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
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Our first Transatlantic Inaugural cruise. We toured 3 days in London before the cruise. The Escape does not disappoint. Beautiful and friendly staff. We love NCL. Plenty to do onboard. Great group of passengers many have done TA ... Read More
Our first Transatlantic Inaugural cruise. We toured 3 days in London before the cruise. The Escape does not disappoint. Beautiful and friendly staff. We love NCL. Plenty to do onboard. Great group of passengers many have done TA cruises before. Entertainment was wonderful. Loved Margaritaville Nd 5 o'clock somewhere bar. Can't wait to cruise on the Escape whe we can use the pool and sunbathe. Cabins were nice. We were upgraded to a balcony thanks to NCL. This was our 13th NCL cruise. And we have 2 more NCL cruises since then Caribbean and Panama Canal). We have 3 more NCL cruises scheduled (Alaska, Caribbean and another Transatlantic with stops in France, Belgium and Netherlands and embarkation in Portugal with hotel there. Highly recommend the Escape and trying a Transatlantic cruise. Definitely prefer Norwegian to the other cruise lines. NCL ships just get better and better. I love the newer and larger ships. So much entertainment. Fantastic perks also. It is easier to get rewards with Norwegian. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
As we'd enjoyed the 2 previous Breakaway inaugural cruises, it seemed only right to sample Escape to see if the Plus added much to the already excellent concept. Embarkation was very chaotic , badly organised and confusing, with ... Read More
As we'd enjoyed the 2 previous Breakaway inaugural cruises, it seemed only right to sample Escape to see if the Plus added much to the already excellent concept. Embarkation was very chaotic , badly organised and confusing, with even the Haven guest moved from one area to another. We are gold members , but the priority boarding seemed to have been abandoned in favour of a numbered card denoting arrival time at terminal! Eventually we embarked, and had to tote our hand luggage until cabins were released. We decided to lunch early, and made our way to the busy Garden Cafe, enjoying simple soups and salad. A poor design feature on this ship is placement of tea and coffee stations, alongside main entrance, with milk away from the hot drinks.Since no saucers or mugs were in evidence,it is inevitable that scalds will occur, ...and did! We made our way to our deck 13 cabin and were delighted by its comfort, generous size and large full tub bathroom. The big disadvantage of a forward facing cabin is the long walk to the central lifts. We later met up with a friend in the hospitable, comfortable O'Sheehans pub, where tea was served,and staff were pleasant. All the staff on board were so very pleasant ,many from the West Indies ,softly spoken and ever smiling We walked along the Boardwalk, noting the changes in restaurants, all sure to be huge successes once Escape reaches her home port of Miami. Although damp and chilly, we just had to see the new Aqua park , simply fantastic slides and facilities , and the scarily high rope walks. This class of ship has some of the best facilities for keeping children and teens active and safe we have seen on any ship. All activities are properly tested , supervised, and participants trained beforehand. Mandatory drill occurred before we sailed, and we were astounded by the number of guests who ignored attending, even though all guest services were suspended. We dined in one of the 3 main dining rooms, Savor , with good food, good service , and very pleasant atmosphere. After some wine, we made our way to the main showroom to enjoy MillionDollarQuartet. It was probably the best ship show we have ever see. We were assured at the start that the musicians were" not faking it" .. It was wonderful , live music from very talented, charismatic musicians , all making you believe you were really watching the legendary musicians. Particularly enjoyable were the talent,the stage presence , and sheer charm of the young man playing Jerry Lee Lewis.. A phenomenal musician! The cast member playing Elvis's girlfriend was a joy to watch, she was stunning, and seemed almost to have an inbuilt motor! Later, we found the bed to be exceptionally comfortable, the lack of movement great, and in the morning the lack of docking vibration a great surprise . Breakfast in the garden cafe was excellent, with good choices, a busy omelette station , the one downside being the lack of tables at a busy time. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
well, we thoroughly enjoyed trying out a brand new ship! we couldnt fault anything.we had booked manhattan dining for 6.30 and got in straight away,had 3 staff serving our table all pleasant cheerful and polite Veal course was ... Read More
well, we thoroughly enjoyed trying out a brand new ship! we couldnt fault anything.we had booked manhattan dining for 6.30 and got in straight away,had 3 staff serving our table all pleasant cheerful and polite Veal course was delicious.saw the million dollar quartet at 10pm.got in straight away and it was excellent ! went to 5 o clock somewhere after the show and such a fun atmosphere there.. thought the pool/ropes/slides area amazing .We wished we had booked the 2nd taster for the 28th..checked out everywhere else on the ship and had a late night snack at 2am in osheehans,,fast service and great snacks..we would recommend the ship for sure Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We only spent a night on board the Escape and didn't see all of it, however, the bits that we did see were awesome! Firstly, the rooms. Size wise, they similar to those on MSC, Princess and Royal Caribbean. The shower was the ... Read More
We only spent a night on board the Escape and didn't see all of it, however, the bits that we did see were awesome! Firstly, the rooms. Size wise, they similar to those on MSC, Princess and Royal Caribbean. The shower was the largest that I've had on a ship, with it being equivalent to a proper shower cubicle at home. In the suites (which our friends had) the shower was a rectangle that ran the width of the bathroom, so pretty big. Colours are nice and have the usual amenities. For those who would use a travel cot, there is plenty of space alongside the wardrobe. We were a family of three, so we had a drop down bed; all pretty standard. The facilities on this ship are what makes it such a fantastic ship for families. The high ropes were great fun. There was a queue for this activity, but as you just get stopped on and then get on your way, there is no waiting around. The queue time was less than 5 minutes, even though the queue seemed pretty big. The course is well done; you can often choose a "solid path" or a woolly rope path, whichever you feel most comfortable with. The guys that work on there are great; I had a wobble at the zip wire across the ship, but the staff made me feel better and encouraged me to carry on. A word of advice; the course goes right around the front of the ship and the exit is where you start. I didn't realise that I had to go all the way back to the beginning until I had been on the course about 25 mins. Had I have realised, I would have turned back earlier. The walk through weather feature was in a really cool 'room' at the front of the ship, it had a real party atmosphere and is well worth a visit. The arcade room is fab. A must do is the paceman air hockey. At certain points in the game, 20 pucks invade the table and you have to go crazy trying to pot them. Other fun games included bowling on deck 7, pool, basketball etc. The food on the Escape was excellent, with many options of eateries and cuisines. We went to the show and ate in O'Sheehans Irish bar: nachos and fajitas. Good food for a quick eat. We needed to get our little girl to bed. Our friended ate in the complimentary Manhattan restaurant. They had lobster and steak, both of which were excellent. Everyone that we spoke to said the same. The show 'the Million Dollar Quartet' is really worth seeing. Our 4 year old sat through 90 minutes, foot tapping away and the finale got everyone, including ourselves up on their feet dancing. It was, by far, the best show we have seen at sea. Even my husband, who would always much rather sit in the sports bar of a ship really enjoyed it. The water park was worth stripping to swim wear on a cold October day! The slide with the inflatable tubes was great. It has jazzy lights inside so it's a bit different. The yellow slide is quite serene. Both were suitable for small children. The two thrill rides were closed, which was disappointing because they too looked fab. The children's water park had enough to keep younger children busy and the red slide was a lot more surprising than it looked! The pools were actually quite warm. Warm water was being pumped into the pools, so up near the wall waterfall it was actually like a warm shower. My little one laid down in this area and stayed there for quite some time. Bars- there are lots! Our favourite was the Brew House on deck 8. It's got a really cool vibe and we had some fun in the photo booth. Hubby really enjoyed choosing from tens of draught beers. We had a look around the kids club. It was enormous, with play stations, huge bean bags and plenty of space to let off steam. The staff were cheery and helpful. Despite being on the ship only a small time, we had a great experience and can't wait to sail on the Escape again. Though there isn't marble everywhere or diamond staircases, this ship certainly has the wow factor because of the entrainment, food and activities. Can't wait for our NCL cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
I have returned from the inaugural sailing of NCL's newest ship, Escape. I was very much surprised at the changes to the layouts and formats from the 2 previous ships - NCL Breakaway and Getaway. Different classes. Different ... Read More
I have returned from the inaugural sailing of NCL's newest ship, Escape. I was very much surprised at the changes to the layouts and formats from the 2 previous ships - NCL Breakaway and Getaway. Different classes. Different experience. I will not dwell on NCL running out of wine or not having some beers available. I was not bothered by this. I did expect some items to be off kilter until after Miami. I traveled solo in a mini-suite. The cabin design and color selection proved relaxing and comfortable. The mini suite bathroom was large with ample room to move around, as was the shower. Storage was ample. My cabin steward was wonderful, responsive and attentive. The ship has a familiar in layout with most restaurants and lounges on decks 6,7,8. The flow works well. I enjoyed the variety in choice of venues and attitudes in each. Note: I was puzzled by the piano player at the beer bar where the football game on the screen worked better. I throughly enjoyed the Food Republic, a for fee food venue, choosing to eat here several times. I enjoyed dinner in Taste 3 times and enjoyed it thoroughly. I purchased a 5-dinner pass and enjoyed Cagney's, Moderno, and La Cuchina with repeated visits. The Garden Cafe was my place for breakfast and lunch. I found the offerings to be fresh and ample throughout the trip. I did eat lunch at Margaritaville. There was a line and I waited approximately 30 minutes (my choice to wait). I did enjoy my entry but found the offerings too large to eat. My friends and I did the ropes course several times, and did the water slides. We had a great time. Shows: I loved Brat Pack, and After Midnight. This crossing also had a male singing group - Tenors of Rock, who tore the house down with their renderings of classic rock songs. I did not see Million Dollar Quartet but heard good reviews. Missing is the space known as Bliss Lounge, a bar\dance\nightclub venue. This space is now Skyline bar which works well. The staff here was incredible, helpful and attentive. Health club - I participated in several pay for classes and had a great time. The instructors were informed and professional. The ship was clean and kept clean by a staff of stewards who were always about. I found the food to be better from recent NCL trips. Smoking: I am not a smoker. I appreciate the effort of NCL to limit smoking to designated areas. But the effort must be enforced. Many people are now smoking (viping) e-cigarettes and doing it anywhere under the pretense that it is not "smoking." NCL must enforce their policy regardless of type of item being smoked. Overall a great time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
