1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
We, a group of seven, spent a week on the Norwegian sister ship, Getaway. The Escape can handle 55 less tons than the Escape, can carry 279 more guests, has 11 more crew members, is 2 feet shorter than the Getaway, and is a year ... Read More
We, a group of seven, spent a week on the Norwegian sister ship, Getaway. The Escape can handle 55 less tons than the Escape, can carry 279 more guests, has 11 more crew members, is 2 feet shorter than the Getaway, and is a year younger than the Getaway. We came in very happy, looking for a real happy, great adventure. Here is what we found: We booked 4 cabins with balconies for all of us, since I would not cruise on anything less. When we entered the cabin and saw the balcony, my heart sank. The 2 chairs were positioned sideways, with a postage-stamp-sized table between them. Turning the chairs sideways, to face the water, left no room for my knees. Needless to say, the enjoyment of sitting out, enjoying the view and dining out on the balcony were out. Half of my expected enjoyment, and the reason to pay for a balcony, was out the door. Trying to take a shower was anything but. No pressure in any pipe. If my knees and my shoulder didn't touch the shower wall, I couldn't get wet. Still in the bathroom, after the shower, I couldn't comb my hair as the mirror, and the ceiling, were just a tab uncomfortable to stand straight. When I was younger I stood taller than 6 feet, but I have since shrunk below. Obviously, the balcony size (what size?), the ceiling height (what height?), allow for a few more cabins for the cruise line, a little less comfort for me. The ship had wonderful entertainment. But unlike any cruise line I have ever traveled with before, we had to pay dearly for it. The entertainment that was included in the price (not cheap), trust me, you want to avoid. The noise level anywhere on the ship, restaurants, entertainment venues, was maddening. If you are over 40 years old, don't even bother. The food even lost its taste with that noise. If you are younger than 30, it is designed for you. They assume that your ear drums are gone already. All decorations are made of plastic, so the noise reverberate without stop. No fabric, nothing soft to absorb the sound. We went to watch an event called "Dueling Pianos", looking forward for a bit of respite and culture, but had to leave after a few minutes. The noise was unbearable. And we were not alone. We did enjoy each others' company, but suffered from everything else. If it was a hotel on land, we would have checked out on the second day. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
Spent one night on the ship as a celebration to end of year of challenges taken on to raise money for a local children's charity , well this was spoilt by the whole experience . Firstly on Arrival at room , which was not even made up ... Read More
Spent one night on the ship as a celebration to end of year of challenges taken on to raise money for a local children's charity , well this was spoilt by the whole experience . Firstly on Arrival at room , which was not even made up , told by housekeeping on this cruise no coffee in cabin , tea bags but no kettle . Can live with that . First meal , well food was cold , staff rude not attentive at all , when received bill was horrified to find they had added an 18 percent gratuity , well the Services was not worth , your find this is standard company policy . Evening meal in the Manhattan ,we booked this 6 plus weeks ago , 8.30 sitting , we were still waiting at 9, to be told we still need to make up the table , the queues were out the door , people standing in the lobby it was like a crowd at a football match . Once seated we were given one menu between 8 of us , eventually more were handed out , we ordered our meals including dessert told this was to save time !!! Starters arrived , not up to much really , after some 45 mins our dirty plates were still on the table no one had been near us to even offer drinks or water . We had to call a manager over to ask what was happening , she showed no interest at all and thought by giving us a bottle of wine would make it right . Meals arrived , all cold , parsnips with steak which was like rubber , menu said chips , chicken so dry could not chew it . Crisps served with chicken and gravy , that did it called manager again (Corrine) , she said she would be back in 5 mins never came back . So we left with no dinner and ended up with a bar snack . We decided to make the most of our time , well had missed all the entertainment and no on board night club , everything shut at 1 ,on speaking to guest relation , was told its not a proper cruise , well we paid. Proper over rated price for what can only describe as butlins on water . I would not recommend this ship or company to anybody , could go on for ever Jusy don't bother wasting your money Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We have cruised with P&O, Princess, Cunard and Royal Caribbean so thought we'd try NCL so took a one night taster on the Escape. Well that's exactly what we'd have liked to have done ESCAPE! Standards are shockingly low. ... Read More
We have cruised with P&O, Princess, Cunard and Royal Caribbean so thought we'd try NCL so took a one night taster on the Escape. Well that's exactly what we'd have liked to have done ESCAPE! Standards are shockingly low. Service is non existent and staff are not interested in hearing your complaints! The only positive was the rooms are beautiful and the thermal spa amazing. Everything else was well below average. You have to Book dinner and shows on touch screens and although we booked dinner for 9:15pm when we arrived at the Manhattan there must have been over a hundred people queuing to get in. When I explained to the waitress that we had booked our table she was rude and told us to just get in the que!!!! Whilst stood in the que she was taking people who HADNT booked tables through to eat!! I approached her again to be told it would be another hour and half before we could eat!!!! When we finally sat down it took 3 hours to serve a 3 course meal and the food was average at best. I didn't eat my main as it was truly disgusting and come midnight still had no dinner!!! The wine waiter was so rude we refused to buy any in the end. Went to reception to remove the tips and complain to be told NOT to write the reason we were refusing to pay tips on the form!!!! The receptionist wasn't interested in the fact we'd had such a shocking dining/ service experience and told us to just ring head office. He didn't even apologise!!! Furious and hungry we went to bed. Upon trying to disembark there was absolute chaos (same goes for embarkation) and there was a woman with a young son in a wheelchair trying to get through the chaos of bodies to get her son off the ship. When she approached a staff member I heard her being told "we don't offer special service to disabled passengers"!!!!!! We were disgusted!! On the point of disabled passengers there are only 2 sets of lifts, both of which you had to wait at least half an hour to get in and disabled passengers seemed to wait forever. There was of course a private lift for "Haven" passengers but they wouldn't even let the disabled passengers use that!!! And to top it off the cheeky Devils still took the tips off our cards so filling out forms was pointless. If you want rubbish food, rubbish service and you love to que then this is the ship for you. If however you have more discerning tastes then avoid this bargain bucket cruise line! What worried me most was the utter lack of organisation in EVERY area of the cruise. I would not want to be on that ship with those staff in an emergency situation!!! I know this is a long rant but this is our FIRST AND LAST ever cruise with NCL!!! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
There were 7 people in our group, all of whom have cruised many times before. This was our first time with NCL and if this is any indication of their standards - never again! Having arrived we took a number and after about an hour were ... Read More
There were 7 people in our group, all of whom have cruised many times before. This was our first time with NCL and if this is any indication of their standards - never again! Having arrived we took a number and after about an hour were called to check in. We then had to sit down again (or stand as there were no seats available) and wait another hour to be called to board. Service on board was very slow and the drinks were very expensive (2 rum and cokes $21.50 plus 18% tax). Waited half an hour to be seated in the main restaurant and 2 hours later (having only eaten starter and a main course, both of poor quality) we left. At no time did we see a wine waiter. After dinner we went to the District Brewhouse where the live pianist was very good; unfortunately all the best seats were taken up by crew members who seemed to treat it as their own private club. Overall we have left with the opinion that NCL is very expensive (all restaurants except the main restaurants carry a surcharge or are a la carte), the service is slow and standards are not as high as other cruise lines we have experienced. The only good thing about this taster cruise was the Million Dollar Quartet show which was excellent! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We went on this one day taster cruise to compare the experience of NCL with Celebrity and Princess cruises. The first mistake that NCL make is forcing you wait nearly 2 hours to board the ship. Once we managed to get on the ship we ... Read More
