater is the most underused venue in the whole ship. perhaps because of its pure dark ... Read More
This was my 23rd cruise so I consider myself somewhat a seasoned cruiser. The ship is nice in its own way. If you like modern and dark. The theater is the most underused venue in the whole ship. perhaps because of its pure dark grey walls with no decoration at all. A very depressing room. instead most of the shows were done in the atrium which is bright and lively, however if it is a popular event such as a port talk there is extreamly limited seating even though they try to bring out folding seats. One huge dissapointment was the fact that Guy Harvey ( who designed the beautiful hull ) had several presentations as did the group ( sorry I forgot their name ) who had educational shows on coral reef restorations. These shows were not even mentioned in the daily planner, but shows such as hot dog eating and balloon blowing were. Shame on you Norweigian! Things we especially liked were the fact that there were plenty of loungers on deck for everyone. Also the Wave Restaurent ( lido buffet ) had plently of tables and good offerings at the buffet. One of the stupidest things I have ever seen on any cruise ship is a jogging tract that goes right through main traffic . Theirs ran between a bar and Jimmy Buffets. What were they thinking ?? I would like to give guest relations high marks, I had several fix its on my new room, and they got to it quickiy and checked back with me to make sure all was done to our satisfaction. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Just returned off the first full 7 day cruise on the Escape and sad to say not very impressed OVERALL. The mostly good stuff - Getting on board and getting off was far and away the easiest I have ever experienced. Great job in ... Read More
Just returned off the first full 7 day cruise on the Escape and sad to say not very impressed OVERALL. The mostly good stuff - Getting on board and getting off was far and away the easiest I have ever experienced. Great job in getting that right. Food was really pretty good throughout the cruise, service on the other hand was very inconsistent if a server was involved (will critique below). Savor restaurant: Food very good, food server very good, so good she replaced the drink server as he was really slow and not available the first night. Gardens: The cafeteria style place to eat was very good to excellent in the layout and the food selection. Moderna: Brazilian restaurant, Very good as all the server needed to do was get the water and order drinks. With the self serve salad bar, which was excellent, all you had to do was sit at the table and the rest of the dinner came to you. Teriyaki Japanese steak House: Very entertaining, typical food selection and good. Pricey though if not part of the dinner package deal. Cagney's Steak house, food was excellent but boy was the kitchen slow. Waiter wanted to take our food order before he asked if we would like a drink. Got the drinks first, and very quickly by the way. However waited over 20 minutes between the appetizer and the entree. Now what could be classified on the BAD side: Margaritaville was the biggest disappointment of the trip. A food and beverage place that lacked any atmosphere at all. Not a good thing if the name is Margaritaville. Not only was there no music but when open ,weather permitting and it rained two days at sea, only 11-4pm I might add, unless you were first in line there was a 1.5 to 2 hour wait and that was when half the seats in the place were EMPTY. Bar Tenders: With few exceptions they were very slow AT BEST, did not recognize you until they were ready for you. No HI, BE right with you, nothing. This was the case in most bars and was the same for others we talked to during the cruise. Entertainment Nightime: Not really much to do on the cruise. Sure they had a few "shows" (3). One was "The Brat Pack" $30 included dinner, sold out each night Did not hear any reviews pro or con from any fellow passengers (120 of us in a group) about the show. Would like to have seen the "Million Dollar Quartet" (a show about Carl Perkins, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and a fourth recording all at the same time at atlantic records) however cancelled after first night due to sickness. Due to time at sea no replacement was around till the last two night on the way back. Entertainment Daytime: While the pool stuff was pretty normal and fun, the area is small for 4200 people on board. Bingo was $69 each time and then the 'special' for the last game another $20. If they returned a good amount to the winners that may have offset the following: "RIPOFF", as they only paid $100 - $300 for each game. In all fairness last day's game pd big money $300, $400 & $800. Should as at least 200 people were playing. Do the math. Casino: That would have been at lot of typical fun, win/loss/draw if it wasn't so damn SMOKEY. Even the non-smoking area was filled with the smell of tobacco. Shopping On Board: Per the wife: Very poor. Cruise store lacked enough of the sizes that we needed, selection of goods was limited, shared space with duty free store. Other specialty shops were high end and not the greatest value. When they were selling the junk for $10 you could not through the hallway however. Final comment: All the service issues were attributed to ( by a cruise professional that had 800 travels agents on board) staffing the ship with 25% experienced service people leaving a whopping 75% rookies. Who knew.. Wait to book on this ship would be my advise right now Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2010