This was our second cruise on Norwegian and our first transatlantic cruise. We were looking forward to a relaxing time at sea and were excited about trying the new Norwegian ship, especially as it was crossing the Atlantic and it was the ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Norwegian and our first transatlantic cruise. We were looking forward to a relaxing time at sea and were excited about trying the new Norwegian ship, especially as it was crossing the Atlantic and it was the first cruise for this ship. We thought the embarkation in Southampton was very easy - much easier than we've had in either Miami or Galveston. We got on the ship pretty early, which I was excited about. No need to rush to purchase spa passes or reserve cabanas as one would normally do in the peak of summer months. The ship is similar to the Getaway in its decor - understated elegance leaning towards the Art Deco period. Service: we found all of the employees to be very pleasant and happy to be there. Almost all of our concerns were immediately addressed, with the exception of the internet cafe, which I will discuss later. I cannot say that we had an unhappy or unresponsive employee, outside of the internet cafe. We enjoyed talking to the various employees and finding out where they were from and what other ships they had been on. As expected with a new ship traveling to its port, there were some kinks to work out. The biggest kinks for us on this cruise was the spa and the internet. Norwegian quickly dealt with the issues of the spa, but we did not see any contribution on their part with regards to the internet issues. The Spa: we were excited about using the spa as the ship was not fully booked and we were without kids, so we had nothing but time to use the spa. The spa had some issues, however. The steam room was not working at all. The hot tub was never very warm - as a matter of fact, the Vitality Pool was warmer than the hot tub. One day the Sanarium was not heated first thing in the morning and the spa staff had to be told to heat it, which takes some time. When I mentioned to one spa employee that we had paid a good deal for the week pass so were disappointed when there were several issues, she told me that the price we paid was already discounted. However, later in the cruise I found in print the price of the spa pass so I know that what we paid was not discounted. I was a bit upset that I was told misleading information. I also do not believe they sell only 150 passes, which makes me more skeptical about the spa practices itself. After much rumbling amongst spa-goers about the issues in the spa, each person that had bought a spa pass was credited a good deal due to the issues. The spa was very, very busy, almost to its detriment. However, I enjoyed what was working in the spa, including the new Snow Room. They have cut back on locker room space to make room for more chairs in the spa, however, so amenities and space in the locker room is even scarcer now. However, they have a very large number of treadmills, ellipticals, and weight machines and offer many specialty classes, which the health conscious will be happy about. Food: we were happy with the food on the ship. We found the Garden Cafe Buffet to have extensive selections and most all of the dishes we tried were good. There were selections from many types of cuisine: American, Asian, Mexican, Indian, etc. We did not eat at many of the specialty (aka "pay") restaurants. We were a bit saddened after learning that Norwegian has now made many of the specialty restaurants a la carte, when in the past they had a flat fee to eat there. I read somewhere that this will be done throughout the entire line soon - not sure if this is true or not. Of the two specialty restaurants we did eat at, Food Republic, we really enjoyed. There were a lot of choices and everything we got was very good. We liked the small servings which encouraged sharing. We also ate at Moderno Churrascaria, another specialty restaurant. They were very generous with the meat, almost to a fault. The salad bar had a lot of nice choices. We did enjoy the new outdoor complimentary dining option: Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. While the menu has a lot of fried food, it was nice to be outdoors and the food was good. We especially liked the conch fritters, the Caesar salad with blackened shrimp, and the burgers. Of the complimentary restaurants, we felt the Manhattan Room was the nicest environment since it was attractively designed and had music as well. But it seemed a bit more formal, so we were not always in the mood to go there. We were disappointed that the self-serve wine kiosks in the buffet area did not work as we have never used them before. However, the machines needed to be programmed and could not be programmed until the ship arrived in Miami. Bars: we got the Ultimate Beverage Package this time as we were without children. We did not drink a lot, but when the drinks average $10, it is a savings when it is one of your "free" choices. We very rarely went over the drink cost average, and the package gives you a discount on the wine events as well. The drinks at the inside bars were generally very good. The drinks at the poolside bars varied. We liked the Sugarcane Mojito Bar as we love mojitos and they are well made here. The Sugarcane is a good central, people- watching location and the staff was friendly. There are many bars, surely one to fit every personality. We also liked the District Brew House, both for its environment and for the extensive beer selection. Our favorite area by far was The Cellars, the new area dedicated to wine. We spent many an hour here sipping new wines and taking several wine classes. Again, the staff here is both professional and friendly. We felt it was a much better use of space than the Ice Bar that was in the Norwegian Getaway. For getting away during the day, I found the Skyline Bar and the District Brew House good places to find a place to read a book or relax (remember this is a transatlantic crossing this time) until the evening entertainment sets in. Entertainment: we don't always go to the evening shows as they have been a disappointment in the past. However, as we had so much time on our hands, and no early commitments, we did go to several shows. We saw the Tenors of Rock, which we enjoyed since we grew up on rock music. We also saw After Midnight, which we really enjoyed. The singers and dancers in After Midnight were very talented and we felt as if we were watching a show on Broadway. We really appreciated how challenging it must have been for them to dance so well on a rocky transatlantic cruise. We also went to the Supper Club which had The Brat Pack. While the performers were again, outstanding, we weren't overwhelmed by the venue or the food. The food portions were small and mediocre and I found it uncomfortable to turn to the side and eat while trying to watch the performers. I would have much rather just watched the show without eating. We tried to get into the Million Dollar Quartet, but all showings were sold out, so we were unable to see that show. We also enjoyed the comedians, all three of them. While we enjoyed the early comedy show, we did not go to the late night comedy show as we have been to them before on other cruise lines and found them to be too crude for our taste. Finally, we stopped at the 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar to watch the Starlights, a band from Romania. They were a good live band playing a wide variety of rock music. The other bars and lounges, to my disappointment, were too karaoke for us. We also found a small, two-lane bowling alley (very small handheld balls) and found time to shoot darts, which some of us very rarely do, as reflected in our shooting ability. We also watched several free movies on the room TV, which played free and pay movies continually. Outdoor activities: there seems to be an additional pool, although we have never gone on a cruise to hang out by the pool. Especially with the size of these large ships, it takes too much time and commitment to find a good location by the pool. Living in Texas, we see the sun way too much to spend too much time committed to a chair by the pool in a sea of people. However, if we were to spend time in the sun, we would buy the pass to the Vibe Beach Club, as it is adults only and the exclusive access pretty much ensures that you will get a chair. They also have a bar in the area and they will come by and spritz you with cold water in the summer. Totally worth it in my opinion rather than fighting for a chair when the cruise in fully booked in the summer months. We do like watching the silly Hairy Chest or Men's Sexy Legs contests that they hold during the day at the main pool area. But that is a very brief period of time after which we would go back to our secluded area. The kids' water area seemed larger than on the Getaway, with many youth-oriented water features. The larger aqua park was also great for being on a cruise ship. While the Free Fall slide was closed due to a malfunction, we went on the other two slides and they were quite fun. I also went on the ropes course. The ropes course is very large and it has many challenges. The ship also has a mini-ropes course for small kids, which I thought was very thoughtful. There is also a mini golf course and a nice sports court. Shopping: there are a lot of nice choices for jewelry and watches. However, there are less shopping options overall on this ship than on the Norwegian Getaway. I did not think the general merchandise store, The Tradewinds, had as much to offer for souvenirs. We were tempted by many watches, inexpensive and expensive. We felt the clothing and purses were too expensive and except for being tax-free, there was no benefit to purchasing on the ship. Naturally, they had a lot of cosmetics, alcohol, and cigars/cigarettes available for those that wanted to purchase such items. One of the downsides we found was the size of the public rooms. As we were crossing the Atlantic, the weather was not always good for going outside, so many people stayed inside. We found the public areas, such as the Atrium and the Internet Cafe to be overwhelmed with people that stayed there for long periods of time -several actually sleeping in the chairs. However, during a regular cruise, there are too many other activities available that should prevent such large number of people from congregating in one area for long periods of time. We were also very disappointed in the internet or lack thereof. We could only get on the internet twice in the ten days, and then the connection was brief and spotty. Despite our inquiries and complaints, we were never offered any discounts or refunds. The employees in the Internet Cafe were also not very friendly, most likely due to the large number of unhappy internet customers. We also felt that on this cruise, we were being more "nickel-and-dimed". With the overbooked spa, the trend towards a la carte dining, and the new portrait area, we felt that Norwegian was using more space and opportunity to make more and more money, which at some level, we find unappealing. We did not feel that way on the Getaway, so it is unfortunate that we got that feeling on this new ship. However, if you can overlook all the excessive ways to spend money and concentrate on the complimentary dining and entertainment, it can be a very fun family vacation that won't break the bank. I am not sure the size of the ship is for everyone, but if the specific amenities they offer are important to you, then this ship will be a good choice for you. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
The ship was delayed for delivery, and unfortunately it showed. As with other reports, there were shortages of several things. Provisioning the ship should be a fairly standard practice - and notwithstanding when the ship was delivered, ... Read More
The ship was delayed for delivery, and unfortunately it showed. As with other reports, there were shortages of several things. Provisioning the ship should be a fairly standard practice - and notwithstanding when the ship was delivered, the departure dates were known well in advance. The internet was laughable. Or cry-able, depending on your level of needing it to work. We needed it to be always available, which is why we paid $300 for the week. Unfortunately it was rarely available. I did get a partial credit onboard, but in retrospect it was really not sufficient to compensate for the inconvenience. We ate at Food Republic (twice), Le Bistro (twice), Cagney's (twice), the Haven restaurant (twice for dinner), Moderno and the Supper Club. We had lunch at Pincho's, and once at Margarittaville. Overall the food was very good. The Supper Club was so/so, and Food Republic was excellent. The new Haven dinner menus is a step up from previous. The staff & crew were outstanding, as usual. No complaints in this area. We wrote-out 6 Vacation Hero cards. The casino was not bad. VERY nice that it was non-smoking, it's the first cruise where I've been able to play AND breathe. It was a breath of fresh air, so to speak. The big water slide was fun, even for someone who hates water slides. The ropes course on the other hand was just too intimidating for some scaredy-cats (me). The Steam Room in the spa was out of commission, and the Snow Room was just a novelty, but the rest of the spa is beautiful. The men's change room is too small, and the Thalassotherapy Pool was lukewarm on the 2nd-last day, but both are surmountable issues. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Norwegian Escape Review. Transatlantic Crossing Southampton to Miami 10 Days 29th October to 8th November 2015 First Impression: As we traveled from Southampton airport and drove to the port we could catch glimpses of this huge ... Read More