We went on this one day taster cruise to compare the experience of NCL with Celebrity and Princess cruises. The first mistake that NCL make is forcing you wait nearly 2 hours to board the ship. Once we managed to get on the ship we immediately made our way to our Cabin which was sold to us as a Midship Cabin whereas in reality is at the rear. The cabin, in comparison with the same class of cabin on Celebrity, was extremely small although it had a very nice balcony. The pleasant bathroom has body wash, shampoo and hand wash dispensers exactly like those that you get in the budget hotels such as Premier Inn. We then went up to the 16th deck to get some lunch. Although the types of cuisine provided were very basic the food was quite good but unfortunately there are not enough tables and chairs so you have to walk around and around, with your food getting cold, until you find some. If you want a quiet relaxing "pre dinner" drink where you can meet fellow cruiser then this ship is not for you as it does not have anywhere to sit and relax. NCL have mixed a Bar area with the area that is used for quizzes, bingo and karaoke at the same time The service in the " freestyle" restaurant " Savour" was very slow and all of the courses were served either " Luke warm " or cold. The Buzz boy servicing our table had no idea what to do so the waiter had to clear away the plates. There is also a charge for a "post" dinner coffee which cannot be taken at your table. The " Free " entertainment was very good but you must remember to book otherwise you will not be allowed into the very small theatre and don't expect to be able to get a drink whilst you watch the show as it more like a cinema than a theatre. If you forget to book the free show then NCL will charge you up to $50 per person to see any of the other shows. I think that you should you NCL a wide berth unless you like cruising with a Premier Inns set up. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
My husband and I were invited by our travel agent to spend a night aboard the Norwegian Escape on a taster cruise. It was for one night only. Embarkation was fine. The balcony cabin, in our opinion was badly laid out. There was a ... Read More
My husband and I were invited by our travel agent to spend a night aboard the Norwegian Escape on a taster cruise. It was for one night only. Embarkation was fine. The balcony cabin, in our opinion was badly laid out. There was a tiny bedside table on each side of the bed, so small it was a waste of time. The wardrobe was alongside the bed, making it difficult to put clothes in and out. My husband was pleased to see there was a coffee maker, buy alas no coffee! We did enquire about the coffee but was told the coffee makers were not in use at this time, however, we could use it to make a cup of tea (if we wanted to walk upstairs to get T bags that is)!! After unpacking we decided to have a drink and then explore. The first two bars didn't have any pino grigio, even though it was on their menu. The same with the draft beer. The drinks on this ship were very expensive. The most expensive we have ever found on any ship and we sail generally with P & O, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. To give you an idea, two medium glasses of red wine cost us £20!! We then went to book a table for dinner and was told we couldn't book a table, just turn up!! We attended the show, Million Dollar quartet, which my husband enjoyed and then decided to have a drink before dinner. The bars were mayhem! No waiter service (at least at the bars we attended)! We eventually got a drink and decided to go for dinner. The queues were incredible. I am on holiday, I don't queue. We ended up in our finery, along with a lot of other people, in the main buffet. The food was fine but not exactly the ambiance we had hoped for. We then had a stroll around the shops and couldn't face fighting our way to get another drink so went back to our stateroom, to be greeted by loud music coming from one of the venues just below our stateroom. Yes, NCL have put an entertainment venue in amongst the staterooms, well, good luck with that NCL. We are so grateful for our travel agent inviting us to try this ship. It has made us determine never to cruise with NCL again. If you like queuing, very expensive drinks and noisy staterooms, this ship is for you. We will not be returning. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
Sailed on the Norwegian Escape for my partner's mother's Birthday (one night cruise from Southampton). Firstly - the ship was beautiful with fantastic restaurants, good food from what we experienced, good facilities, nice clean ... Read More
Sailed on the Norwegian Escape for my partner's mother's Birthday (one night cruise from Southampton). Firstly - the ship was beautiful with fantastic restaurants, good food from what we experienced, good facilities, nice clean staterooms and overall great potential. However, on this occasion we were extremely disappointed by the NCL customer service, complete lack of organization and very poor communication between staff and towards customers. The first example of this concerns evening dining - we were told early in the day there would be no need to book a table at the complementary restaurants as we would not have a problem getting a place. However, when we arrived for dinner that evening we were met with an hour long queue, with no staff seeming to know what was going on or willing to offer an explanation or any help or assistance. Eventually we were turned away along with many customers who HAD booked tables (having been given the opposite advice to our party). The customers at the back of the queue were not kept updated or informed of the situation and continued to queue long after those at the front had been told there would be no spaces for over an hour. This situation was the same for all complementary restaurants and we ended up paying to eat at one of the fine dining restaurants. On this occasion - after a great deal of complaining - NCL did the right thing and refunded us for this meal, but there were many customers who were not so lucky and this did not detract from the stress and time taken out of our one night on board the ship. The second issue concerned lost property - An hour or so after leaving the ship my partner and I realised we had left both our passports and my purse in the safe in our cabin. A very stupid mistake on our part but one which NCL dealt with extremely poorly. I called the Southampton office straight away and was told they'd call me back promptly and would do everything they could to reunite me with my belongings. They did not call me back. I called again later that day and again they failed to call me back. The next day, having been told everything would be done to track down the belongings, I was simply told I would have to send an email describing my belongings as they had all the lost property in boxes which had not been checked yet. Over the next few weeks I had to call again and again and explain the situation over and over again, each time I was told they had not checked the lost property yet and would call me back with information and each time they did not. It was about 4 weeks later that I was finally informed that my passports were in an office in London and about a month after my cruise I got them back. My purse, which had been with the passports in the safe in cabin had somehow 'gone missing' and could not be returned. No effort was made to look further into this by NCL. Overall, a cruise with fantastic potential ruined by NCL's incompetence. Would not recommend. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We were really looking forward to this cruise to Miami, 'new ship', great we thought. We new it was a shake down cruise and didn't expect everything to run perfectly smoothly, but we didn't expect some many things to ... Read More
We were really looking forward to this cruise to Miami, 'new ship', great we thought. We new it was a shake down cruise and didn't expect everything to run perfectly smoothly, but we didn't expect some many things to go wrong either. The best thing you could say was that of course the Escape looked beautiful and the staff really tried their hardest under difficult circumstances. The first thing we noticed when we got to our cabin was we had no coffee for the coffee machine, nor would there be any for the entire cruise because it wasn't being loaded until Miami, nor where half the beers both bottled and draft and considering we were paying $15 for two small bottles we at least expected a choice. We went for our first meal, it was cold, not even warm. We left the restaurant thinking it was the first night and things could only get better. Next morning I had to send my breakfast back, cold congealed eggs are not appetising at that time of day, and so it went on. The only place you could get a hot meal was the O'Sheahans pub which fortunately was open and served food 24/7. We only have praise for this area, it was run with military precision, the rest of the ship could learn a lot from the guy in charge there. The entertainment for adults during the day was practically non existent and the entertainment on a night like most things had to be paid for extra. If this is what Norwegian call upgrading their act, I hope the Chinese like cold food and paying for 2 thirds of the restaurants, entertainment etc. available. We talked to a lot of people on board, not one of them intended cruising Norwegian again. People are not prepared to pay first class prices for second class cruising!! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