This was our third cruise with NCL and we have never had any problems. We are now "silver" latitude members but after this trip we may be finding a new favorite. To begin with we had a great time and do not regret that we chose ... Read More
This was our third cruise with NCL and we have never had any problems. We are now "silver" latitude members but after this trip we may be finding a new favorite. To begin with we had a great time and do not regret that we chose this ship on its first route through the Caribbean. Lets just start from the beginning...Embarkation. Why do they assign group numbers if they have no interest in following through with the order? Example we were in group 3 as were many people around us. We started noticing that there was many people walking right on with higher group numbers (example 8,9,10). The port employee never turned any of them away and just let them all through. As they turned a gave us all waiting our turn a nice big 'HA HA" smile all we could do was the right thing and wait our turn. RUDE! Next was the groups booked on this cruise. If I had known this bit of information I may have rebooked for another date. There was as many a three (just from people we talked too and there may have been more) LARGE groups of mostly some kind of travel agents doing their annual conventions on the trip. One we spoke too had 800+ people and the other two that we found out both had 300 or more. This was a huge problem if you did not belong to one of these groups. A lot of rooms were reserved for private functions. The back deck H20 (which was our favorite spot to go on the Epic every night after dinner) was almost every night closed to some kind of party for them many of the restaurants were taken every evening. That brings me to the special packages that were offered when booking. Food, drinks and excursion credit is what we were offered/talked into. Since we pay our excursions ahead of time and we don't drink much we chose the dining option. once we got on the ship and realized the amount of groups that were there we tried to book some reservation for dinners. NOTHING!! all 7 days of this trip there was not one reservation to be had in anything except one at 9:30 at night. We found out from a very rude reservation person at customer service that we should have booked before the cruise (which have NEVER had to do before) and that most of the times were held by the groups on board. we talked to a manager and asked to be switch to the drink package since we were going to get no use of the dinning at all. they sent a message to corporate and told us it could be up to week to get an answer from them. Really? oh do please tell them the we are on a 7 day cruise and I would like to find out if we could do this BEFORE we disembark in Saturday. We did get switched but did not get much use of this bonus because once again we don't drink much. The gift shop was a joke. there was maybe 3-4 racks of t-shirts (that only came in med and small because they sold out of everything) and one of my biggest pet peeves NOTHING had prices on them. you had to ask someone, (if you could find anyone) how much everything was. The shop was very small and I'm disappointed that we did not get many souvenirs because we didn't have time to wait in line and ask. The smoke from the casino was horrible. I'm very sensitive to smell and you could almost not walk through the atrium and not get a face full of stench. We start going the long way around to avoid this area at all cost. We had a good time just disappointed in some things that were unforeseen. The shows that we did get to see and were not canceled due to the groups moving in were good. I prefer the EPIC over Esacpe any day. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
I was thrilled to be on the Inaugural trans Atlantic sailing of the ESCAPE. I flew to London the day before, took the National Express Bus to Southampton, over nighted at a local hotel and took a cab to the ship. It was the UK so of course ... Read More
I was thrilled to be on the Inaugural trans Atlantic sailing of the ESCAPE. I flew to London the day before, took the National Express Bus to Southampton, over nighted at a local hotel and took a cab to the ship. It was the UK so of course it was cloudy and raining. The dock is very convenient to town. The check in was a nightmare. Lines snaked all over the place. The only Latitude check in was for Gold and Platinum. It was not a good first impression. Once on board the cabins were ready and you could move right in. Taking a walk around the ship brought to mind the Breakaway with a very similar layout. You could easily adjust to this ship. I was in cabin 13188 a minisuite. It was nicely decorated and laid out. It was a bit larger than a balcony cabin, but not much. The bathroom was the largest I have ever seen on a ship. There was a double sink and the shower was huge with lots of nozzles. Fantastic shower. I was traveling alone so the storage was not a problem, but it would have been if I had someone else sharing the cabin. Not enough storage. The AC/Heat worked very well. Lighting was good. No electrical outlets by the bed but there were three plugs by the desk. I really enjoy the open dining on NCL which is why this is my third cruise in one year. I never had to wait for a table at any restaurant. However, that was the end of the good times. I was VERY disappointed in the food. They have changed the menus and the offering were really odd and unappetizing. The portions are smaller, the courses less in number. Even in the