Norwegian Escape Review. Transatlantic Crossing Southampton to Miami 10 Days 29th October to 8th November 2015 First Impression: As we traveled from Southampton airport and drove to the port we could catch glimpses of this huge ship waiting. When we entered the port we were stunned at not only the size of Escape, but the size of the magnificent art work on her hull; the art work painted by Guy Harvey is a realistic depiction of the sea live that can be found in the Caribbean and the Bahamas; and is huge and in my personal view the best in Norwegians fleet. Norwegian Escape is tastefully decorated, the main walkways are painted white and the support pillars have been molded to look like the trunks of palm trees. In the center of Escape there is a glass stairway that connects decks 6, 7 and 8, which tastefully has two mood lights lighting up the glass treads, blue lights during the day and red lights at night; very nice. In the same Atrium is a massive two deck LED chandelier which changes colours, daytime a white crystal affect and at night time it comes to life changing from yellow, red, blue and even changes to a U.S flag effect; 3 quarters coloured red, and the top quarter blue. It is a stunning sight but not obtrusive. The ceiling also has small LED lights that change colours but is all most missed due to that fantastic chandelier, but still effective. Around this area you will find; Le Bistro French restaurant, and Headliners Comedy club (howl at the moon also). The second Atrium is just as impressive if not a bit more functional, in this area you will find the Guest relations, i-connect (internet stations), Shore excursions desk, Restaurant reservations desk, a huge 3 deck high LCD screen surrounded with comfy chairs, and the Atrium bar. Connecting the two Atrium's on deck 6 is the Art Gallery, which is a large area showing off different styles of art, including autographed memorabilia. All the art is presented from Park west Galleries and they have a wide range of art and sculptures to fit all pocket sizes. They change the display on a regular basis, its a nice way to pass away a few minutes looking at the display, and you don't get hassled. Over all impression is a well designed areas, which are light and airy. There are nine Specialty Dining Restaurants offering delights from all over the world; French, Italian, Brazilian, Japanese, Chinese, and Argentina including Tapas, sushi, and Steak house restaurants. I can only review three of the above, because of the Specialty Dining package we picked, as we thought it was enough with the complementary dining on offer, but the choice is yours. Cagney's Steak House; is exactly what it say's, it specialises in all types and sizes of steaks cooked to your own taste, I ordered a 8oz fillet mignon cooked to a blue stranded (which means its scared by the pan to sear the edges and that's it) and it came out perfectly cooked, my wife ordered the Sea Food Plater which had King Prawn's, Sea Bass, Calamari, Crab Cake and Scallops; all tasted very nice. The deserts menu is a bit small but is very tasty and are good portions. The service was excellent, from being shown to our table, to the waitress serving us. It was my Birthday the night we went, and was given a sponge cream cake and had Happy Birthday sung to me by the serving staff, thank you. Moderno Churrascaria; is an Gaucho style restaurant, Brazilian-style steakhouse offers succulent meat carved right at your table by experienced pasadores, ready to serve, per your table marker: red for “stop, I’m full,” green for “keep it coming!” and they do its non-stop meat fest. Indulge in a variety of cuts and meats, as well as classic churrascaria fare including imported cheeses, olives, cured meats, ceviche and specialty salads. Teppanyaki; is a authentic Japanese hibachi restaurant, where the chief not only cook's your food in front of you, but does it in a showman way, with twirling knives, spinning and flipping eggs, and catching them on the edge of his Spatula, and drawing butterflies out of the egg yoke. I ordered Fillet Mingnon (Blue) and Lobster, and Dawn ordered Shrimp and Scallops, and the food was wonderful. The starters were Miso Soup and Seaweed Salad with Ginger Dressing, not bad would not order it if there was a chioce. Desert was a choice between fresh fruit and Green Tea Cake, both were very nice. We tried the Complementary Dining and found the food was cooked to a high standard and sometimes the Garden cafe food was hotter and fresher, for example I love eggs Benedict with ham for breakfast, downstairs in Taste they arrived cold and the hollandaise sauce was dry, while in the Garden Cafe they are freshly made in-front of you and as much hollandaise sauce as you want. The Menus in the Manhattan, Taste, and Savoy Restaurants had two menus one side stayed the same each night, and the other side was altered nightly, the food and service in these restaurants were fantastic, I told our waitress that Fruit Trifle was my favorite desert, she turned up with not one but four Trifles, that's excellent service. O'Sheehan's Neighbourhood Bar & Grill delivers a good but limited menu, in what NCL presumes is a genuine Irish bar. O’Sheehan’s is a open restaurant with the O’Sheehan’s bar just across the walkway, so it can be a bit loud and not always good if you want to have a chat over your meal. Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville at Sea; we only went the once and that was on the first day with decent weather during the crossing, talking to our fellow Americans who know this chain of eatery said it was very close to the onshore experience. The only problem was the waiting from ordering to receiving the meals was up to one hour, and for a burger and chips (fries) that was a bit much, in saying that it was a lovely burger with British chips and a great view outside of the ship. The Garden Cafe’ is a large buffet area on deck 16 which is open 23 ½ hours a day with a large selection of ethnic dishes, from Italian, Indian, Tai, and Chinese, there are cold meat, cheese and freshly baked breads. Hot meats are carved in front of you, (you can prompt them to cut it a little bit thicker) with burgers with different toppings and foot long hot dogs. There is a large selection of deserts sponge cakes, ice creams, and a crumble pie of sorts, all very nice. There are three main shows on Escape; Million Dollar Quartet, After midnight, and For the Record: The Brat Pack, Live at the Supper Club. Million Dollar Quartet, and After midnight, are free shows in the Escape Theater. There is a cover charge for the The Brat Pack show which is in its own theater called the Supper Club. These shows require a pre-booking to gain entry and they book up fast, so a top tip is pre-book the shows you want to see as soon as you have confirmed the cruise booking, as they are not on every night. Million Dollar Quartet is the story of 'Sun Records' just after they sold 'Elvis Presley' to RCA. A new piano player called 'Jerry Lee Lewis' is after a record deal with Sun records and is an annoyance for 'Carl Perkins' who is trying to gain another hit. 'Johnny Cash' has signed a new contract with Capital Records but has not told Sun Records, who has a contract ready for Johnny to sign; opps to late. 'Elvis Presley' has dropped into the studio to convince 'Sam Phillips' owner of Sun Records to sell up and join RCA. The show runs for 1 hour 40 minutes and is a nonstop rock fest with some of the stars greatest hits, Jerry Lee adds some light moments with some fantastic piano/singing performances. try and see the show twice, its worth every second. After midnight; Welcome back to that electrifying time when Harlem’s Cotton Club was the place to be. Winner of the 2014 Tony®, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Astaire Awards for Best Choreography, AFTER MIDNIGHT is the smash-hit musical that combines the big-band songs of Duke Ellington, a stageful of megawatt performers, a roof-raising onstage jazz band, and the best dancing from Broadway. Witness The Cotton Club come to life in a never-before-seen phenomenon at sea. Experience Broadway at its finest in the Escape Theater! For the Record: The Brat Pack, Live; Relive the glorious 1980's at For the Record: The Brat Pack where classic soundtracks bring the movies to life in an immersive rock n roll concert and dining experience. Escape into an 80's teenage dream as you "Danke Schoen" like Ferris, "Try A Little Tenderness" with Ducky and heat up your night like a "St. Elmos Fire" at this nostalgic feast for the senses. No leg warmers required. 'Oh What a Place, Oh What a Night', Howl at the Moon – Duelling Pianos is a show that you must not miss, for four hours of non-stop high energy, duelling piano and drum playing, blasting hits out from a wide genre list; such as Rock, Heavy Metal, Country, Pop, and anything in between. Send up your favorite tune you want playing, and they will play it. They do have some way of picking what comes next, if your tune arrives with some dollar note or a shot, it moves up the list, if you don’t want to hear the song then you can put a dollar down to stop it, it all makes up to a great night of music and fun. Tickle your funny bone at Headliner's Comedy Club with performances by Levity Entertainment Group’s roster of top-notch comedians. Employing over 300 artists nationwide, Levity is the largest producer of live comedy, creating tours and TV specials for the biggest names in the industry, including Daniel Tosh, Amy Shumer, Gabriel Iglesias and Jeff Dunham. With several hilarious shows per week, prepare for a sidesplitting good time with Levity Entertainment Group. The other performers in the Bars and spaces such as the Atrium all perform to a high calibre, are worth sipping a cocktail and chilling out to their music. All the Bars offer bar stools, and comfy seating with waitress services, once again the bar staff are fantastic and will keep the drinks coming. In all bars are flat screen TVs showing the latest sports from around the world, we watch the Rugby World Cup, and Formula 1 racing live in the bars. There is live entertainment in all the bars, especially in the '5 o'clock somewhere bar' and the 'Skyline Bar' . Staff and Crew: O'Sheehans Bar and the Best Barman-Thank You The Staff and crew are the best we have ever cruised with. With over 70 different nationality's, they are all ways pleased when you say hello or good morning to them. Restaurant staff and Bar staff always seem to have an extra second to have a chat with you, and somehow remember your name and favourite tipple when you return. Halloweens Ghastly Face's - just joking. They seem willing to do anything for you so you have a great time, we like talking to the crew, to try and gauge how NCL treat/look after them, there were crew members who have been with the company for 18 plus years, some hoping that their children will join NCL. That seems to tell its own story on how well they are looked after, we've seen a few of there poolside parties after the guest's have gone to their cabins, and they have a ball. We did have a few problems manly with Guest Relations, we actually boarded the Escape with the wrong key cards that we were given when we checked in, it took nearly a dozen times over three days to get the right key cards with our names and our packages linked to the cards, and we weren’t the only ones to have problems It seemed that a new computer system was being used and it allowed no room for flexibility, I would expect that when Escape was sitting in Miami Port the glitches would be sorted out. Our Cabin Steward was not the best we have ever had in fact the opposite, we are high up in the Latitudes program and we had no dressing gowns, cups, ice, nightly chocolates, bin’s not emptied, I had to ask for a new bar of soap, he only left one large towel throughout the cruise, our latitudes free box of chocolates and Escape pin badges, since this was the inaugural cruise of their new flagship he was not up to standard. Activities: The Ropes Course, is the Largest and the Highest ropes course at sea, and it’s fantastic and scary all in one go. There are two ‘Walk the Plank’ which are 172 feet over the sea. The course covers three decks in height, the last level is the same height as the top of the funnel. There are 5 ‘Sky Rails’ some of which swing out over the sea, and combine to make the largest ‘Sky Rails’ at sea. At the bottom of the course is the Kids Rope Course, just like the adult/kids course but only a foot off the ground compared to the 4/8 and 12 meters of the main course. It’s a test of balance and nerve even with the knowledge that you can’t fall due to the harness and safety line connecting you to the course, but the nerves still jangle. Escape has areas for everyone, there’s a ‘Kids Aqua Park’ with slides tipping buckets, water cannons and plunge pools. ‘Spice H2O’ is an adult only with two spa tubs and a first at sea a ‘waterfall grotto’, in the evening this area can be transformed into a show area with a large LCD screen or a disco so you can dance the night away. We found that the two spas were too hot, and we could not go in them. There are two large slides that go out over the side of the ship, a large blue slide that you slide down on either single or double inflatable rings, over a see through Perspex section of tube. The next slide is the ‘Aqua Racer’ where you race with your friends in a adjoining slide, this slide was not available on the crossing, as it had not been certified by the US Coast Guard. There are Jacuzzi tubs on the pool deck which always seemed open. Altogether there are 12 pools and hot tubs to choose from. Mandara Spa & Salon is the same as the one on the Norwegian Epic and other Breakaway class of ships, with the exception of a ‘Salt room’ and a ‘Snow room’, this area is a limited area so