If this had been our first cruise it would also have been our last, fortunately we have previously cruised with Cunard and P & O. Panic on 1st night as one of our cases was missing, due to rough treatment the label had gone missing, I ... Read More
If this had been our first cruise it would also have been our last, fortunately we have previously cruised with Cunard and P & O. Panic on 1st night as one of our cases was missing, due to rough treatment the label had gone missing, I had even gone to the trouble of covering paper tag with cellotape to ensure it would not rip. another case had the pull up handle broken so that was fun to move at airport. Luckily the missing case was eventually located. No coffee pods in rooms as not ordered for the cruise, but you could have coffee delivered free by room service if you wanted to wait up to 1.5 hours for delivery by which time a brandy would have been more apt. Never had a hot meal in any restaurant. They list Taste, Savour and Manhattan as separate restaurants but the menu was the same in each. 2nd night beers started to run out, around 7th night Baileys ran out. Neither myself or my husband are big drinkers but you are on holiday and you had to have the best of what was left or in my case as a very light drinker nothing at all as the only drink I wanted was a Mudslide, just the one every evening. The accommodation was very nice, nice balcony, spacious shower ec, no complaints about the staff who were extremely pleasant and very helpful. There is a glass staircase which I am sure everybody was initially very careful using due the assumption that it would be very slippery. Due to the curve of the staircase the steps narrow at the inside of the curve, but for some reason the designer thought that narrowing the step so much that only a child's foot would fit comfortably was ok. I injured my heel on this step (my heel rubbed down the previous step ) which was incredibly sore, the next morning I was unable to put my foot flat on the floor and had to go to the medical centre, after telling the "doctor" how I hurt my heel she supplied me with 11 Painkillers, a foot and ankle support at the cost of $189 and no actual diagnosis on the injury, I am assuming just bad bruising, although I could not walk very well for around 4 days. I think she just wanted me out of there before I blamed NCL. On disembarkation day we all had coloured luggage tags and specific times for leaving the ship. We were ready about an hour before our assigned time which as these things go was running around an hour late.He.Ho. So we eventually disembarked and went to collect our luggage which was all set out in areas with a flag to indicate your colour, simple, or so you would think. So 2.5 hours later we were through customs and heading for our transfer bus to Orlando. This whole process should have taken between 25 minutes to 45 minutes or so we were told by customer services when they phoned our stateroom to tell us which colou tags to use and to confirm our transfer, but then two of our cases were put in the wrong place, now bearing in mind that there were probably around 4000+ cases on the dock the two cases took some finding. The whole process too almost 4 hours. So while the majority of the people who were going on to Orlando arrived around 1.30 to 2.30 pm. Our bus of around 8 very angry people arrived at about 6pm when some of our fellow cruisers were coming back from the parks or shopping. Oh yes, Before all the non smokers complain about the smell of smoke near the ONE smoking room I think they should be aware that their was no air conditioning or ventilation of any kind in that room, which for such an expensive ship would not have been hard to incorporate. While NCL are happy to sell cigarettes and cigars by the thousands they do not give the smokers the dignity of having a clean room to smoke them in. So believe me non smokers the smokers were complaining loudly too. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
My family and I boarded the NCL Escape with much excitement for a new large beautiful ship on its second cruise. We wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving week together on this new ship for rest, relaxation and fun. WHAT A HORRIBLE CRUISE ... Read More
My family and I boarded the NCL Escape with much excitement for a new large beautiful ship on its second cruise. We wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving week together on this new ship for rest, relaxation and fun. WHAT A HORRIBLE CRUISE OVERALL. Embarkation was ok although we are Platinum and High status Casino guests it was just ok, I feel sorry for those with no status of any kind. On board the ship the dual High Level Platinum status meant NOTHING! We had a Universal Dining plan and could only sit down for two Specialty restaurants out of their 14 restaurants due to the worst Reservation system ever!! We were treated terribly and even the Casino could do nothing to get us in to the restaurants and the overall Restaurant reservation staff were uncaring and not at all going out of their way to get us what we already paid for. By the way, We are Gold Casino level only one level above me is the highest and that meant nothing to the Casino Manager or anyone else! On thanksgiving Day it was even worse, 3 hour wait to get in to any restaurant on board and then when we finally sat our party of 6 was split up or another hour would have been in store. Food was only mediocre and the wait in Margaritaville was 90 minutes usually for food that was not at all worth the wait. Jimmy Buffet should not want his name on that disaster of poor service and mediocre food. I have been on 18 Norwegian cruises and this by far was the worst! Go on a different cruise line and a different ship. Do not waste your money on this HORRIBLE CRUISE!!! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
After reviewing my options for taking my whole family on a cruise. I chose the Norwegian Escape due to the fact I had sailed on the Norwegian Sun on a 7 day Alaskan cruise out of Vancouver and it was Exceptional. The service was ... Read More
After reviewing my options for taking my whole family on a cruise. I chose the Norwegian Escape due to the fact I had sailed on the Norwegian Sun on a 7 day Alaskan cruise out of Vancouver and it was Exceptional. The service was outstanding the shows were top notch and they had a social hour with the performers in the casino one night. On the Escape was a total 180 from what I had previously experienced on a NCL ship. Main Dining was so bad it put a black cloud on the whole cruise. With a party of Appetizers were brought out at different times and not all at once like were used to. More than once my wife or kids received their main entrees 15 minutes before everyone else, so they were finished before everyone else got their main course. Drinks were consistently left empty for over 10 minutes. Our poor waiter had a section of 10 tables and was working his hardest to get the food out so I can't blame him. Usually its 1 waiter 4 tables and 1 maître d’ to oversee the wine service and waiters. We like to help the wait staff by staking plates making it easier to clear the table, but on carnival the waiter told us to please not do that because he would get in trouble by the maître d’ for not tending to his tables properly so we became accustom to this. On the escape the service was so slow we stacked all the plates up to help the waiter we felt so bad. I never even saw a maître d’ only a host who seated us. We almost missed thanks giving dinner because we did not have a reservation for main dining. There was no notification that we needed to do this for main dining. We had made reservations for the specialty dining but not main dining. Also you had to make a reservation for the shows. No being spontaneous on this ship. Which was a major downer because my work requires me to take conference calls, scheduled meetings and appointments so it felt like I was at work checking my Lync calendar for things I had to do. The general consensus was that the ship was understaffed and they were trying to do more with less. Also the balcony sliding doors cracked and popped in moderate seas I talked to other passengers about this and they said it was happening too. I eventually got used to it but it did wake me up a few times. Since the ship is so tall you would think they would have put extra stabilizers to help with the swaying from side to side but this was the rockiest cruise I have ever had. It was so bad on the farewell show the Captain and senior crew on stage were swaying and almost fell while saying goodbye. Don't waste your money on this ship book a Royal Caribbean or a Carnival cruise you will be way happier. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