complimentary restaurants there were items for purchase. I did not like that at all. I think they are testing out having everyone eventually pay for each meal. It was impossible to get coffee unless you ordered desert. I ate in Cagney’s and it was wonderful. The Garden Café was a terrible disappointment. There was a good variety of offerings, but at lunch and dinner rather then being hot and fresh the food was cold and congealed. Every dinner was a total disaster with temperature and freshness. Overall the food was terrible, the worst I have ever encountered. The crew and staff could not have been better. Even for a new ship they preformed very professionally and friendly. I was very impressed. The Atrium was well used for activities, but it is far too small for all the activities. People would be standing 6 or 7 deep. You could not see anything. They should have held them in the theatre. They also blocked the flow of walking traffic. Entertainment overall was excellent. They had tremendous performers. If I did not like a show it was not due to the performers it just was not my type of entertainment. The TV entertainment was horrible, unless you wanted to pay extra. My big complaint was the Internet. The price is immoral. The quality is pathetic. You use all your minutes just signing in. The last day it did not work for most of the day. When it did it was incredibly slow. To charge the outrageous cost they should provide A+ access. They do not. The ship is too large for me, but that is my preference. It was very nice, but nothing exceptionally special. It was nice being on the maiden voyage, but other than that it was not memorable. My next cruise is on RCCL which gave me a better price. Although I like the open dining, they have to give you food worth going to eat. At this time this ship does not do that. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2010
First, let me say that we were part of those 800 Travel Agents on board. While I can't speak for the more influential members of the groups (Owners, upper Management, etc.) we did not get any preferential treatment in terms of ... Read More
First, let me say that we were part of those 800 Travel Agents on board. While I can't speak for the more influential members of the groups (Owners, upper Management, etc.) we did not get any preferential treatment in terms of available reservations for shows or specialty restaurants. Any venue we used during the day would have been closed anyway. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale on Friday night and too a shuttle to the Embassy Suites in Miami near the airport. The next morning we took a cab to the port rather than the shuttle provided by the hotel because the cab was much less expensive ($28 plus tip rather than $12 per person X 5). First, yes, embarkation started late for some reason. Possibly up to an hour which did not help the temperament of approx. 4,000 waiting in the terminals. This ship is so big it need two terminals (B and C) to embark. Once on the ship, it was up to level 16 and the buffet. The food was average to above average depending on the item, but finding a table was a challenge. The ship left two hours late due to a downpour which prevented supplies from being loaded, but this is in no way NCL's fault. The service and food in the specialty restaurants were above average with La Cuchina and Bayamo, and Tapenyaki being excellent. The service and food in Manhatten was above average. We found the service Taste, Savor, and O'Sheehans to be some form of slow, unfriendly, at times incompetent, and in two cases downright rude. Our son is a developmentally disabled adult and his taste is food is very plain and simple compared to what is served in the MDRs. We had no trouble getting him an alternative (Chicken Tenders, Cheeseburger, etc. ) in the specialty dining restaurants, but it was a challenge in Taste and Savoy. Unless you are one of the Haven customers special requests are not this staff's strong point. We had the ultimate soft drink package which requires you to go to a bar and get a bartenders attention just to get a soda. During the day it was manageable, but jockeying for attention in the evening with everyone wanting to get the most of their ultimate beverage package was ridiculous. There were never enough bartenders to handle the customer load, especially near the casino. My family did like the various trivia contests held on board and won several as well as winning twice at Bingo. The family enjoyed the John Hughes' supper club show. We found the three piano players in Howl at the Moon entertaining for about 30 minutes, but after that it became repetitive. Million Dollar Quartet was cancelled for the entire cruise due to an illness in the cast. I guess NCL has never heard of understudies. I'm sure NCL will get a lot of complaints. The internet was horribly slow, inconsistent and expensive. I understand it's a ship at sea, but if your going to provide and service and charge 2 months of land rate for 75, it really should work. Disembarkation and Embarkation at the three ports (St. Thomas, Tortolla and Nassau was uneventful. While Julie is probably and excellent Cruise Director, it struck me as odd that she would be on the dock at 8:30 in the morning in a shimmering silver dress and red heels. She is outgoing, friendly remembers faces well and he staff runs some very nice events during the day on board. We went to Paradise Point and Megan's Bay on St. Thomas and enjoyed both very much. The next day on Tortolla it rained on and off, but part of the family was still able to enjoy a nice beach