book early if you intend to use the spa, saunas, hot stone beds, and various water treatment areas. There is a large fitness area with all the up to date equipment, from treadmills, bikes, weight machines and dumbbells. To help you stay entertained and under the ‘Ropes Course’, there is a 9 hole crazy golf course, that looks like it’s in a industrial area; and is quite challenging. Next to that is a greened strip that can be used in a various ways from, a putting green, crown green bowls, and croquet. There are also four table tennis tables in a area away from any wind, and Shuffle board courts to while away any time at sea. There is a large area where you can play Basket ball, Tennis, 5 aside football and even dodge ball. One evening we watched the engineering crew playing Basketball and they were good. In O'Sheehans Bar there are two pool tables, two ten pin bowling lines, and various other games such as Darts and quiz's to be played. Casino; Escape’s Casino is the largest in the Norwegian fleet. Escape casino offers plenty of thrilling casino games for every type of player. Whether you’re a beginner or regular at the poker table, there’s something for everyone. There’s Blackjack, all types of Poker games and roulette and hundreds of slot machines with different themes. It nice that NCL have made it a non-smoking casino, and it didn’t seem to affect the amount of people playing the tables. Staterooms; We stayed in a cat. BA Balcony cabin on deck 14, the room it’s self is nothing special, with a double bed that can become twin beds, flat screen TV and a settee/3rd bed. The bathroom consists of the normal shower, toilet and sink with a large mirror. The room seems to be a bit on the narrow side with a lack of storage space. The balcony is the standard balcony with two chairs and a table, it was great sitting on the balcony looking out on to the Atlantic Ocean and seeing absolutely nothing, and pitch black at night, wonderful. We also visited some of the staterooms at the upper end of the scale in the Haven suite. Haven guests all have Butlers and Concierge to look after them 24 hours a day, they also have their own Guest Relations, Bar and Dining room. They have a private sun area with a pool, spa and sun chairs and a retractable roof for all weather use. The Haven area is only accessible by a key card so only Haven guests can enter. They have large Spa suites for 2/3 guests, a Family suite that fits 6 guests (I think 6 is a bit tight), and then there’s the Owners Suite which has the largest Balcony that wraps around the corner of the aft ship to nearly half way around, it has a large bathroom with a his and her sinks, large shower and bath tub, a changing room and a large living area. There is also another bedroom which has its own shower/bathroom, and a pull out bed. My opinion is if you know and travel with six other people (family/friends) and weigh up the benefits of the extra person discount offered in the stateroom (all staterooms offer the same discounts) times by 4, it will bring down the cost of the suite to around £1500/person, and compare that to a BA cat. Room of £1300/person is worth checking it out. NCL even offers, (sometimes), OBC, Drinks packages, Speciality Dining packages included in the Haven price. Overall impression: In our impression of being on the Escape for 10 days with no chance of getting off, I was concerned that we would get bored and long for land after three days, Not so. This ship has so much to offer as you have already read, but what I have not mentioned yet is all the daily activities put on by Julie or Cruise Director (yes the same as the Love Boat), with Zumba lesions, dance classes, cooking demo’s, bingo, quiz’s, film s shown in the theater, poolside activities, and to many to mention. We have been on five different cruise companies, and rightly or wrongly compare all the ships we’ve been on. Escape comes on top for Entertainment, crew friendliness, and standard of the food in all areas, and we will defiantly sail on her again and soon. Escapes Hull artwork by Guy Harvey is the best in the Norwegian fleet, and can’t be compared to any other company’s ships. Escape is airy and light and most of all smoke free. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Arrived in London on 10/28/15 and stayed at the Grand Harbor Hotel.very convenient to resturants and shops.Cruise terminal also located right down the street from the hotel. The Escape is NCL's newest cruise ship.It is the latest ... Read More
Arrived in London on 10/28/15 and stayed at the Grand Harbor Hotel.very convenient to resturants and shops.Cruise terminal also located right down the street from the hotel. The Escape is NCL's newest cruise ship.It is the latest in size and offerings within the cruise industry.We were glad that we had plenty of time at sea to explore the ship in its entirety.We started out on the pool deck which offered plenty of chaise seating.We enjoyed the theater,casino and shopping on board.We had rain and rough seas for the first few days so when the sun peeked out,I made my way to the ropes course which was a challenging experience but well worth it!We then went down the water slide and laughed and screamed the whole way down!Loved it so much we went again several times!We decided on the 5 night speciality dining since there was some new options on the Escape.We were happy with all of the dining especially the 5 O'Clock Somewhere bar and resturant!Le Bistro was our favorite. Cabin was a balcony standard size.Ship was only half full and because of this it was pleasant everywhere on the ship.Not too sure I would want to experience Escape At full capacity.It definately is a ship designed to sail out of Miami ! It is a southern Carribbean themed ship right down to activities and dining.Spa was wonderful but did not have steam room working.Would have spent more time in spa but wanted to explore all of the ship.I really think that you would need more than 7 days to be able to experience everything on this ship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
This was my third Cruise and my girlfriends first cruise, we were in the haven. I love the haven amenities, the courtyard was beautiful and the spa suite was awesome. We attended the Brat Pack show and the Million Dollar Quartet show, ... Read More
This was my third Cruise and my girlfriends first cruise, we were in the haven. I love the haven amenities, the courtyard was beautiful and the spa suite was awesome. We attended the Brat Pack show and the Million Dollar Quartet show, both were great we have no complaints but definitely prefer the Brat Pack show. It was a unique experience because everybody got along well on the ship, you could say hi and talk to a random stranger and have a great conversation. There was a lot of drinking but that added to the fun lol. Every night there was a party at h2o definitely more of an adult type thing. I didn't do a lot of free venues but I love the Italian and steak house places. No complaints about the food whatsoever, the drinks were great and the staff as always is top notch. I read the negative reviews before the cruise, but you gotta read between the lines when you read those. Most are nitpicky type reviews. If you're open minded and willing to have a great time then you will love the Norwegian escape. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
The Norwegian Escape is Norwegian's newest and biggest ship. With over 20 different dining areas, a giant casino, five water slides and the first ever 'Margaritaville' at sea. Overall, I think the Escape is a great ship. ... Read More
The Norwegian Escape is Norwegian's newest and biggest ship. With over 20 different dining areas, a giant casino, five water slides and the first ever 'Margaritaville' at sea. Overall, I think the Escape is a great ship. Well laid out and well thought out for both the passenger and the cruise line. You will find your time on the ship spent mostly on decks 6, 7 and 8, where most all the activities are. The cabins are good size and I was surprised to find the balconies larger than the other "Breakaway" class ships. Quick Ratings - Food - I was only able to eat in the Buffett and at Osheehan's, however, I found a good selection in the Garden Cafe Buffett and Osheehan's had a larger menu than it does on the Epic. The food was well prepared and piping hot, which was nice, considering on the Epic it was often luke warm. Bars/lounges - I guess the night club activities have moved up to Spice H2O on deck 16. I have mixed feelings about this, considering it is away from EVERYTHING else on the ship during late night, but maybe it will be fun. However, what will Norwegian do for a night club when it is raining or very windy? The skyline bar in the casino doesn't have a great nightclub feel even though I know that is what they will do. Staff - I recognized a lot of staff from other ships I have been on and many recognized me! I was really impressed and happy with all the crew. Activities - Slides, ropes course, basketball, bowling at Osheehans. Its fun! Take part! Walk the plank!! Tips - 1. Bring your sneakers and a pair of socks for the ropes course. Give yourself about an hour to do the course. 2. Reservations, reservations and more reservations. Make sure you make reservations for dinner. I found a lot of the specialty dining venues were full. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Being my first time I was very impressed with all the activities on board and since I am so new at this cruising is a very enjoyable and fun experience. This vacation was I feel one of the best I have had in a long time and was really a ... Read More
Being my first time I was very impressed with all the activities on board and since I am so new at this cruising is a very enjoyable and fun experience. This vacation was I feel one of the best I have had in a long time and was really a luxury for me. I usually go on fishing and hunting trips so I did not have to do anything except be pampered and spoiled by you, relax, rest and really just enjoy and experience luxurious living and vacation like the "rich and famous." The staff and all employees were always so pleasant, kind and professional oh and helpful. The cruise Director and others kept us informed and were given a sheet daily with all activities. Thank you again for the best vacation and my retirement celebration is actually what it was for me a time to cherish and remember for the rest of my life. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
We looked forward to this cruise for months, excitement building as the date came nearer...........and loved every minute, we were a group of 4 adults, 2 couples, from Scotland. We have cruised with 4 other cruise lines before, always with ... Read More
We looked forward to this cruise for months, excitement building as the date came nearer...........and loved every minute, we were a group of 4 adults, 2 couples, from Scotland. We have cruised with 4 other cruise lines before, always with fixed seating dining so looked forward to flexible dining. Booking - we booked through a TA in UK and reckon we got an excellent deal, included were UBP and all gratuities. Embarkation - we arrived at POM at 11.00, check in process was quick and easy, through security, got a boarding number of 6. They started boarding at 11.30 with a large group from Cruise One then general groups started at 12.00, we were called at 12.25. The waiting room had water, juice, tea & coffee available free. We went straight to Margaritaville for lunch, were told it would be an hour wait, got a buzzer and sat there for a drink and were called after 35 minutes. Cabin - we had a basic grade balcony cabin on deck 13 forward, loved the cabin, small balcony but adequate, enough storage (though would have liked a bit bigger hanging space in wardrobe). The shower room was the best we have had in a balcony cabin on any ship, lots of shelves and storage and great shower. The people on the next balcony were smoking regularly, smell was awful so we commented to Guest Services, after complaining twice they did visit them, warned them of a $250 fine and there was no more smoking. Dining - we chose to eat in the all - inclusive restaurants, Taste & Savour were excellent, great choice in menu, service good and felt as though we were in speciality restaurants. Only complaint was food sometimes could have been a bit hotter, especially the soup. One evening we ate in Manhatten but felt it was too big and open and much preferred the other two. We didn't feel the need to pay extra for the other speciality restaurants. The buffet was the best we have had on any ship, had breakfast and lunch, always got a table, great choice of food, tables cleared quickly. We had lunch in Margaritaville 3 times, enjoyed the food but service got slower as the week went on. Bars - we had the UBP, never a problem getting drinks, but no continuity in cards - sometimes we showed one card for 4 drinks, other times they asked for 4 cards. Loved 5 o'clock bar but got annoyed when it was regularly closed for a private function. Entertainment - were disappointed in both main shows, Million Dollar Quartet and After Midnight, I know lots of people loved them but not really our choice, and don't want to sit in a theatre on a ship for 90 minutes. However, Howl at the Moon was absolutely fabulous, wish we had found it earlier, what a great bunch of guys. We also enjoyed the comedian one evening and would loved to have gone back but tickets went very quickly. Pool area- always able to get sunloungers where we wanted them. Weren't in pools at all and hot tubs always busy. Other facilites - loved the mini golf (a challenge when sailing wasn't smooth!), bowling alley, pool tables and the ropes course. Ports of call - always very easy to get on and off ship, we never had to queue. Casino - after getting very excited at the thought of no smoking we discovered this ban had gone - and the smoking was horrible. We did ask why can't they have one side for smoking and one side non but were told it wasn't possible - that "gambling and smoking go together" - very disappointed!!! Disembarkation- we got a time of 9.00, left the ship on time and were through with luggage in 20 minutes. We did have to wait 15 minutes then for a taxi for 4 of us plus luggage but if you wished a regular taxi there were plenty. All in all, a really wonderful cruise, fabulous ship and would love to return if they changed the itinerary, although we love St Thomas and Tortola we would like different islands next time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