I have to say, all the neg reviews on NCL escape are all on-point. The only positives I can think of was the comfortable cabin and great room attendance. There were so many things that were just shockingly bad that I don't even ... Read More
I have to say, all the neg reviews on NCL escape are all on-point. The only positives I can think of was the comfortable cabin and great room attendance. There were so many things that were just shockingly bad that I don't even know where to start.  The mandatory pre-paid tip system: this is the most insidious scheme ever. Under this system, the staff don't get any cash tips, and in return, the guests get bad services. NCL claims this policy is to "ensure fair distribution of tips for excellent service". But the truth is that it's the most unfair to the staff and it doesn't motivate them to do a good job. No wonder most of them seemed unhappy. Some of them were downright rude.  The automatic 18% gratuity system: who came up with that? What happened to tipping based on performance? To top it off, but each time you get a check they ask you to write in more tips. It's amazing how much they nickle-and-dime you on this cruise. The food and drink: the complimentary food was a JOKE. Honestly I haven't had food that bad since college. The garden cafe buffet was hit-or-miss, mostly miss IMO. I had three brkfsts at Savor/Taste. Very inconsistent. The last time I got microwaved waffle. As for Margaritaville, you better be there 30 minutes before they open or you'd never get in. The food there was not too impressive either. Dined at Manhattan Room once, worst meal of my life. Don't even go there, trust me. The specialty restaurants would be your only chances for some dignified meals. We dined at (best to worst) Le Bistro, Cagney, Tapenyaki and La Cucina. My advice would be: be prepare to wait, stick to the steaks and forget about the seafood. Getting a drink was a challenge most of the time. Nobody seemed to speak English. Rude bartender at the atrium bar. I think the bar at Cagney was decent. Nice and knowledgable bartender. Also fyi, they only serve Pepsi on this ship. I hate Pepsi so thumbs down on that. The satellite internet: total rip-off. It's worse than dial-up and you're charged by the minute, instead of data usage. On average it takes 5 minutes to just connect and they charged .95 per minute. We wanted to print out our boarding passes at the internet cafe and the printer wasn't even hooked up. The internet manager was nowhere to be seen despite it was during the office hours.  Entertainment and activities: I saw one show, after midnight, had to leave after 30 minutes. Not my cup of tea. There was no story line and just mediocre dancing. I didn't do any of the water activity or the rope course but I heard the wait was long and the staffs were rude. My husband spent 30min in que for the aqua-tube only to be told it was out of order. The pool and the sun deck was always over-crowded. The arcade was quite expensive. $1 for skid ball and $5 for toy bowling. There were only two bowling lanes on the entire ship. Smoking is allowed in the casino. If you want to experience hell, walking through that smoke-filled casino on deck 7 might just do it.  Also want to mention how bumpy the ride was. I was on deck 14 and got woken up at night by all the motion. Some people on board were saying that was not the norm. My conclusion is that NCL Escape is truly a mass-market cruise but it's layout is not really conducive for 4500 passenger. It feels crammed and there're no common areas to chill in peace. The vibe is on board is kinda trashy and loud. Bratty kids everywhere. Questionable mgmt tactic to nickle-and-dime you to death. It seems that all they care is the bottom line. A few of the staffs were very nice despite the fact that they were likely being ram-roded by the mgmt. 90% of the staff are third-world labor. Funny they picked the name "Norwegian" when you won't see a single Norwegian working on this ship. The name "Escape" is much more apt considering all I wanted was to escape from this cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
I discovered cruising for the first time on the Ruby Princess in October of 2009. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the initial experience and how addicting they’ve become over the years. Since that initial experience, I’ve sailed ... Read More
I discovered cruising for the first time on the Ruby Princess in October of 2009. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the initial experience and how addicting they’ve become over the years. Since that initial experience, I’ve sailed with Princess Cruise Lines a total of four times and the same with NCL (Epic twice, Getaway once and most recently, the Escape). On March 6th of 2016, I will be taking my ninth cruise on the NCL Getaway. I was lured to the NCL brand when you introduced the single studio cabins on the Epic. Ever since then, Norwegian Cruise Lines has become my favorite brand. The elegance and the innovative styling and décor of your Epic Class and Breakaway Class ships have me hooked on the Norwegian brand. When NCL introduced the boardwalk on the Getaway, it only solidified my allegiance to the line. I write today because I have just completed my latest voyage on your newest ship, the Norwegian Escape. I feel so strongly about this that I had to write you. It is with sadness and regret that I do this because I am concerned that the initial vision of the original product has been manipulated to ruinous effect. For whatever reason, the Norwegian Escape seemed overly crowded. This is the main cause of concern for me. The public areas associated with the pool deck, almost all bars, Spice H2O, the buffet, the main dining rooms (Manhattan Room, Taste and Savor) and the Atrium all seemed smaller to me. Although the added passenger capacity of the Escape is modestly more than the Getaway, the Escape felt overly confined and overcrowded. Unlike on the Getaway and Epic. Whenever I went to the buffet at numerous times throughout the day, there were no seats available in the dining section. People were clamoring for position on both port and starboard side of the buffet lines. Are there staffing issues on this new ship? Quiet spaces near each of the two main pools was non-existent. Bar service throughout seemed understaffed, slow and unaccommodating. Spice H20 filled up quickly in the mornings. Service in all dining venues was courteous, polite and professional but it was slow. Waiting lines at all venues seemed extensive and sluggish (especially early). Can this be attributed to “growing” pains on your newest ship? Insufficient staffing? Overpopulation onboard? Whatever the reason, I was not happy with my experience on this cruise. I’ve heard complaints from other cruise enthusiast that NCL “nickles-and-dimes” their customers. I never believed this to be so until recently. Alcoholic beverages are too expensive. The 18% gratuity and service charge also seems extensive but I also don’t think that your staff isn’t worth it. I suppose I’d be ok with the 18% if I could be certain that the staff are getting their gratuities. Specialty dining, Brat Pack dinner show and a` la carte pricing added up quickly. I will not be able afford the inflationary cost associated with the brand if NCL continues to add fees and surcharges. I exceeded my cost point by about 25% on this trip. Although I have been able to afford at least one cruise per year since 2009, if pricing continues to become more and more inflated then perhaps I only take one cruise every 24 months instead and I do so on alternative lines. I hope all of these issues are being discussed within the board room and management meetings at NCL headquarters. I can’t imagine that I’m the only one that has these concerns and hope that future ship builds in production are not plagued by the same problems. I do not know how you ease the congestion on the Escape without dropping passenger capacity. Perhaps a larger, better trained and more attentive, faster staff may help but I’m uncertain about this. Whatever is decided, improvements must be made on the Escape before I return to this specific ship. Sometimes bigger isn’t always better. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2015
Just because you can build them bigger and better doesn't actually mean that they will indeed be successful. NCL proved that this ship cannot sail with this many guests and attend to them properly. This is my 5th cruise (2nd NCL) and ... Read More