while others went Zip-lining in the canopy and had a great time. The last stop, Nassau was a disaster due to a constant daylong rain, so we did not get make full use of the waterpark at Atlantis. A word of caution, if you need to get back to your ship around 4-5 in the afternoon, the traffic over the bridge from Atlantis is horrible. Disembarkation for us was uneventful. Walked right off the ship at the assigned time, found our luggage and were through customs in about 30 minutes. In summary, it's a nice new ship with lots of amenities. I would not consider this a family ship in any sense of the word nor would I suggest taking children on this line. There are many other cruise lines that appear to do a better job. It's big enough where it doesn't seem too crowded most of the time. The specialty restaurants are worth every cent we paid for them. Other than Manhatten, the complementary restaurants were average to below average in food and service, in our opinion. Others may find them perfectly acceptable. As it is a new ship perhaps the service will improve with time and the menus may get adjusted. We will be trying at least two other lines in the future and depending on what we find, we may or may not be back to NCL. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Saturday, September 5th We arrived from the Miami Airport via an Uber cab ride that was free for us because we had a $20 off coupon. We were dropped at the NCL pier terminal B where our baggage was collected and promptly processed ... Read More
Saturday, September 5th We arrived from the Miami Airport via an Uber cab ride that was free for us because we had a $20 off coupon. We were dropped at the NCL pier terminal B where our baggage was collected and promptly processed through the ship's Latitude Members line. The other couple we were meeting aboard said the line was a lot longer and much more "toasty" at noon when they arrived. We were a bit later than them as earlier that day we drove in from our Sanibel Island pre-cruise vacation and had to drop off our rental car at the airport. Fashionably late seemed to work in this case. Our cabins were not ready yet so we met our friends at Sugarcane Mojito Bar where we discovered the ladies' favorite drink of the trip: Pineapple Coconut Mojitos. We had to toast the Getaway with something fruity in our hands!! It was a lovely sendoff even though it was pretty humid and cloudy leaving Miami. We went to our rooms to unpack after we finished our drinks. Both of us were feeling hungry and we knew it was going to be a late dinner, so we decided to try some of O'sheehans wings. The place was super busy but the only server in sight, Mykesh, seemed to be handling it well. He gave us excellent service. They were about average for wings, and I would definitely get the hot flavor if you like any heat at all. The wing sauce seemed to be tomato based and was unlike a traditional buffalo wing sauce. I ate them three times so I definitely liked them! Hubs enjoyed their fish and chips. As we were eating, we realized it was 5:00 and that I was supposed to meet my girlfriend at the spa for the raffle. I dashed up to the spa and caught the tail end of it, but didn't win anything for my efforts. The spa area is amazing with views of the ocean. I did get there in time to check out the debarkation special they were running which they called a "Head to Toe" for $149. It included a 75 minute full body massage, foot & scalp massage, and a facial. I had some birthday money and didn't get a massage before I came, so I justified signing up for one at 6:30 that evening. I am so glad I did! My masseuse, Summer, had a heavenly touch. She used Elemis products. It was an incredible way to unwind before the trip began and my skin was absolutely glowing. Hubs enjoyed the first of many naps while I was gone. When I got back to the cabin I was in a mad dash to get my hair and make-up done before the Illusionarium Dinner and Show @ 8:30. The Illusionarium was a must-see! It was an additional charge of $39/pp but well worth it. Hubs said it was by far the best show he saw on the ship. Upon walking into the place you want to take your time because it is interestingly decorated a la Steampunk. It was an entertaining show and an above average surf and turf meal with salad and dessert. There were several magicians and an amazing mentalist performing. We talked to some of the audience members afterwards that the mentalist picked, and they had no idea how he was able to guess the words and phrases that they appeared to have chosen on their own at random. The performers engaged the audience and it was a well run show. The only complaint amongst our group was that the seating in the rows is a bit tight from person to person and there was a good deal of elbow jostling during the dinner portion of the evening. Sunday, September 6th For breakfast we went to the Garden Cafe buffet, which is the ship’s main buffet area. Personally I enjoy the omelet station where they cook one to order for you. It was crowded and sometimes finding a seat is difficult as it is a popular destination for people on the ship. At 10:45 we went down to Cagney's to get ready for the Meet n Greet for our Cruise Critic roll call. I helped to organize the meet and greet and gave some brief comments about the forum activity. It was a very active roll call as over 120 people signed up online to attend. There was a pretty good turnout with 67 singing in on the sheet. Many of the officers and crew showed up and introduced themselves, and even Sponge Bob came and welcomed us aboard. Afterwards, another cruise