I learned and benefited so much from reading the CC boards prior to my recent cruise, I wanted to share what I could. I know people have different experiences and opinions so, to be clear, this was what my husband and I experienced and, ... Read More
I learned and benefited so much from reading the CC boards prior to my recent cruise, I wanted to share what I could. I know people have different experiences and opinions so, to be clear, this was what my husband and I experienced and, take or leave what you want from it. Nov. 14th: 5:45am flight PVD to FLL-- great flight easy boarding, early arrival to FLL. We booked Jiffy Jeff transportation to ship on recommendation from CC posts. Our driver was late but Jeff did call to let us know. He made several stops-- in airport and at a hotel-- prior to leaving for port. We still arrived at POM around 11:30am. Embarkation was smooth, efficient and quick. Moderate lines moved quickly. After reading the reviews from previous cruises regarding long lines at Margaritaville, we headed right up there for lunch--for our cruise, it was complimentary except for bar drinks. Even though the restaurant was just opening, we were told the wait was over an hour and were really pushed to go to the buffet. There was a large section of empty tables. I asked to sit there while we waited (raining so outside tables not useful). At first we were told "no" but, then we were seated. A very nice waiter came over and offered drinks...and we started a very happy experience with our UBP!!. We did wait about an hour and the lines got huge with no where for the people to sit to wait. Once seated in the main restaurant, service was prompt and friendly. IMHO the food was plentiful but only ok---definitely not good enough for me to want to wait an hour or more again. I did note a really fun and friendly bartender who tried to get a party started by singing and dancing as he worked. Unfortunately, they closed Margaritaville and Spice H2O to the public so travel group could have private party for sailaway. This was SO WRONG!!.....they hogged two of the best places for sailaway. I have to admit, I got some evil satisfaction when it was pouring during sailaway so they really couldn't enjoy it. While we waited for our room to be ready, we explored some and went to the Internet Café where my husband signed up for the unlimited plan ($209-- we found it very slow but, helpful in following happenings at home) The announced when blocks of cabins were ready (the speaker system generally useless as cannot hear in almost all areas) We were in mid-ship mini-suite 14832. Very nice. Bed near balcony, big sofa, long narrow desk with tv and plugs.(we brought additional and extension cords) fyi, there are outlets to charge phones on lamps (didn't find these until cruise almost over ) To answer some others' questions, we did not have lights on our balcony but, this was just fine for us. Large bathroom with big spa shower--very nice. Minimal bathroom storage. After reading previous poster's review, both my husband and I brought those storage bags to hang on bathroom door and, this worked out great. We had plenty of storage in room for all our stuff and we brought lots! Plenty of room under bed for our suitcases. We had reserved spa passes-- for us, we needed to go to spa where they stuck a sticker on the back of our cards-- easy peasy! While there, they were having a drawing for $50-$500 in spa certificates--had to listen to short talk about different services offered but, worth it if you win the $!! Of note, you have to be there to win-- you can't claim prize for spouse, child, etc. Spa is beautiful. More on that later. ***Important note**** Highly recommend that you reserve all your specialty meals PRIOR to booking. There were lots of questions about this before we cruised. We chose the 3 day SDP but, wanted to pay separately for the Supper Club (not a good value using the sdp for this), it ended up coming out of the SDP-- I tried to fix it and book LeBistro once on board and there were absolutely no openings for LeBistro or Cagneys once on board. I heard many complaints from fellow passengers that, reserving even the other venues required a very early or late reservation. You should also reserve shows--- even comedy--that can only be done onboard and, I did not realize this and we got blocked out of most comedy shows. Speciality restaurants/shows: So, as I previously said, we had 3 day SDP. We did Supper Club: awesome show-- of note, arrive early for good seats. We had a table to the left as you enter --to the far left with a small raised podium beside it. Little did I know that I would become part of the show!! The performers frequently use that and, dance/perform right in front of us...so fun!! They sit you with others to fill the space, as necessary. None of us at our table loved the food but, many others did-- it is all subjective. I would still go again as the show is so worth it! Cagneys--we booked this on an at sea day prior to seeing Million Dollar Quartet. Allow at least 2 hrs prior to a show to be safe. Food was good--found restaurant a little loud. Honestly, we liked the steakhouse on Carnival's Valor better.--again, personal taste. Million Dollar Quartet was great and well worth seeing Teppanyaki-- loved it! I know some people say that they can do this at home but, you can also go to a steak house or a show. It was still fun and the filet mignon/shrimp was some of the best food on our cruise. They also brought out a cake for my birthday and it was yummy! (enough to share with table) We went to see After Midnight after this but, the long hours, food and UBP caught up with me and I fell asleep so, can't speak to that. Comedy/Headliners: Loved Gina and Rodney. We never got to see any of the late shows as they booked up (see warning above) Howl at the Moon was in the same venue alternate times/nights- -- very popular, never got in but found so many other awesome things to do. Seriously, you have to try real hard to be bored!! Bars/Drinks-- never a problem getting a drink at the bar or from wait staff. My husband and I could order for 2 with one card, no problem. I am usually not a drinker but, tried lots of new concoctions-- favorites were Mango meltdown and Rebellious Fish (seriously, I drank over 20 of these during the week..love em!!) We read a lot about "Bong" from the Getaway being in the Sugarcane Mojito Bar but, ended up going on a night that the huge group of travel agents had taken over Bayamo next door and it was overrun. Bong was overworked and overwhelmed... very nice, but I don't think we got to see the guy everyone loves. I wasn't a big fan of the drinks so we never went back there. Liked the specialty drinks in Teppanyaki-- forget the names but they were on the menus. You can bring drinks from one venue to another including the spa. If you are going on the pool deck, just ask for a plastic cup. Spa/Thermal Suite/gym: we didn't try any extra treatments in the spa. Access easy-- just present card, they take it and give you a card to access. Towels and robes provided-- also, tea and ice water with fruit. Great view from bow and awesome place to lie with a beverage on a heated lounger watching the sunset! Always lots of loungers-- heated ones a little more difficult but, always found one and usually, two together. I did notice that they allowed people awaiting treatments to use the loungers and, when they came to get them, they would tell them to leave their towels and they would be cleaned up and, they never were. The loungers appeared in use or "hogged" when, in fact, the spa staff did not, clean up. If I saw this and saw people unable to find heated loungers, I would let them know. We like the vitality pool and it had a beautiful ceiling above. The Jacuzzi was too cool the whole time so didn't use it much. My husband liked the moist heat room, the snow room (30 sec only!) and the exercise machines. There is a push by the staff to access services for additional cost and they got him to buy "Good Feet" inserts for $200! Honestly, we probably did not get our value from the pass but I am glad we experienced it. Not sure if I would do it again on a Caribbean itinerary but, on a cooler itinerary, absolutely! Groups: the good, the bad and the ugly! Ok... so I mentioned how they reserved 2 of the best spots for sailaway...definitely NOT cool!! They do block out rooms for them. During the day, they are generally venues that would not be open anyway so, no biggie. At night, though, they did block out entire restaurants. The first night, it was Savor but, we were able to get into Taste without problem so, not a huge issue. As I mentioned, they blocked Bayamo one night-- did not effect us directly except when they were all pushing to get to the bar before their meal. Once they left (en mass) all was good. Generally, en mass, was the biggest problem...you didn't want to be anywhere that they were heading in or out of. The good: they were not on deck taking up chairs. We NEVER had a problem getting a chair anytime even prime spots near the pool. While I am on the subject of the pool...I think our cruise was different in that it was the week before Thanksgiving so, the number of kids was very small and, I found the ones there very well behaved. But, I did notice a father take a well behaved 11ish girl into the hot tubs (which, btw, were marked "Adults only" and and, quickly, a fellow in a yellow shirt (there were a bunch wandering the deck...not sure of their exact job) politely and discreetly ask her to get out. We'll see if that continues on later cruises with more kids. The kids play area was really nice and, though the slides were open only intermittently, all using them appeared to enjoy them. Also, the ropes course was down a lot but, when open, the wait was very short and they seemed to have a good time. We got a good view while playing mini golf, which was fun (and a bit of a challenge when the ship rocked!!) Surprise find! They often had games in the atrium near the Guest services desk. Whenever I passed through, I always found myself drawn in to the fun-- ending up sitting at the bar, having a drink, making some friends and having a great time. On one occasion, I found Guy Harvey giving a lecture which was awesome (he was on our cruise with his family and was very nice, accessible and interesting. He also painted while people watched but, I did not see this) Final thoughts: It will be really hard not to have a great time on this beautiful, fun and huge ship! Bring some comfy walking shoes and a sense of adventure. Despite over 4000 people, it rarely felt crowded. We could always get an elevator-- sometimes they were crowded but, generally, people just used it as a time to meet! Oh, sorry to go off topic but, just remembered--regarding elevators and boarding at ports-- there tends to be a huge line right as you board as there are only 2 elevators which go down to that deck. If you can, just walk up one flight and there is a whole bank of elevators and no line. Also, this leaves those 2 elevators for those in wheelchairs and with strollers--that's my public service announcement for this critique. I hope this lonnnngggg post helps/interests people. To those with upcoming cruises...have fun....I am soo jealous as I want to be back there right now!! addendum: I am now reading that NCL has made Margaritaville an a la carte restaurant. This is very disappointing. Though my cruise was great, the time from booking to the cruise was full of such "changes" such as increasing the service charge twice, adding upcharges even in the "free" dining venues...etc, etc. (just read CC boards) On top of that, NCL's site and customer services is difficult to access, often wrong and inefficient. NCL has misrepresented the product that I booked consistently throughout the time from booking to cruising. Though Margaritaville was complimentary when I cruised, those after me have a right to be upset. I think anyone looking to book with NCL should be aware of this practice by the cruise line and that the service they purchase will likely look very different from the one they receive. Unless you follow CC boards, you will not know until you get there as NCL will likely not tell you.... SURPRISE!!! your cruise is gonna cost a lot more than you thought Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