Just because you can build them bigger and better doesn't actually mean that they will indeed be successful. NCL proved that this ship cannot sail with this many guests and attend to them properly. This is my 5th cruise (2nd NCL) and I would never go back. DINING: Not once did I sit down and have a hot meal on this entire cruise. We ate at the main dining areas in Taste and Savor, which you could not get a drink refill to save your life. The buffet was great the first night, but the food pretty much stays the same the entire cruise. We also ate at the Italian restaurant, which was NOT Italian food. I would compare Kraft Mac n Cheese to the garbage that they served. We tried eating at the other restaurants that were not included on the ship (which was the majority) and could never get a table. CABIN: We had 3 balcony rooms, which were nice but pretty standard as far a cruise rooms go. CHILDREN'S CLUBS: Our family has 4 children and none of them wanted to stay in kids club. They always said how boring it was and how there were never any kids to play with. As far as the nursery goes, please keep in mind that there is a separate charge for this. Also, they only allow 10 children during the evening time blocks. Lets just say those fill up fast! (DIS)EMBARK - When boarding the ship I actually walked the gentleman through our travel docs, which I thought was odd. Made me feel as though security was not as tight as it should be. They also stated that since I was married before that my name would have to be abbreviated with my last name from my ex husband and my current husband. Again ODD! On Disembark it was the standard exit off a ship. They put all of our bags in the back and you had to search them out. Nothing different about that. It went pretty quick. NIGHTLIFE - NONE! Seemed like 90% of the ship was shut down by 11. BORING! On the bright side we made it to bed early most nights and woke up refreshed. PHOTOGRAPHY - We paid $2400 for a private photo session and purchased 2 collages. We ordered the collages and they are being shipped. The photos were placed on a USB which the photographer said "he ran out of time" finishing. The USB had 125 photos and he said it would have over 250. Talk about a huge disappointment. Needless to say we haven't received a refund yet or the missing photos! Overall I would say this ship is nice and shiny, but it was a huge joke when it comes to cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2015
Too many people for the amount of space on this ship. Rude workers, cold food, small rooms, no food by pool, charge for room service, ultimate drink package does not include water or coffee, which is not ultimate. Small pool, if you want a ... Read More
Too many people for the amount of space on this ship. Rude workers, cold food, small rooms, no food by pool, charge for room service, ultimate drink package does not include water or coffee, which is not ultimate. Small pool, if you want a chair any where within sight of pool, you must get to pool deck by 6am. Entertainment- Brat pack- Good Million Dollor Quartet- Good After Midnight-Terrible. Comedy Shows-OK My whole family got sick from this ship as well, how do we know? Because we never got off at any ports & we got sick on day 6. We found that the kids club was quite weird with it being hidden in the back, no parents allowed! it seemed unsanitary as they weren't sanitizing kids hands and my 5 year old was witnessing other kids go to the bathroom. No nickelodeon characters and we didn't notice this before getting on the ship, but that they started charging for the Margaritaville, after we were told by NCL that it was included. totally unacceptable never again. Get ready for this! There new gratuity policy for only Americans where you can't take gratuities off your bill unless you write a letter to them after the cruise! this company is getting beyond greedy. And don't call and complain because they don't care. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
1) I should have never booked when school is out; did not remember how much noise kids could make. 2) There is no sound insulation in the rooms; You can hear every flush of the toilets, every conversation in other rooms. 3) We ... Read More
1) I should have never booked when school is out; did not remember how much noise kids could make. 2) There is no sound insulation in the rooms; You can hear every flush of the toilets, every conversation in other rooms. 3) We switched rooms because there was constant knocking sound coming from the walls near the sliding door; Guest Services blamed the ship, did not even have the courtesy to apologize. Moved us to another cabin - Knocking stopped but the other noises continued. 4) This cruise reminded me of someone trying to sell me a time sharing plan in some dingy community. This was $4000.00 Dollar mistake. 5) Smell of tobacco smoke in the casino and floor above and below. 6) Specialty Italian Restaurant had very poor service and food. I could go on and on, biggest mistake I have made in resent times. I am now trying to get over the experience. High Point - Housekeeping was great. Some exceptional service employees. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
In my immediate party was myself and my husband, and our three young children. We were also traveling with the grandparents, and other extended family (some with kids, others without). We came onto the Escape with relative ease, but ... Read More
In my immediate party was myself and my husband, and our three young children. We were also traveling with the grandparents, and other extended family (some with kids, others without). We came onto the Escape with relative ease, but noticed as we were getting our pictures taken that the lines started to build and it got noisy. Getting on the ship was nothing exciting, and the kids looked a little let down...just a lady with a santa hat giving out tootsie rolls. Cabins: we weren't surprised or let down by our adjoining cabins. The balconies were a good size, and that's about it. The bathroom was the nicest part of the room, with the shower being the highlight. At night, or other quiet times, flushes not only from our rooms woke everyone up, but from several rooms nearby. It's VERY noisy. I'm guessing since the ship is new, that's the reason for all the settling noises heard throughout our time on the ship. Not a negative, but if anyone is uneasy about cruising, it's worth noting. Speaking of being uneasy on cruises: this ship rocks a lot. It's terribly nauseating if there's rough seas. Mildly so when the waters are calm, but it's constantly noticeable. Activities: Since I had my three kids with me, I was expecting to do family oriented activities with them. I could barely find them. The ones we succeeded at were either listed wrong in the daily newsletter, or swamped with people. We tried Splash Academy, but both my older kids complained about the lack of guided activities and pushy/bully kids. I was NOT surprised to hear that, since I saw it with my own eyes at the water play area and at the buffet. So many ill behaved, rowdy and undisciplined kids -- with parents no where to be found. To those complaining about all the kids on the ship, I think it's worth noting that not all kids are like that. My kids really wanted to play in the water area, but again complained about others cutting in line and pushing them out of the way...all while either dad or myself was standing at the entrance keeping our eyes on them. Getting back to Splash Academy, it's a "parent free zone" which is weird, to say the least. Why so secretive?! I understand some parents linger, but from the looks of this crowd, most parents couldn't wait to get away from their kids. Guppies was amazing. Their staff was sweet, calm, and seemed happy to be there. I can't say enough good things, and the only negative about it is that the space is small, with no outdoor lighting (same as Splash Academy). The pools were odd. Very deep, very cold, and definitely not kid friendly. The "hot tubs" were more like warm tubs, and you could sit, if you wanted to be squished in with all the kids that wanted to swim but couldn't find a pool. Ropes course provided some fun times, and there's a mini one for the smaller set. The mini golf is not set up so that you can actually play a game, and who the heck plays bocce ball??? Service: Spotty. Some people went above and beyond, while others really looked miserable and hated their jobs/lives. I can imagine it's hard to be away from family over the Christmas holiday, but c'mon! At least fake it! Dining: Be prepared to know karate at the buffet. I actually told my husband that I had lost faith in humanity after my experiences there. Before putting the serving label back down, someone was shoving their way or grabbing it from you...I didn't hear anyone say excuse me, or even good morning to their fellow passengers. It was very disheartening. The food was ok, nothing special. Exactly what you'd expect at a buffet. Taste and Manhattan were very good, but service was hit or miss. With so many kids in our party, it shouldn't take that long to get food, or to wait for drink orders. Mid way through the trip, we let them use their electronics at the table, lest we have one of the aforementioned kids....and that's a rule we almost never break! The Irish Pub had the quickest service, good enough food, and normal sized portions. Entertainment: Nothing to write home about. Everyone seemed really annoyed that they had to actually DO THEIR JOB. Noise level: Look, I have three kids. I'm constantly around noise. I'm used to it. But this ship was unbearable. Everywhere you went, it was noisy. Ugh. Casino: No ventilation. I would have stayed longer, if I could have breathed. The gym facilities are nice, always a machine available. I wanted to try the classes, but they were few and far between. I had a negative experience with the spa, and I'm just too stressed from the experience to even continue to write about it. Overall, this ship is nice, but I would not recommend for families that want to have activities together, or who have kids with basic manners and levels of social decorum. That being said, it goes for the adults, too. One week on the ship, and I felt so isolated since no one talked to each other, unless it was to grunt for food or an alcoholic beverage (of which I needed to just survive this horrible 7 day eastern carribean cruise). Even though you paid for your cruise, and possible the beverage package, be prepared to pay. Even the mojito bar wasn't included... Oh, and word of advice: be the first one off the ship, or the last one, because anything in between is going to make you feel like unherded cattle trying to escape the butcher! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