critic member led us on a Cabin Crawl where we got to see the different types of cabins and what we could expect if to find if we up- or down-graded in the future. We saw about 8 different types of cabins, including the Haven, and it took a couple of hours. He also put poker hands into the mix for each cabin with a payout at the end, which added more fun to the crawl. I fell in love with the Haven spa suite on deck 14. The cabin was not actually in the Haven but you get the haven amenities when you book it in addition to full spa amenities. At 3:00 another cruise critic member organized a slot pull. If you are reading this, make sure to sign up for the roll call for your cruise on cruise critic to join in the fun and get to know people on your next cruise! For lunch we went to the Flamingo Grill for their Puerto Rican food. I had chicken, pork, rice, beans, cilantro sauce, sweet potatoes and caramel flan. Hubs had the rice pudding. This turned out to be one of my favorite and less publically frequented places to eat breakfast and lunch on the rear of the ship behind the water slides. After lunch, Hubs took a nap and I checked out the Spice H2O club with some newly made friends from the meet n greet. It is an adult’s only area with wading, seating, waterfalls and hot tubs. There is a big screen TV and of course a bar area, and it is a nice place to relax and hang out. During the day it is quiet and tranquil but at night it gets hopping with various party events. Next we had a mixer at the Grammy Experience, where we toured the grammy memorabilia on deck 8 forward. For dinner that evening we booked a couples night at Cagney's steak house for $30/pp. Hubs said it was the best steak on the ship. He also picked the best appetizer - the lump crab - whereas I picked the shrimp cocktail. Don't you just love that NCL will bring you another if you ask (and I did), so they gave me a lump crab appetizer as well! I enjoyed my lobster but it wasn't as good as the one I had the next night at Ocean Blue. Next time at Cagney's I will stick with what they do best, grilling a slab of beef over a flame. It was very good, mind you, but the Ocean Blue lobster was exquisite. The atmosphere, food, and the service made for a wonderful evening. We had originally planned to watch Burn the Floor but I was too tired and we chose to take our dessert to our extra large balcony. I used my UBP this night and hadn't been taking naps so it was all catching up to me. We chose the UBP as our free perk as opposed to the UDP because the Illusionarium and Ocean Blue are not included in the UDP and the only other two places we planned on eating at during the cruise with cover charges were Cagney's and Teppenyaki. Monday, September 7th This morning we had breakfast at the Flamingo Grill and tried their Key Lime SIN-ammon rolls! These cinnamon rolls alone are why I gained 5 pounds on the trip. They are so delicious. I also had a bagel w/smoked salmon, cream cheese and capers. While attempting to walk off the cinnamon rolls afterwards, we ran across the Carlos Bakery where we had to try some cupcakes. So much for the “healthy exercise” – you can’t walk 100 feet on the ship without running into a distribution center for sugar, trans-fats, or liquor! Hubs got the carrot cake and I saved my peanut butter chocolate for later because I was still full. By now we had a refrigerator full of desserts in our cabin mini fridge. We played a little in the Casino until it was time for me to meet up with my girlfriend for "Wine Lovers the Musical - Wine Tasting Luncheon", which was another hit show. I was surprised how many men were there as it was a musical, but then again it was also a wine tasting. It was held in the Illusionarium so there was much to see. There was an additional charge of $25 for the show, but it was very worth it. The host/narrator was excellent and we ended up seeing the actors in other shows later such as Legally Blonde. They really work these people! The lunch was peking duck salad, sirloin steak with breaded shrimp, lovely potatoes and mochaccino cheesecake. It lasted about two hours and we tasted five different glasses of wine, one of which was a special NCL blend. There was education and entertainment rolled into the mix. The guys were back in the casino gambling away their 401k funds - somehow we did end up cash flow positive for the gambling portion of the trip. Us girls did a little shopping and then met them at Sugarcane on the outside deck where we were served by our favorite bartender, "Clarence the Chocolate Cowboy" as he calls himself. We tasted more mojitos and the Cucumber Jalapeno comes in at #2 for my tastes. Dinner reservations that night were at Ocean Blue for $40/pp at 7:00, and for all involved it was the favorite meal of the cruise. We were seated by the window to view the ocean. The white tablecloth and formal upscale atmosphere were perfect for celebrating our friends' anniversary. The service was excellent, with wine suggestions and a good attention to detail. I started with clams in broth for an appetizer and us girls had the lobster. It was the best I've ever had. It was split and cooked to absolute perfection just ready to dip in the velvety clarified butter. For dessert I had the lemon meringue tart. Hubs had the lobster risotto and a huge slice of apple strudel that was the size of a brick. In addition, the NCL waiters served us champagne and chocolate cake to celebrate their anniversary. We of course ended up with more dessert added to our mini-fridge of dieting doom. Tuesday, September 8th This day we were at port in