This was my 23rd cruise. I've yet to have a bad time/experience on any of them. I've cruise with Disney, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and NCL. I had a great time on the Caribbean inaugural of the Escape. There ... Read More
This was my 23rd cruise. I've yet to have a bad time/experience on any of them. I've cruise with Disney, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and NCL. I had a great time on the Caribbean inaugural of the Escape. There were a few kinks that need to be worked out but I'm sure NCL will be taking care of them. NCL's service continues to be one of the best at Sea. I love the fact that some of the staff recognized me from other ships. The food in all areas was great, especially Food Republic. There were waits at Margaritaville but never as long as they would say. The longest I ever waited was 40 min. and was told that it would be a 2 hour wait. I was given a pager and able to do other activities among the ship as I waited for a table to become available. Taste and Savor serve the same menu and is set up exactly the same. Some of the private functions happened at Savor so we hopped right on over to Taste. No big deal. All of the bars were good. The District Brewhouse had the friendliest bar staff at Sea. Spice H2O was perfect for all of NCL's parties. Million Dollar Quartet is not to be missed. I wasn't sure what to expect but it blew my socks off. The ropes course is not to be missed. Scared the crap out of me but so glad I did it. I was also fortunate enough to be able to ride all the slides including the free fall, even though it was only open a brief period. I know this upset a few people but it's best to be safe than sorry. Overall, this cruise was amazing. I'm cruising the Escape again in February. I assumed there would be kinks with this inaugural cruise and there were. However, I can't wait to see the positive changes NCL has made for a smoother cruise. Great job NCL Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
We landed in Fort Lauderdale aiport on Friday and went back to the airport on Saturday using the free shuttle from the Sheraton. We met at the NCL counter at baggage claim in Terminal 1. Taking the shuttle was a breeze and when we ... Read More
We landed in Fort Lauderdale aiport on Friday and went back to the airport on Saturday using the free shuttle from the Sheraton. We met at the NCL counter at baggage claim in Terminal 1. Taking the shuttle was a breeze and when we arrived at the ship, which was a little before noon we boarded right away...and given we were latitudes member (only Bronze) we were able to use the priority boarding line. Actually boarding the ship was the easiest we have ever had. Rooms were not ready yet so we went to get something to eat. The announcement said we could go to Taste or Savor MDRs or the buffet or Margaritaville. We went to go to the MDR's but were told there was a private event going on so were told to go to the buffet. We opted for Margaritaville. We were told it was going to be an hour wait and we were given a pager. so I went into the buffet to see what they had. I was surprised that they had stip loin so I grabbed a slice and some au gratin potatoes. Then our pager went off. It only took about 20 minutes. So I brought my slice of strip loin and my potatoes to Margaritaville. Wow they both were delicious and I wish we had just gone there for lunch. So My husband had a burger and fries and I had a chicken sandwich and coleslaw. We both got one of the many different margaritas they had on the menu. My husband said his sandwich was very good and my chicken sandwich was ok...the coleslaw was great. We went to Margaritaville again for lunch on our last day. We were told an hour and a half wait and it was exactly that. While there another person that was waiting said an employee told them in two weeks they will be charging for this venue. I told them that I read that on the cruise critic site but when I called I was told they were not going to be charging. So that is left to be seen. To be honest I don't think the food was that great to charge people. I would not have gone had it not been free and the burgers in the buffet were actually better tasting to me then the one my husband got (I tried a bite). We got to our room and we were pleased. The shows. You should book your shows before you go. We did. Most of the shows said sold out but our friends who did not book ahead of time were able to get in to each show. They take the people with reservations then they let the others go in. The shows. We went to Million Dollar Quartet, which we had seen twice in Vegas, and it was excellent and a free show. We went to the Brat Pack show in the Supper club which we paid for. It was excellent. Our dinner was a small tray of 3 different appetizers which I did not care for. I am sorry I cannot tell you what they were as I lost my notes. The main dish was shrimp and short ribs both were very good. We did not eat the side dish which was rice or orzo or something like this. We had a chocolate smore dessert and they also gave us a slice of cake. The show, After Midnight was also excellent and was free. They had some fantastic tap dancers. Probably not a show kids would like but us older folks (we are in our late 50's) enjoyed it. We went to Levity comedy in the theater which is walk in and in Headliners adult show. Both were great! We did not get to see the Tenor Rock but our friends did and they said it was excellent. They were only there for one day. We had fun in the casino. We won some and lost some but came out pretty close to even. There were 1300 kids on the ship this cruise since it was the Thanksgiving cruise so we did not go to the pool or use the hot tubs at the pool. We did go to Spice H2O and it was great. They had to chase kids out every day until they finally put a larger sign up and that seemed to help. There was two hot tubs, lots of chairs, and the grotto which is great and really cooled you off. If you are looking for bathrooms in this area just go around the grotto and you will see them. There is also smoking allowed on the bar side of H2O but since it is outside and on the 17th floor the smoke did not come over to where the beach chairs were so it was perfectly fine. I cannot give you info on the children's clubs and children's entertainment but it seemed there was a lot for kids to do. We like to relax and lay out so we did not do any daytime entertainment except for the first day when we went to Bingo with our friends. That was the one and only time as it was way to expensive for just three games of bingo. We did go to play miniature golf and it was just ok. We had to wait for ball since there were hardly any available. I am assuming with so many kids onboard they might have gotten lost. Our friends went to wine tasting, trivia and other daytime activities and they really liked them. Dining: We went to all three MDR's, Taste, Savor, and the Manhattan Room. I liked the Manhattan room the best since there was music there and it was really good. The food was the same each night in all MDR's and we found the food to be very good. We went to O'Sheehans one night late because we took a nap and forgot about the time change so it was the only place open at 10:15. It was not that great. Wings good. Nachos small but good but my roast beef sandwich I was not impressed with. It was small and tasteless and had just a small scoop of mashed potatoes. I saw that they had an ice cream bar and I was excited until I saw you had to pay for a sundae. I did not bother as there was hard ice cream at the buffet for free and soft serve late night. We went up and got the soft serve for free. O'Sheehans also offered an all you can eat prime rib night two times during the cruise. The breakfast and lunch buffet. We went to breakfast and lunch most days at the buffet. They had quite a lot of food. But be sure for both breakfast and lunch to walk around the entire buffet or you will miss things. I at first could not find the pancakes and had to ask. They have pretty much everything. At the far end of the buffet there are daily sandwiches which are pretty good. But this is only in one area and you could miss it. There is also a carving station at lunch and the offerings we saw were strip loin, meatloaf, pork shoulder, pork loin and roast chicken. This was the lunch. But we did see that the buffet offered prime rib one night and a seafood buffet. We did not go but heard they were good. We did not do any specialty restaurants but our friends went to Food Republic and said it was very good and they went to Cuchina the Italian restaurant and they said it was excellent. Shore excursions: In St. Thomas we did the NCL excursion called Champagne snorkeling to St. John. I was disappointed as I thought we would see more of St. John and we only saw one little beach. You could not sit anywhere on the beach only in the sand. So my husband who does not snorkel did not have that great of a time. By the way it was described it said you would be at the beach...they did not say you would not have a place to sit. The snorkeling was just ok...not much to look at. I did see a sea turtle under me which was pretty cool. I would not do this excursion again. They did have champagne, punch cheese, bread and fruit on the boat and that was good except for the little boy who touched every piece of watermelon while his mother was standing right there. I told him to please stop and use the tongs. And then his mother finally corrected him. Just a little common sense and manners go a long way. In Tortola we took the NCL excursion Tortola by Land and See. This was a great excursion We boarded a boat at the end of the pier that we were docked at The boat took us by the different islands of the BVI and the guide was very informative. We really enjoyed this. Then we were dropped off in a shopping area and we could shop for about 30 minutes and then we were picked up at a little bar/restaurant to do the land part of the excursion. We were taken up some very winding hills to see some beautiful views of the island. We stopped at a small bar that had some great views. We were then taken back to the ship. We would recommend this excursion. In Nassau we opted for a day pass, which was purchased prior to our trip, for the British Colonial Hilton. It is within walking distance from our ship. Probably about ten minutes. It is a business hotel with a small beach and a nice pool area. The pass cost us $60 each and this gave us $40 each for lunch and beverages. My husband had two alcoholic drinks, I had one and a bottle of water. We had lunch in the beach bar which is the only place you are allowed to go. We both had burgers, coleslaw and chips and an order of nachos. The total of all came to a little over $100 so it cost us an additional $20+. The positives are that it was a nice area...we did relax but our ship did not get to port until noon so we did not have a lot of time since our pass was from 9-5. However our friends took the NCL Atlantis 80 some dollar excursion and it took them almost an hour from leaving the ship to getting there. Then they were not allowed to go to the initial beach area because it was closed and so they went to another area which was too windy to lay out. So they went to lunch and that cost over $100 for the 4 of them and this was not included. They said they would not do this again. So I think our excursion was better for the money but next time I would stay on the ship. The ship was rocky the last few days. I don't mind this at all...actually I like it. But people were getting a bit ill with the rockiness. Someone said the captain probably did not have his stabilizers in use because he gets a bonus if he saves fuel. I have no idea what this means but thought I would throw it out there in case someone does. Also, we were in the gift shop and we overheard the guy vacuuming say to another employee who asked him whey he was emptying the dirt out of the bag rather than throwing it away that he was told they have to reuse the bags. I found this to be ridiculous...that is what you call penny wise pound foolish. This guy was literally trying to get the dirt out of the little hole in the bag. Whoever told him to do this should be demoted!!! Health Club. I used the health club every day and the only thing I wish they had were a few more recumbent bikes for those of us who have a disability. I was down there at 6a, each day except for one which I went down at 9am. On this day I had to wait at least 30 minutes for a recumbent bike since there were only 3 of them. I think they should have added a few more. Spa I went for a massage the first day as they offered a deal. The girl who did the massage was pressing to hard and it caused me to have cramping in my legs and caused severe back spasms. She spent most of the time trying to calm down my spasms. So for $175 it was the worst massage I had ever had. She was a nice girl but I have never had this issue before and then she said I should go to acupuncture as that would help me better. I wish I could get my money back for this massage...but oh well. Live and learn. Disembarkation was very easy and our shuttle back to Fort Lauderdale was right there when we walked out. No issues with getting off the ship. One of the few things I did not like was the Bake Shoppe where you had to purchase a small cupcake for $1.50 or $2.50 for a larger one and then pay an 18% gratuity for someone handling it to you from the case. Cmon NCL this is ridiculous. Just let people have a cupcake. We were on Celebrity this past January and they had a wonderful area with bakery that was delicious and it was free for the people on the cruise. I also did not like the elevators at all. They were very dark and not at all impressive. I also did not like that they had this big screen in Spice H2O and did not have movies playing on it during the day. They did put on football on Thanksgiving after some people asked. But what a waste of this huge screen when they could have made it nice. But All in all we really enjoyed our time on the ship. I would have liked to go to the pool but with all the kids there was no way I was going to even try to get into this area. I have had 3 back surgeries and I have a fear of being knocked down. I would recommend this ship to singles, couples and families as there was plenty do do for everyone. If you do not want to deal with a lot of kids probably best not to go during Thanksgiving. But even with all the kids running around the halls and in and out of the adult area we still had a great time. Plus the kids were just being kids and having fun. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