Let me start by saying this was my 3rd NCL cruise this year. We are Gold Latitudes members and very much enjoyed our cruises on both the Breakaway and the Epic earlier this year. We cruise quite often either on NCL or RCCL. The food was ... Read More
Let me start by saying this was my 3rd NCL cruise this year. We are Gold Latitudes members and very much enjoyed our cruises on both the Breakaway and the Epic earlier this year. We cruise quite often either on NCL or RCCL. The food was generally good and my teenage kids had a very good time. However, there have been some cut backs and these are very apparent: - NCL now charges for the internet by minute (vs MB) and wow is it slow to the point where it is not usable. Now I understand the internet is not going to be the same at sea as on land but it is a gimmick because NCL slows it down so much and then try to sell you more minutes because you'll quickly blow through your package. I complained; the internet manager was one of the most obnoxious people I have ever come across in the cruise industry. He had an attitude with me when i inquired about the slow service and never took accountability. He told me the internet worked "fine" even though everyone was complaining about it. He also gave me the runaround between himself and the front desk. I hunted down the Hotel Manager to discuss with him and he did give me a credit for approx 50% of the cost. - The boat appear to be significantly understaffed for a ship the size of the Escapre. Service at the restaurants was generally very poor. Getting a drink at a bar by the pool was almost impossible and good luck finding a cocktail waiter. - There was only one bar (with only one bartender!) in the buffet. Had to wait on a long line just to get a soda at lunch. - Some of the staff were lovely but many were miserable. We got scolded by our room steward because we were in our room 5 minutes longer than when were supposed to be when we were disembarking. One of the bar tenders was very disrespectful and had an attitude. - They would close one side of the buffet during the busiest times of the day (made no sense!) - Entertainment was not anywhere close to NCL standards which is usually excellent. After Midnight was awful - don't waste your time. Million Dollar Quartet was cancelled for the entire cruise with no explanation given. (We heard one of the cast members was sick - no under studies??). The lounge singers/entertainment, including the Howl at the Moon crew, was just ok. - The boat was very rocky in light seas. Either the stabilizes were not on or this boat can't handle even the smallest of waves. I could go on longer but it was not a positive experience and seems that NCL has cut back on the quality and the size of the staff in a cost cutting measure. I am done with NCL for awhile. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
I've never posted a review on Cruise critic, but this last experience was so horrible that i felt compelled to write, if I can persuade one person to avoid this ship, my effort will not be in vain . This was my 7th cruise and 3rd on ... Read More
I've never posted a review on Cruise critic, but this last experience was so horrible that i felt compelled to write, if I can persuade one person to avoid this ship, my effort will not be in vain . This was my 7th cruise and 3rd on Norwegian and our cruise on the Escape was by far the worst travel experience I've ever suffered. How big is too big when come to a mega ship? I think we have found the answer. There haven't been this many people crammed on a ship since the Amistad. Norwegian is embarking in a new era of revenue optimization and they are pursuing it with a vengeance. This ship was designed around the concept of planned scarcity, While the ship now carries more passengers than ever before, there has been no proportional increase in services, restaurants, staff, common areas pool decks, etc.. there were 4600 passengers competing for very limited services and amenities. Want to lay out by the pool, prepare to get up before dawn to reserve a char, as there were 10 people vying for each spot. ping pong, basketball, even the 2 functioning pop a shot games had cues ten people deep, there were even long lines for everything from the elevators to the toasters at the buffet,. Everything was a competition, want a reservation at a restaurant, forget about it if you hadn't planned months in advance (which thankfully we did), Any and all forms of entertainment- was completely oversubscribed from the headline entertainment (which was cancelled) , the piano bar, comedy shows even the silly trivia events in the atrium being overcrowded standing room only ordeals. It was shoulder to shoulder in all the venues, we couldn't even get a slice of pizza in the garden cafe without a half hour cue. The whole experience was exhausting, and we heard the pleas of numerous families with prepaid meal plans unable to use their credits because Norwegian sold more packages than their meager restaurant capacity could handle. Norwegian used to offer a pleasurable and consistent experience across their entire fleet. Sure, sometimes it could get a little tight and their has always been critics of their Freestyle dining programs, but this new era of sardinification of the line has turned me off of Norwegian for life Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
For starters we were a fairly large group which consisted 75 of us some who were frequent cruisers and other who were first timers like myself. The first and last cruise I will go on with Norwegian after experiencing what seemed to be the ... Read More
For starters we were a fairly large group which consisted 75 of us some who were frequent cruisers and other who were first timers like myself. The first and last cruise I will go on with Norwegian after experiencing what seemed to be the worst vacation from day 1. 15 of us had went to dinner at one of the few restaurants that were free called "Taste" . We waited over 30 min for our first drink order and then another two hours for our food to be delivered. Which by the way was cold and tasteless. Half of my group went to the buffet due to the long wait and missed the comedy show at 11pm! Day 2 finally able to enjoy the room which consisted of two beds and a couch for three people! I had went to guest services to inform them that we had paid and were ensured that we were going to have three beds in our room,bled to the guest service rep to say to me, " you get what you paid for" how can you tell a guest that? Never in my years of vacationing have I ever received such a statement from someone. It is unprofessional and also the rep did not once state to me I'll look into the situation and help try to find you a room that can accommodate you. Day 3 be aware that irons are not in the room and you must call guest services each time you need one. The last two days were quick and painless but on this day it took over 45 minutes to receive one. I was late for my dinner reservation. The same day I indulged in a massage in the spa. Let's just say I walked in stressed and walked out even more stressed. The food on the ship is tasteless and the service is slow. Even the restaurants that are at extra cost. This ship nickel and dimes you with everything so buyer beware. Some people received towels in the shape of animals at night while other were left out which happen to be me. The entertainment is terrible good luck trying to reserve a show everything books quick. The pool which happens to be the main pool is way to small to accommodate 4,000 people. And if you want to use the other pool they have it is exclusive only to haven guests and will cost you 19.99 a day or 150 for the week. Hot tubs were always packed and lounge chairs never to be found unless you wake up at 6 am to reserve and save a chair. Good luck getting a drink at one of their many bars on average it took 30-40 min to get a drink. If it wasn't for one drink server Ro at the main pool I would have left the ship at the first island. The ship is understaffed and cannot handle the amount of people they can accommodate for. The ship I felt accommodated their employees more then the guests. Do not go on this cruise by far the worst experience ever and that did not only come from me. And the public restrooms as well as cabin restrooms small and unable to move in. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