St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands). The four of us met in the auditorium and took the NCL sponsored B.O.S.S. excursion, which stands for Breathing Observation Submersible Scooter. It was a unique experience for those who aren't certified divers to get the chance to go underwater and see fish and corals. It starts with a 45 minute scenic boat trip to the spot where we went snorkeling while waiting for our turns on the motorized water scooters. There were reefs and a shipwreck to see. An underwater camera is a must for this excursion, and the crew will even take your camera and photograph you and your group with it underwater. I got some kind of bites in the water while snorkeling that we are still are unsure about. I was a good distance from the main group and may have encountered some baby jellyfish or fire coral. When we got back we attempted to get something to eat shipside at Senor Frogs, but they had extremely slow service so we decided to get back on the ship and eat. We found out later that another cruise ship had caught fire and evacuated, so many restaurants were overrun and some were even out of food. I was itching and uncomfortable from the snorkeling bites, so I just wanted a shower and some benadryl. While I did that, Hubs ordered room service. We ordered a cobb salad because I was feeling the need for some vegetables to counteract the previous day's meals, as well as a turkey club sandwich and a hamburger and fries for the Hubs. There is a $7.95 charge for room service now but I was glad we did it! It was great to just relax in the room and have the food delivered to us. The cobb salad had four whole pieces of bacon and an entire avocado in a gigantic bowl. We took it out on our balcony to eat but almost as soon as we sat down water a waterfall from the deck above us poured onto our table. You never saw anyone move so fast to save their salad. I didn't read the daily where they clean the decks on port days and water showers are to be expected on the balconies! I ended up eating most of my gargantuan salad and half the turkey sandwich. Those water sports make a gal hungry! This day, I too took a nap as I was worn out. Then we toured the ship some more and played the 9 hole miniature golf, which Hubs beat me at. Dinner was Prime Rib night at O'sheehans. It was average and a bit chewy. Hubs said that it needed a spice rub and to be slow cooked overnight, but I guess feeding that many people you don't have the time. I had wings again as an appetizer and some yummy mozzarella sticks. We arrived back at our room to more cute towel animals and turn down service by our wonderful room steward, Claudia! Wednesday, September 9th This day we docked in Tortolla (British Virgin Islands). We left the ship and began our mini-excursion hunt for dock C. The entire area was under construction and poorly marked, so we had to rely on information from the locals on which way to go, and it ended up being a good 20 minute walk to the dock by the time we finally found it. Here we boarded the catamaran Lionheart for a beautiful day of snorkeling hosted by Captain Steve. We visited three different sites including Norman Island and the Indians, and took many fantastic underwater pictures of fish, jelly fish and corals. We were served assorted beer, sodas and rum punch. First Mate Darrell put together a buffet of luncheon meats, cheeses, 3 or 4 different salads, deviled eggs, breads and hot dogs. It was a great day and I would most definitely do it again! We arranged the trip through our cruise critic forum and met up with some of them. Altogether there were 12-15 of us which fit comfortably on the Cat. Upon arriving back at the ship, the four of us had a 5:30 Reservation for Teppenyaki at 30$/pp. This dining experience is one of our favorite venues from our previous cruise, especially when traveling with friends. It is a Japanese hibachi restaurant that is loud and entertaining in addition to its merits as a good meal. The chef slices, dices and juggles your dinner as he grills. I had the seafood combination. The scallops were nice, lobster was overdone but the calamari was perfectly tender. Hubs had the steak and chicken which was excellent. I'm not sure what they marinate their chicken in but it is good. At 7:30 we saw the Legally Blonde Musical. There was no extra charge but you do need reservations for seating. There were enough sparkles and pink in the show to fuel an entire beauty pageant. It’s worth seeing! Thursday, September 10th For breakfast we went to Savor. We got lucky and scooped a window seat so that we had a nice view. I had a mimosa and their eggs benedict. Hubs had pancakes, hash browns and sausages. On this day the service was slow. Afterwards we did a little souvenir shopping, where I finally hunted down an NCL ship magnet after being told earlier in the week that they were not to be found on the ship anywhere. With the postcards and scrapbook materials I also picked up, I am all set for my Smashbook creation when we get home. The previous day we had received a bingo card in our NCL daily, so we went at 11:00 to check that out. We bought a few more cards for the excitement of high-stakes bingo, and of course we ended up not winning anything. At noon we were invited to an event at the Svedka/Inniskillin Ice Bar where we donned fur lined capes and gloves. We were escorted into the area where we toured the bar with all of its ice sculptures. There were two vodka drinks being served in ice chalices. The drinks were mango and lemon and both were tasty. I was glad to have prepared by wearing jeans and tennis shoes