NCL got it right. What a beautiful ship. My three teen children and I shared a portside mid-ship mini-suite on deck 12. The room and balcony was bigger than the one I cruised on the Getaway. The bigger bathroom, spa shower and double ... Read More
NCL got it right. What a beautiful ship. My three teen children and I shared a portside mid-ship mini-suite on deck 12. The room and balcony was bigger than the one I cruised on the Getaway. The bigger bathroom, spa shower and double sink, definitely are worth the extra $$ than a regular balcony. Activities were awesome. There were some technical issues with the drop slides, but we were able to use them many times once fixed, along with the new tube slide. The ropes course was upgraded too. Walking the planks and zipping on the skyrails was fun, as well as climbing up to the new third level. The wait was never that long. There are bars everywhere, and never needed to wait more than 5 minutes for a drink...and this on a ship that had almost 5,000 people on it, many with the unlimited drinking package. As a Cowboys fan, I was able to watch my team, along with many other games in many spots on the ship. the highlight being on Thanksgiving, where they showed the games on the giant screens by the pool...how cool. We had the specialty dining package and ate at a different specialty restaurant every night. The highlight for us was Teppanyaki...so good, and our chef put on quite a show. Le Bistro is always excellent, as was Cagney's (ate there twice). We ate at La Cucina outside on the Waterfront which was fun. It was a beautiful night, and you could see the full moon over the ocean. Moderno was a new treat for us as well with the waiters walking around with the various meats that they would stop and ask you if you would like more. We also tried Food Republic, which is a new tapas style restaurant with the Pub Belly's group out of Miami. The sushi rolls, Steak tacos, buffalo shrimp, and the sliders were all big hits for my kids and I. Besides the specialty restaurants, we went to the Garden Cafe buffet most mornings for breakfast. Everything was good to very good,and rarely did we have to wait on any lines for more than a minute or two. We also had lunch one day at Margaritaville. We knew in advance from the previous sailing, that there would be a wait, as the food is cooked to order there. This differs from the Flamingo Grill which occupied the same spot on the Getaway. That one was buffet style. From what I understand, we may have been the last to enjoy this as a complimentary restaurant, but I definitely would have paid for it if is was a la carte. The fish tacos, taco salad, Cheeseburger in Paradise, and the Conch Fritters were all very good. We also went to the supper club "For The Record." I can't recommend this higher. As someone who was a teen in the 80's, I knew all of the John Hughes movies being depicted as well as the music from those movies and the era. I have shared the movies over the years with my kids, so they knew them as well. What A Show!!! The actors and musicians were amazing. Switching characters and instruments on the fly. Very funny as well. Not for the little ones though, as there is definitely adult language and situations. They used the entire restaurant for the show as well, and got some of the audience involved. The meal itself was meh...which we had been told ahead of time, so we ate dinner first. We didn't attend the other two shows, Million Dollar Quartet, or After Midnight, but heard good things. We went zip-lining in Tortola...fun but a little scary. I do wish we didn't need to be back on the ship so early, as we would have liked to have spent more time at the Cane Garden Bay beach which was an $8 cab ride from the pier after our morning excursion. We also did the segway tour in Nassau, which was a blast. very friendly staff showed us in 2 minutes how to ride those things, and from there we were off. Lots of fun. All in all, for the second 7 day sailing, we had an amazing cruise. The staff all had smiles on their faces, and couldn't have been friendlier. I lost count of how many times I was greeted...whether a good morning, or have a nice day...etc. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
We arrived at the cruise depot and were quickly processed and we onboard in a very short time. We were sitting down for lunch almost immediately at O'Sheehan's. After a pleasant lunch we made our way to our respective ... Read More
We arrived at the cruise depot and were quickly processed and we onboard in a very short time. We were sitting down for lunch almost immediately at O'Sheehan's. After a pleasant lunch we made our way to our respective stateroom. Our luggage was there in an amazingly short time. After unpacking and getting organized we were off to try to figure out where everything was located. The meals were mostly good, not as good as we have had on other NCLs. Service was slow at times. I do wish you would have either a salad bar at lunch time in the dining rooms or have a nice large salad for those of us that are trying to watch our weight. I ask for a double salad at one lunch and it was still very small in my opinion. There was a problem with the Garden Café, the food was not warm, it was disappointing. We usually eat in the dining rooms, so we didn't go back to the Garden Cafe. We did try the Margaritaville, it was just okay, but the wait to get in was ridiculous. We were surprised that there was a lot of wasted area that could have been utilized for setting. We heard that they are going to be changing this to a pay restaurant and we agreed that they need to improve their food to warrant doing that. The Thanksgiving dinner was a disappointment. As I was sick, only my husband went for dinner and he was not real happy with the dinner. Even though you are on a cruise, there should be a traditional meal available for those that want it. I understand there was no pumpkin pie and this was a downer for my husband. He also said that the dinner music was not appropriate. He said it was too loud. The entertainment was great. I think it was the best we have had on a cruise. And we have been cruising for several years. We usually participle in Trivia, but it was usually scheduled at a bad time. Too early in the morning, especially. Did like the library that had tables so you could play cards. The Ultimate Beverage Package was wonderful. We have decided that all future cruises will have to include this. All and all the cruise was great. We have cruised on NCL before and will go on them again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
My review of Escape: We sailed on Escape 11/21/15 through 12/5/15. The ship is absolutely amazing and beautiful. Stepping onto the ship is like being reunited by family with many of the crew who we have become personal friends with made ... Read More
My review of Escape: We sailed on Escape 11/21/15 through 12/5/15. The ship is absolutely amazing and beautiful. Stepping onto the ship is like being reunited by family with many of the crew who we have become personal friends with made the sailing extra special as always. Sean is the absolute hotelier and he and his team always go the extra mile to ensure our vacation is the vacation of a lifetime. He is Numero Uno HD. Rashida the HD secretary is awesome and she is just amazing. She is the best of the best. Asst HD Errol goes above and beyond as well as FB Director Martin and Bar Manager Jose. Ronney D'Souza the Executive Houskeeper made sure our cabin was filled with my favorite towel animals. Cabin looked awesome as always. We were in cabin 14282 which was close to Aft elevator which was a great location. First week we had a fabulous room steward named Arvin. He was fabulous. Second week it was not Arvin and you could surely tell the difference. We saw the show Million Dollar Quartet which was a fabulous show. After Midnight was an okay show but I found it to be too long. Just so much tap dancing one can stand. Howl at the moon was lots of fun. We enjoyed it very much. Wine Lovers was nice show as well. We seen it twice on Getaway and loved it here as well. We also saw the Brenda Braxton live cabaret show which we loved. She was engaging and funny and has a fabulous voice. It was a dinner show and the food was very good as well and fabulous presentation of the dishes. We also went to Brat Pack For the Record also a dinner show, show was fabulous however dinner menu needs lots of tweaking. We dined in Le Bistro, Moderno, Taste, Savor, Manhattan Room, Pincho, Food Republic, La Cucina and Margaritaville . We ate in Margaritaville the first week when it was still a complimentary dining venue. Food in all dining venues were top notch and well prepared. Service was a bit slow but I was on vacation so really didn't care. Wait staff seemed happy and smiling and engaging except in Margaritaville where not many smiled. Maybe because it was just too hot there for them. We really enjoyed the atrium and would listen to the music after dinner there and chat with awesome Jr Bar Server named Loan from St Lucia. I never seen anyone takes orders and clean tables as fast as her. The cupcakes on the Escape from the bake shop were 100 times better then the Carlo Bakery ones on Breakaway and Getaway in my opinion. Great change. My only complaint was when walking under the beautiful chandelier by Le Bistro the smell of smoke from casino was very overpowering. Sometimes you could actually see a haze of smoke and it made my eyes and throat burn. That issue really needs to be addressed for sure. I really don't know how people could dine outside there in Le Bistro with the heavy smoke smell. I liked the layout of Sugarcane Mojito Bar better on the Escape and really didn't get to enjoy it on the Escape so I really can't rate it. I never ever in the two weeks onboard walked through Garden Cafe so cannot comment on that as well. Mini Golf was fun as well. We didn't spend anytime on pool deck , just walked through it as we do on all ships. I can say this was a fabulous two weeks onboard the Escape and I look forward to doing it again soon with my Norwegian Family. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
I was on the Escape for its 2nd, 7 Day cruise ever out of Miami, during Thanksgiving week. Were a married couple in our 40's that have experienced over 20 cruises between us, including having been jaded by the "Oasis & ... Read More