My first and probably last cruise experience. Checking onboard was delayed and was total chaos. The ship holds 4000+ guest but the staff was overwhelmed by the number of people. When I finally got to my cabin it wasn't ready so I ... Read More
My first and probably last cruise experience. Checking onboard was delayed and was total chaos. The ship holds 4000+ guest but the staff was overwhelmed by the number of people. When I finally got to my cabin it wasn't ready so I made my way to O'Sheehan's restaurant. After sitting in the bar at O'sheehan's for 30 minutes I was informed that I had to check in first. I checked in and still hadn't received had anyone take my order. From there things just got worse. I made my way up to the Garden Cafe [open buffet] where I found a mass of people, like me, who's staterooms were not ready. We were treated to lukewarm and cold food, in a crowded environment that many guest started referring to as "The Trough". I'd like to say things got better but they didn't. Breakfast each day consisted of cold Egg's Benedict, the eggs were cold and over poached. Or, if you'd like, runny scrambled eggs and greasy hash browns. I finally started eating cold cuts and fresh fruit for breakfast. The Escape has only two banks of elevators. Who was the genius Naval Architect that decided a ship with 4000+ guest and 1700 crew could do it with only 2 banks of elevators. I spent a lot of time waiting for elevators. Hey NCL, before you invest in any more of this class of ship you might want to do a redesign. A third bank of elevators Midships would fix this. The swimming pool is too small to handle this many guest. On day three I decided to take advantage of the ships laundry service. This was a huge mistake. They lost my laundry. Every time I tried to press the issue [I know, bad pun] I was blown off by Guest services. Finally, one of NCL's preferred guests interceded for me and part of my missing laundry was found. Why did another guest have to intercede for me? [Thanks, Ms. Brewer] My wife and I were looking forward to our shore excursion. We were going to go scuba diving in the Bahamas. You guessed it... excursion cancelled. Anyone seeing a pattern here? Now, I could go on and on but was there anything about the cruise that was good? Yes, The food in Moderno, the Brazilian restaurant was outstanding. The comedy show at headliners was good. What about the other shows? I couldn't tell you, they were all filled up and I never got to see them. The ship was clean. This was my first cruise and I will never, ever go on a cruise again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This cruise was our tenth on various lines and our second on NCL. In short, run don't walk away from the escape. The escape is hassle from start to finish and NCL attempts to nickel and dime you with everything you do on the ship. ... Read More
This cruise was our tenth on various lines and our second on NCL. In short, run don't walk away from the escape. The escape is hassle from start to finish and NCL attempts to nickel and dime you with everything you do on the ship. The nightmare began in the departure lounge. 4,000 people were crowded into a room built for half that many and kept there for over an hour and a half and told only that their system was broken. This was clearly a job for the Miami fire chief. From the first day to the last it was crystal clear that the ship and crew were not large enough to handle over 4,000 people. For the first time ever we spent most nights in our room watching tv because the entertainment was sold out (full) by the time we boarded the ship. We have always gone to a show every night on our ship. Forget it on this ship!! Furthermore there are shows that require a fee and even those were old out. Even the complimentary restruants had many items that required an extra fee of up to $24. Would you like a full pour of wine in your glass? That's extra! There's an old saying that the Stewart will make up your room if you get up in the middle of the night before you get back to bed. Not on this ship as you will be lucky if you can corral your steward even with the electronic notice which shows in the hallway. The departure from the escape was the same old hassle with many more people than they could handle and apparently with no prior experience in handling that many people. Lastly, we upgraded to a mini suite which by every test was a full grade below a normal balcony on Princess, Celebrity or Holland America. Freestyle??? Not!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
I have never taken the time to write a review, I figure, if I had a bad time, it's my own fault for not taking full advantage of a vacation. However, this company has been so horrible to deal with and after my husband and I both ... Read More
I have never taken the time to write a review, I figure, if I had a bad time, it's my own fault for not taking full advantage of a vacation. However, this company has been so horrible to deal with and after my husband and I both talking with them I don't feel like they care at all and need to express my disappointment. My husband and I are gamblers, and received a free trip from Norwegian. We had been on one other cruise before with Carnival and were so happy with the unbelievable service. We felt like superstars at dinner, in the casino and on the pool deck so we were pretty excited to go on Norwegian because we had heard that this company was much better than Carnival (which we could not even imagine how this could be). We paid extra to upgrade to the balcony and pick our room (normal fees included, no big deal) and were so excited to go onto their new ship. The ship was beautiful, nothing like the older ship of Carnival we had. This was so modern. Now this next part is preference, what we found by the end of the trip is we like small ships. I don't need modern light fixtures, I would rather better service. The staff had twice the customers to deal with so the little things, like, our house keeper, didn't know us where on Carnival he knew both our names instantly and said hi to us before we even knew he was there. This I am sure would be the case if we were on a smaller Norwegian ship so I thought to my self, no big deal I know for next time. Then there was the casino. Again something of a preference, I won't go into actual dollars however, the Casino at Carnival after the second night on a 7 night cruise, was sending chocolate covered strawberries and wine to our room, and comping us for the specialty dinners. We spent at least double (and I am talking a large amount) in the Norwegian Casino and we didn't receive anything from them. Carnival has offered free cruises and I haven't even got a discounted room from Norwegian. But I thought to myself, maybe this company isn't as big on the rewards as other, no big deal. Then came dinner. No again, preference is a big thing. After experiencing the anytime dine with Norwegian, I will not go back. Because you don't have a set dinning time, you get a different waitress every time you sit for dinner. We waited 10 minutes every night for a menu and a drink order. On Carnival, by the second night our waiter new our name, what we liked to drink (I would get a pop at the start, wine for dinner and coffee for dessert. This was there every night starting the 3rd night without me asking.) The last night on Norwegian, we went to dinner where they sat us at a table that wasn't set yet and had a coffee cup on it, which they ended up using as my husbands bread plate. This is usually not a big deal to me but after the week we had, the little things were annoying me. I will say the specialty restaurants were amazing, we went to the Japanese and the Brazilian and they were the best dinners I have had, however it cost us an extra 70 per night so they better be. The Italian restaurant was horrible but I am Italian so I just chalked that up to me being too picky. The service just wasn't at the standard that we were expecting because of the only other experience we had was unbelievable. My father in law came with us on Norwegian and he is an avid cruiser with Royal and his thoughts on the service were the same. Now at this point I still didn't hate my trip, the weather was great, I had good company and I thought maybe, if we got another free trip I would try them again on a smaller boat. Then came the worst part. We got our bill and paid it with our credit card at the end of the trip and came home. A week went by and they had not billed us. So I called and they said we would see it soon. mind you we got off the boat on Feb 6 2016. two weeks later I called again and they said we didn't owe anything. I told them we did (my bill they give us showed we should have been charge 4000.00). This turned into a nightmare, they wouldn't call me back, they kept me on hold, and they kept coming back saying we didn't owe. My husband said to forget about it but I didn't want them coming back saying we owed down the road. this went on until March 9th when I