because it is literally a freezer with a bar inside of it. Hubs had a great photo opportunity sitting in the ice chair holding up his chalice. This was worth seeing once, but a little underwhelming. This being our last at sea day, I wanted to finally try the waterslides. None of my party was willing so I went off while the three of them went to the arcade. My first slide was the orange one which turned out to be my favorite. It was the right combination of turns with just the right amount of speed. The blue/green Free Fall Slides were not open until later but I DID IT, once, and I got my free neti pot. That's all I have to say. I laid in the chairs on the deck, got some sun, and had the bartender bring me drinks. It was nice until the trio found me. We ate lunch nearby at the Flamingo Grill, and finished it up with lovely coconut pastries. For dinner we went to the Tropicana where we had reservations for the Burn the Floor show. We had a table right by the floor so the view was amazing. For an appetizer I had a tasty ceviche and hubs had gnocchi. For dinner, I chose their evening special which was billed as a "whole turkey dinner". Much to my Hubs disappointment, they didn’t roll out an entire 20 lb turkey for me on a serving cart. Instead, what they gave me was both white and dark meat smothered in delicious brown gravy. On the side were brussel sprouts that were undercooked, dressing and cranberry sauce. The service was outstanding and the show was wonderful. The dancers were amazing! Some of the dances showcased were swing, salsa, and pasodoble. For desert we had Opera cake while a band played after the dance show. They were accompanied by an enterprising young toddler who owned the dance floor by herself for a good 15 minutes. We later joined the Glow Party at the Spice H2O club. There was quite a turn out for the party, so I was glad that we got there early to claim a table for ourselves. All in all it was a very nice evening indeed. Friday, September, 11th In port at Nassau (The Bahamas) , we ate breakfast again at Flamingo Grill. I couldn't get enough of those addictive Key Lime cinnamon rolls, plus it is a less crowded breakfast option and we were running late for our dolphin adventure excursion. We left the ship and walked to the ferry line for the Blue Lagoon. Our friends signed up for the excursion through NCL, but we went ahead and bought our tickets the day of directly from the tour agency. We saved a bit of money as it was $185 for the Dolphin Swim for me and $30 for Hubs to observe (the NCL price for the swim was roughly $250 a person). The ferry ride is about 40 minutes long and on the way you see many lush waterfront celebrity homes. Upon arrival at the lagoon, eight of us had about an hour and a half of interaction with a pair of dolphins. We got to touch them, hug them, kiss them and take a ride through the water as they pushed on our feet. I was disappointed that there was not enough time to do anything but the dolphin swim, take quick shower and grab an expensive snack. I would advise bringing something to eat with you because there is not much at their snack bar except chips, cookies and ice cream. It looks like there is a lot more to do on the Island but our ship didn't get us to port early enough to do anything more. I still feel like the dolphin swim was a once in a lifetime opportunity and was completely worth it. As hubs didn't participate we got some great pictures and video for free! After our excursion the enthusiastic crew greeted us outside the ship with water spritzers, icees, and cool towels. It was so refreshing and welcoming! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
We, a group of seven, spent a week on the Norwegian sister ship, Getaway. The Escape can handle 55 less tons than the Escape, can carry 279 more guests, has 11 more crew members, is 2 feet shorter than the Getaway, and is a year ... Read More
We, a group of seven, spent a week on the Norwegian sister ship, Getaway. The Escape can handle 55 less tons than the Escape, can carry 279 more guests, has 11 more crew members, is 2 feet shorter than the Getaway, and is a year younger than the Getaway. We came in very happy, looking for a real happy, great adventure. Here is what we found: We booked 4 cabins with balconies for all of us, since I would not cruise on anything less. When we entered the cabin and saw the balcony, my heart sank. The 2 chairs were positioned sideways, with a postage-stamp-sized table between them. Turning the chairs sideways, to face the water, left no room for my knees. Needless to say, the enjoyment of sitting out, enjoying the view and dining out on the balcony were out. Half of my expected enjoyment, and the reason to pay for a balcony, was out the door. Trying to take a shower was anything but. No pressure in any pipe. If my knees and my shoulder didn't touch the shower wall, I couldn't get wet. Still in the bathroom, after the shower, I couldn't comb my hair as the mirror, and the ceiling, were just a tab uncomfortable to stand straight. When I was younger I stood taller than 6 feet, but I have since shrunk below. Obviously, the balcony size (what size?), the ceiling height (what height?), allow for a few more cabins for the cruise line, a little less comfort for me. The ship had wonderful entertainment. But unlike any cruise line I have ever traveled with before, we had to pay dearly for it. The entertainment that was included in the price (not cheap), trust me, you want to avoid. The noise level anywhere on the ship, restaurants, entertainment venues, was maddening. If you are over 40 years old, don't even bother. The food even lost its taste with that noise. If you are younger than 30, it is designed for you. They assume that your ear drums are gone already. All decorations are made of plastic, so the noise reverberate without stop. No fabric, nothing soft to absorb the sound. We went to watch an event called "Dueling Pianos", looking forward for a bit of respite and culture, but had to leave after a few minutes. The noise was unbearable. And we were not alone. We did enjoy each others' company, but suffered from everything else. If it was a hotel on land, we would have checked out on the second day. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