I was on the Escape for its 2nd, 7 Day cruise ever out of Miami, during Thanksgiving week. Were a married couple in our 40's that have experienced over 20 cruises between us, including having been jaded by the "Oasis & Allure of the Seas". The ship was as expected…GORGEOUS. We have sailed on the Getaway a summer before so we knew what to expect, and for some reason this ship seemed a lot more comfortable (yes I know its bigger, but layout is almost identical). Whatever small adjustments that were made, definitely paid off in our opinion, specifically in 678 Ocean Place. The cruise never felt crowded outside of the normal times/area (poolside on sea days, exiting a show, etc…). We had the Ultimate Beverage Package, and expected long wait times at bars, but luckily we were pleasantly surprised that we never waited more than 3-5 minutes to get a drink anywhere. Our only real complaint would have to be the MDR menu options, we thought the meals could've been a bit simpler. Below we will break things down…. Embarkation - 10 of 10 - Surprisingly Fast….we normally do not check in so late, but we arrived around 1pm and all jokes aside, we were onboard within 10 minutes! Fastest embarkation in all our cruise trips ever. It helps that we had checked in online and had our printouts, although they did not allow us to print the "health questionnaire", could've saved 3 more minutes easily! Cabin - 8 of 10 - We had a Balcony Cabin on the 12th floor Port side (12126), very comfortable. Extremely clean (new boat..duhh), good flow, avg size balcony, and excellent water pressure. Our only complaint was the proximity and size of the main closet. Found it to be a little smaller than normal, and way to close to bed. (I assume other cabins are vice versa with bed and couch, where couch is closest to closet, which this way would be more comfortable closet wise, maybe not to access the balcony) Ship/Public Areas - 9 of 10 - The ship is beautiful, and well decorated. 678 Ocean Place flows a lot better now, than we previously noticed on the Getaway. The Atrium here and customer service area are very comfortable. Waterfront is awesome, weather permitting of course. Spice H2O now has a grotto which is great to cool off from hot sun (just wish it wasn't so shaded). Pool deck could be better, but still comfortable, when you consider everything on there. Slides are amazing, never waited more than 5 minutes on any line. Ropes course is twice as good as the one on the Getaway, and that one is awesome!! Those planks, and zip lines are incredible. Theater is well designed and very comfortable. Comedy club Headliners great size, feels intimate but yet spacious. Fitness center was good as well, plenty of machines, spacious, and nice view. We did not go into SPA. Food and Beverage - 7 of 10 - MDR (main dining room) - Good not great. The decor of all three (Taste, Savor, and The Manhattan Room), were gorgeous, btw an FYI, they all serve same meals on same nights. The menu seemed a bit "stuffy" for us, a bit confusing with the fancy names. We thought it could've been a bit simplified. FYI NO LONGER ARE THEY OFFERING A "LOBSTER NIGHT", if you want lobster its an option every night for 19.99 or 24.99 w/8oz filet mignon. The everyday options are pretty good, especially the "steak frites". O'sheehans is an excellent option anytime of the day, literally anytime. Margaritaville had long waits for most of the cruise, except when in a port, so we tried it twice and found it to be ok, don't know what the big deal is with this place. My wife and I actually agreed that the Cuban/Latin style place in same location on Getaway was a lot better tasting and was buffet style…no waits! Out of all the "A la Carte" options we tried Food Republic and found the food to be delicious well worth the small extra charge. We did not try any other place. Garden Cafe (buffet deck 16) - a lil above average, lots of options….FYI utensils will be at your table …don't go crazy looking for it before getting your table. Mixed cocktails are good but vary on your bartender like any bar anywhere. The options are nice….wife recommends Toasted Almond, I recommend "Mr. Worldwide". (we did the "Brat Pack" show…more on meal there in Entertainment section). Entertainment - 7 of 10 - The games and small entertainment around ship was average at best. The "Newlywed not so Newlywed show" is always a favorite, everything else is ok to past the time. Levity Comedy show at Headliners and the "Howl at the Moon" events are hysterical and easily the most fun we had at a event. Just wish they allowed us to make reservations ahead of time from home for Comedy show. Out of the big shows "After Midnight" was amazing, as was the "Million Dollar Quartet". Both shows are "broadway" quality well worth taking the time to make a reservation. We did pay the $35 per person, to enjoy the "Brat Pack" dinner show, and were a little disappointed. The performers were incredible talents, all 6 of em!!! We just were not thrilled by how show was produced, and definitely did not like the menu. NO OPTIONS, unless you have allergies. They basically serve everyone the same dishes. Appetizers are 3 small teasers, dinner is a short rib (delicious) and something else, and for dessert you once again get 2 items in small portions. They only serve the appetizer b4 the show, everything else the serve you in the dark during show, so be prepared. Perhaps if meals were better we might have enjoyed it more as we planned that as our dinner, needless to say went to O'sheehan's immediately after. (FTR were not "big" greedy people either, we are avg size….I am 5'9" 185lbs, wife is 5'5" 135lbs) Service - 9 of 10 - Just about everyone was wonderful, they really were welcoming for the most part. We just really wish more people would consider how hard these crew members work to please us, and try not to abuse it. Too many times we saw families with small ones make a waiter retrieve several different meals for their kids cause they didn't want it, for nothing cause at the end all 3 dishes would go barely untouched, with kids only eating their Ice Cream. The only real complaint we had was that it seemed they never took into account the forecast with outdoor events, as a few Spice H2O parties were moved after the fact into the Atrium, thus moving comfortable customers enjoying movies there with little ones, by a few hundred semi drunk loud adults ready to party. Not good….!! Ports - 7 of 10 - We visited St. Thomas (U.S.V.I), Tortola (B.V.I) and Nassau, Bahamas. Ports are what you make of em…we only got off in Tortola and paid $8 each way per person to Cane Garden Bay which was beautiful and exactly what we wanted …a quick, comfortable, and cost effective beach getaway. Wish for any other port rather than Nassau…been there too many times. Disembarkation - 6 of 10 - Although better experience than we have had with other cruise lines, it was a bit crowded to get your luggage, and then had a long long line….afterwards to clear customs. We have learned that it all really depends on the customers, port facilities, and port staff, its really out of cruise lines control at that point. Overall it was a great trip on a great ship!! No major complaints outside of choppy waters a night or two….nothing I think NCL can control!!! Highly recommend it…and were experienced cruisers, that have been on other amazing ships like RCCL's Oasis, Allure, Carnival's Breeze, and NCL's Getaway. Bottom line you have to have the right company, and mind state!!!!! Don't pay an average of 100/night per person and expect 5 star meals, shows, and service, keep in mind the cost effectiveness of your cruise!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
Very confused in peoples reviews of the Norwegian escape. Many things can go wrong with a trip but you have to go with it and enjoy. My biggest joy about this ship was the staff. Many of the reviews I've read make comments on how ... Read More
Very confused in peoples reviews of the Norwegian escape. Many things can go wrong with a trip but you have to go with it and enjoy. My biggest joy about this ship was the staff. Many of the reviews I've read make comments on how horrible the staff was and that they seemed very unhappy. All I have to say about that is " treat people how you expect to be treated ". Every staff member I experienced was great and my daughter thought the ropes coarse and water slide staff was amazing. They knew her and my nieces names within a day. A shout goes out to Lesley, Romeo S, Noel ,Lindi, Donny, Jo Jo and Cornelius all of the deck staff. You are the best!! I would also like to say The Brewhouse staff was great. Wish we had of spent a little more then just the last night there. Room stewards were all pleasant. The food and all the dinning rooms were all exceptional. I found their was a great variety of food. Between the buffet,main dinning rooms and Oshehan's their was plenty to choose from food wise.only disappointment was that Margaritaville wasn't complimentary now but didn't effect my trip at all. Booked to go see After Midnight but was having way to much fun to go. The adult area and the Grotto in the back of the ship was great. Pools were a great size. Overall the ship was beautiful, clean and impressive. I am now looking at booking my second cruise with Norwegian. I am a new fan!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Just got off the November 28th sailing of the Escape. Had a wonderful time. Here are some pros and cons: Pros: - Lots to do on board (bars, shows, etc.) - Love the casino layout, especially with Skyline bar right there - Ship ... Read More
Just got off the November 28th sailing of the Escape. Had a wonderful time. Here are some pros and cons: Pros: - Lots to do on board (bars, shows, etc.) - Love the casino layout, especially with Skyline bar right there - Ship is brand new and clean, and we didn't run into any new-ship hiccups - Food was great at the buffet and at Food Republic (two places we ate the most) - Nice gym and spa with great views - Staff was very friendly - Friends of Dorothy (LGBT) meeting every night at Skyline bar (we had over 50 people the first night!) Cons: - The move to a la carte dining is not cool - Bars were slow at time. They need more bar tenders - Ship moves more than then Epic or even the RCI Oasis and Allure - Wish they would diversify the shows. All three are basically old music. Need some new broadway / music. Everything was 80s, 50s and 20s basically. Overall we had a great time and would highly recommend it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
Just got off the beautiful Norwegian Escape this past Saturday. We had a wonderful time! This ship is beautiful and very classy. Pre-Cruise Hotel: Stayed at Intercontinental Miami on Friday before cruise. Outstanding and ... Read More
Just got off the beautiful Norwegian Escape this past Saturday. We had a wonderful time! This ship is beautiful and very classy. Pre-Cruise Hotel: Stayed at Intercontinental Miami on Friday before cruise. Outstanding and excellent views. Highly recommend getting a bayside view room. Huge windows facing port and you can see all the ships. Will stay there again. Room: Stayed in 14712 - balcony room. So glad I got an upgrade, and for a very reasonable price. So nice to be able to go out on your balcony and see the beautiful views. Our room steward was great and provided great service and made sure we had ample towels every day. The room was very nice, clean, big bathroom and nice, larger shower. Bed was very comfortable too. This room is Forward and just below the captains bridge. I will definitely book a room closer to the elevators next time, as we had long walks, however it's also good for walking off some of those many consumed calories! :) We did have an issue with balcony door first night. The weather was somewhat rough the first night; rocking and swaying, plus wind. The seal on the door was broken and there was a lot of wind noise/whistling. We called Guest Services next morning and they fixed the issue that day. No further issues rest of cruise. I think they are just working-out-the-kinks being a new ship. Entertainment: Didn't see all the shows, but saw the following. Million Dollar Quartet - great Crew Talent Show - great Comedians - There were 3 comedians on board and we really liked Warren and Richard. Didn't see adult comedy show versions, but these guys are funny. :) Then there's all the fun happenings at the pool area each sea day. Sexy legs contest, hot dog eating contest, ice-carving, and many more. Good music was playing all day as well. Food: Ate in all 3 main dining rooms, Taste, Savor, and Manhattan. Very good. Upcharge for lobster and prime rib. Had dinner in Teppanakyi - very good and fun experience with chef. Highly recommend. Upcharge for this establishment. Margaritaville - good - had cheeseburger and pretzels. Upcharge. O'Sheehan's - very good. Prime rib was very good, my boyfriend said. Garden Cafe Buffet - good Pool: Nice and very crowded on sea days, but hey, that's alright. Lots of lounge chairs, however they pack them in with close proximity to your neighbors and it's somewhat difficult to make extra room or move around easily. Shopping on board: Nice. Bought a nice Guess purse and some jewelry - chain and bracelet. Ports: Very nice; lots of shopping to be had! Guest Services Card for your Stateroom: In order to use your lights in your stateroom you need to put your key card in the slot by the door. When we left the room we always wanted to take our individual cards with us, so I heard that it's a good idea to get an extra card from Guest Services so that you can keep it in the slot for that purpose. Just a thought. Ultimate Beverage Package: We received this as part of our booking promo. Nice to have! There were a few times where we noticed very nominal fees on our account, that was due to a drink we may have ordered that was a little bit more in price than the UBP beverage offering. No big deal---as we saved a lot of $$ on alcohol. Ropes Course and Water Slide: Boyfriend did ropes course and it was a little hard for him. He did 'walk-the-plank' but only made it half-way! Lol. A bit scary for him. We both did the water slide. Lots of fun; highly recommend. We went down together...with me screaming in fun...all the way! :) Excursions: Only did one 'unplanned' in Tortola, BVI. Nice time. Took bus-type tour of the island. $15 pp. They will greet you as you are walking into the port area and we decided to go - to see the sights. Went very high up and observed great views, as well as seeing the ship from up high. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Easy as pie! Best experience I've had yet! We 'walked-off' the ship with our luggage and it was so nice. Highly recommend this, if you can't haul your luggage. Summary: Overall, we had a great experience and would sail this ship again. We actually put a deposit down for another NCL cruise--to be determined. Just enjoy your vacation and 'don't sweat the small stuff' - it's just not worth it. Afterall, you are on vacation, so have fun and relax too! HAPPY SAILING! :) 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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