sent an email letting them know how disappointed I was. I called on March 10 and they finally acknowledged that I owed and they took the payment. At this point I was done with Norwegian, there was no apology, nothing, they didn't care that I had spent all my nights after work trying to convince someone that we needed to pay them!! Thinking that this was over, this morning (six months after we get back from this cruise) my husband gets an email from them saying that we haven't paid for our trip and that they will be charging my credit card the balance owing!! My husband called with all the information in hand (I am in the banking industry so I had all the bank statements showing we paid). He asks right away to talk to a manager, and he is told they are in meeting (I am in the service industry, if you are going to send an email out to the masses, because this billing problem happened to all on the ship including my father in law who hasn't paid for his cruise yet, make sure your management is available to your angry customer!!! Common sense if you want repeat customers.) Then my husband is put on hold for an half hour. They come back and he is told yes we have paid but WE have to go onto the NCL website, fill something out and send it to them with our bank statements to prove it, even though she sees that we have paid. After an hour on the phone and being told we have to take care of their error, he gets off the phone to fix the problem. Meanwhile this has been charge to our card and will be collecting interest until it's reverse. (we talked to the card company and they can't return it) And all of this has happened, with not a word from management or anyone else in the company apologizing. This has been a horrible experience. The customer service has been absolutely horrible (the lady on the phone today was had no empathy, nothing) I do not recommend this company. I am big on customer service and I know there are mistakes, that's not my biggest issue. My issue with this company is how you handle the mistakes, they have handled it poorly. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
My husband and I have done 3 NCL cruises prior to the Escape. All were great, including quality of food, service, amenities. I should start by saying we were a little worried about going on a big ship, but went with an open mind. Well our ... Read More
My husband and I have done 3 NCL cruises prior to the Escape. All were great, including quality of food, service, amenities. I should start by saying we were a little worried about going on a big ship, but went with an open mind. Well our worries were not unfounded. The embarkation was over 1 1/2 hrs. Our cabin on the 9th deck, creaked and grown the whole time, other than when we were in port causing us to have very little to no sleep at night. Complaint was of no use, guest services said didn't have any other rooms, and to be expected with new ship... sorry didn't cut it. The dining, well certainly nothing special, even the specialty restaurants,( save the Moderno) did not live up to what we had experienced before on NCL as "special". The Garden cafe was a zoo with kids running all over, and the food just mediocre, nothing that we raved about on previous cruises. We couldn't even get near the pool area, as it was small and too crowded and noice. Thankfully we had a balcony, where we spent a fair bit of time, as it was about the only quiet area. Children's club, I don't think had many participants, as with 800 kids on our cruise, I am sure I saw all of them, running around lots of times without parental supervision. I think a Disney cruise would have suited them better. Never before have I counted down the days until we got off the ship, which surprisingly was the best part. We walked off with our luggage in a matter of 1/2 hr. As I said in my title, NEVER AGAIN ON A HUGE SHIP, too noisy, too busy, not enough facilities for that number of passengers, even had to reserve for shows, and nickle and dimed by charging for bottled water even though we had beverage package. If you like noise and lineups, go for it,, but that's not why we take cruises. It should have been special, instead it was what i felt, a waste of money. Other than the sun and not cooking and cleaning, it wasn't worth it at all. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This is the second time that we have had aggravation before we started the cruise. We feel that NCL cheated us because of their pricing policy. Even though we are “gold” Latitude members, it means absolutely nothing. NCL should be ... Read More
This is the second time that we have had aggravation before we started the cruise. We feel that NCL cheated us because of their pricing policy. Even though we are “gold” Latitude members, it means absolutely nothing. NCL should be embarrassed how they treat Latitude members. The first time we booked a year in advance while we were on a Panama Canal trip for a Hawaii cruise. The problem was that the price of the cabin kept dropping. Three times we had to negotiate a new cabin on the “Pride of America.” NCL does not want to refund money if the price goes down. So they up graded us even though we really wanted the money back. That was ridiculous to argue over the price and location of a cabin three times before the cruise, and we did not get our final cabin assignment until 2 days before the cruise. This time we booked the “Escape” for a Jan. 16, 2016, cruise because that date had a lower price and was leaving from Miami near our home. However, I needed a double hip operation and physical therapy interfered with the cruise date. We used NCL recommended insurance. What a hassle we had with them. They denied the claim saying this was from a previous condition. We had to resubmit the medical forms, argue with them numerous times from a sick bed. Finally they offered half of the price we paid in the form of a credit for a future cruise. We had already rebooked this cruise for Feb. 27, 2016, and the nerve to offer half credit on what we paid when this was an open and shut case in black, white, and red blood. Again numerous phone calls and submitting cruise contracts and arguing to get our money back. Pure aggravation but we received all our money back except for $200 for the insurance. However, when we rebooked the cruise the balcony was for a higher price and a lower level cabin because of the change of dates. None of our reservations for excursions, entertainment, or specialty restaurants transferred over and we were closed out of booking ahead on line. More aggravation. You would think that NCL would automatically rebook for GOLD Latitude Members. But being a Latitude member meant nothing. When we complained to NCL about all of the above, their replies were totally ridiculous - as if they never read the emails and letters we sent. One “special agent” called - did not leave a name and said that we have until 5 PM to call back a garbled phone number and that she was going away until March which was after our cruise. Finally, one of their supervisors called us again 2 days before to offer us an up grade. This “up grade” was no up grade. It was on a lower level for a mini suite which was a little larger than the balcony cabin. But what really got us aggravated is that we meet people on the cruise who booked 2 weeks after we did and got half off of what we paid and then they were up graded to a higher level. Another couple from Canada booked also at the last minute within a week of the cruise and they paid half of what we paid and got a higher level. IT DOES NOT PAY TO BOOK EARLY WITH NCL. IT’S TOO MUCH AGGRAVATION The ship the "Escape" is right now one of the largest in the world. It was amazing that with so many people on board that there was very little wait time for restaurants if you have a reservations. We found it strange that NCL allows shorts and sandals in the dinning rooms. Cagney specialty steak restaurant was exceptional. We did not like the French restaurant food or service. The gym was very modern and well equipped like most of the newer cruise ships. The Spa message according to my wife was excellent. The problems with NCL embarkation and disembarkation that were present 2 years ago seem to have been fixed. I like the fact that they used 2 gangways and arrival points. The mini suite is really only a few feet bigger than a regular balcony cabin. The difference is the bathroom in the mini suite has a tub. The balconies are almost the same size. It seems to us that the newer the ship, the smaller the cabin. We did not like the drinks that the bartenders made, especially the drink of the day and the service was poor. However, the service of the rest of the staff (cabin stewards, internet manager, shore excursions, waiters, etc.) was excellent. Like Royal Caribbean cruise line there were plenty of activities on the ship. Although they did not have a rock climbing wall, they did have a rope course where you can walk the plank. Compared to other new ships, there was nothing really exceptional about the activities compared to Royal Caribbean ice rink, surfing waves, etc. 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 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

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