***Always felt bad cruising/missing mass, but husb found Stella Maris Catholic Center a 2 min cab ride from taxi area! It's right across from the ships in a trailer like building. Google to read about its history/awesome man! ... Read More
***Always felt bad cruising/missing mass, but husb found Stella Maris Catholic Center a 2 min cab ride from taxi area! It's right across from the ships in a trailer like building. Google to read about its history/awesome man! History: 20 plus cruises, 3rd NCL, 2nd Haven. Inaugural Cruise! You think it might be a bit chaotic.. In Haven, smooth sailing. We did notice lengthy wait times in main dining. Main show cancelled due to flu! Food: We were pleased everywhere we ate. Tappas place was super fun and tasty. Bar food at Irish pub was great every nt. Specialty restaurants didn't disappoint. Cuddos to Japanese place. Had plenty of gluten free options/adjustments so I was pretty much eating the same entrées as the rest at table. Haven food spectac both in taste and appearance/ate there every other nt. Unlimited lobster soo tender, soo perfectly cooked/rivals your fave steakhouse. There was one dessert that must have had 15 components/layers/... Some type of nut featured. Drink: 5 O'clock Somewhere has best bartender on ship. Goes by the name of Chocolate Cowboy. His mojitos were better than mojito bar's. Aft Penthouse: Loved the extra room/separate living rm. Sound off aft balcony was like a waterfall/propellers. Soot from stacks caused required a daily wipe down of Everything, including floor so as not to track soot inside/we're decent. We chose to handle rather than call room steward/threw filthy pool towels in guest shower. We made FULL use of having meals from around ship brought to our dining rm and balcony/specialty restaurants, dining rooms, Haven restaurant... It's was THE BEST PART of our cruise. Husb and I never eat together at home due to work schedules, so we reveled in this time together. LOVED the daily cheese plate with olive tapenade and daily desert plate. We ate Everything steward left for us/delish, esp the choco strawberries! Wish tub was jetted, but no. Husband thought shower too tiny. For these reasons alone, we booked a spa room for next cruise. Activities: This ship had so much to do we never turned on either of our 2 TVs, and never made it to spa, a first! Some nut pulled the string soo hard on the ropes course plank walk he tore down the camera and it fell into the sea in port! Shows were top notch/Really enjoyed. Excursions: The Baths. Path to Devils Bay had a million white butterflies/felt like walking in a dream! The giant stones and clear water was Super picturesque. Would return. Spa: Used the nail salon twice. Paid for ultra mani and pedi experiences and was totally underwhelmed. Pedi appt was 20 mins late, and they still had me out on time/shortened the massage part/my fave part. Also, when I said I couldn't do scented products, tech made a big deal outta having to go get some plain oil. Mani was fine, but the Fire/Ice luxe part just weak. Just seemed like these ladies were tired, not very happy and lack of effort. My $30 local experience blows away the ship's $140 or whatever I paid. Pix: Ooof, they are losing big $ here. The camera guys Never fix a stray hair or crooked jacket... Least amt of pix ever purchased. Embark/Debark: Haven guests are escorted. It's AWESOME. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
The food and staff were very good. No lounges to relax and read a book. Watched 2 shows and both were very good. This ship is basically trying to extract money from you by every means possible, eg by charging for some meals which ... Read More
The food and staff were very good. No lounges to relax and read a book. Watched 2 shows and both were very good. This ship is basically trying to extract money from you by every means possible, eg by charging for some meals which were al a carte and payable, Small bottle of beer was 6.95 US $ which is expensive. The ship has been built to cater for American families sailing in warm weather I don't suggest anybody using the ship unless the cruise is where the weather is warm. Unless you want to join badly behaved youngsters running riot all day, avoid this ship. Finally on boarding and leaving the ship they expect you to carry all your own luggage up and down stairs. How can a 80 year old woman with a walking stick, mange this? Staff just watch people struggle and offer no help. Leaving the ship is dangerous having to carry all your own luggage down 4 flights (at least) of stairs. You only need I person to slip, and many people will be injured on the stairs. Leaving the ship it is an accident waiting to happen....may sure it is not you who has any accident. Read Less
Norwegian Escape Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Service 3.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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