Sail Date: October 2015
I just arrived from the airport, and sat down to write this review, hoping to be the first. I'll start by saying that it's hard to write a review based on a 2 nights cruise. There are so many features of the ship we ... Read More
I just arrived from the airport, and sat down to write this review, hoping to be the first. I'll start by saying that it's hard to write a review based on a 2 nights cruise. There are so many features of the ship we didn't try, and so many venues we didn't have time to visit. However, I'm partial to the Breakaway class, so even after two nights I can say that the ship is a success. This was a 2 nights cruise from Hamburg to Southampton. I was not impressed with the boarding process. You had to carry your bags (all of them) through the whole boarding process and to your room. Instead of the 20 minutes it took us to board the Breakaway in New York, embarkation in Hamburg took more than an hour. Though this is something that will be different in future cruises from Miami. Although the weather was cold, we went straight to the water slides. The new slide is a huge success. By far, in my opinion, the best slide I saw on ships, and that's including Disney's Aquaduck. Same thing to be said about the improved rope course. It's huge, with various zip lines. You can spend hours on it. We had a family room oceanview on deck 5. I had the same room on the Breakaway. I was impressed than. I'm impressed now. It's the largest room I ever had on a cruise ship. It has a bathtub (!). Lots of closet space. Two TVs. Perfect layout. You can't get a better room. I won't switch it with a balcony or even a suite. I didn't have time to try the new Bayamo restaurant. Cagney's was amazing, as always. Teppanyaki was entertaining. The new Food Republic is really good - I like the iPad ordering system, as well as the dishes. A really nice addition. Breakfast in the Garden Cafe was a mess. But that's another thing that goes with this being the ship's first cruise. They'll improve. A note about the Internet service: Norwegian offer an unlimited plan (good for one device), for 30 usd per day. With Royal offering a new ultra fast internet service at a fraction of the price, I think Norwegian should reconsider their pricing plan. Especially when they offer slow internet speed. I saw the After Midnight show. It was nice. Nothing less, nothing more. Oh, the gym is bigger and better placed (as well as the spa and thermal suite with its snow room). Overall, you have to try this ship. Especially when it'll sail from Miami, and after a few weeks of working out the initial problems. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
NCL Escape 3 day from Hamburg to Southampton. GETTING TO KNOW US We in our late 60’s and we are active seniors who have done 29 cruises over the last 30 years. This was the end of 15 days in Europe to celebrate our 50th ... Read More
NCL Escape 3 day from Hamburg to Southampton. GETTING TO KNOW US We in our late 60’s and we are active seniors who have done 29 cruises over the last 30 years. This was the end of 15 days in Europe to celebrate our 50th Anniversary. We like the Freestyle NCL offers but have done other lines as well. We had never done a “new” ship right off the dock and we were excited to be part of all the newness seeing it before others. Hubby and I anticipated that there were to be glitches in many areas and knew we would be the ships Guinea Pigs as staff had not had passengers yet. SO, knowing all that, here is our review: ARRIVAL TO PORT We arrived at 10:30 AM and we were on board about 12:15. The going was slow and there was a "Disney" line to get on the ship. As expected, crew had some confusion but handled each request from passengers as quickly as possible in our area. We were in Group 12 to board. Embarkation was not as cruisers expect because there was no baggage assistance. For us, it was no issue as we were doing the 3 day, however, those getting on for the Transatlantic definitely struggled. Also, those with mobility issues or in wheelchairs were without assistance where we were. OUR CABIN We have not booked an inside cabin for some time but because this was a 3 day cruise and we anticipated we would be exploring the ship most of the time, we chose an inside cabin, 13463. The best surprise was the bathroom, very large, lots of space to store things and the shower was wonderful. I am not a fan of climbing over the tub to shower so this was perfect. We are not over packers so we found plenty of storage in the cabin. In the closet, we had 12 hangers, a safe, and several shelves along with space under the hanging side to store shoes. The bed had 2 small night tables with shelves in each one. I did not check under the bed for storage, too much to see and too little time. There was a built in table/desk with small bench and a refrigerator built in also. Our cabin was set up to hold 3 people but the third bunk would have been too claustrophobic for me. The cabin hallways seemed bigger than on the smaller ships The cabin needed a room card to keep power on so we threw in a grocery store card and everything worked and we still had our keys. SHIP This was our first cruise on a ship of this size and huge it was. Our cabin was forward and we walked a lot to get to everywhere. In my younger days, this was not an issue but I think the mega ships are not for me, just a personal choice. We explored everything we could and other than being huge, the ship was beautiful and the Waterfront truly brought back the Promenade Deck of the older ships. My DH did the ropes course while still in port and it looked intense to me. Throughout the 3 days, the kids and adults who climbed the course were having a lot of fun. There was also a mini version of the course built in so the younger kids had a course to do. The water park was immense and rivaled some water parks in the US and kids were using it. I thought the tots water area was well done and had many things for the toddlers to do. We did not see Teen or Kids area as we had no need. DRINKING ESTABLISMENTS (We had the Caps and Corks package) We went to Tobacco Road, The Cellars, The District Brew House, 5 O’clock Somewhere and Spice H2O. We never waited for a drink, service was quick. There were some vintages of wine and several brews that were not available but this was a shakedown cruise and we always found something we liked. Drinks did come with a port tax that we were not expecting but nothing outrageous. The only thing on our NCL account at the end was some minor gift shop purchases and the $20 odd taxes. Spice H2O was a great late night place but rain and weather kept the crowds away. DINING VENUES (We had no paid meal plans) We ate at both dining rooms, Garden Cafe buffet and O’Sheehans. First night, the service v e r y slow but we expected something would happen as this was the first time the dining room was full for the staff to practice on. Same dining room next time was great. We had breakfast in O’Sheehan’s and the selections for us seemed very limited. Lunch menu had more options. We found the food in the dining room delicious and well presented. Always a good mix of selections with vegetarian options, also. One thing NOT to our liking in the main dining room, items for a price. Prime Rib and 2 other items were on the menu but for an additional $14.95. These main dining rooms are our only place left without a la carte and we were very disappointed to them there. Come on NCL, at least leave the Main Dining alone. There were a few hiccups like dessert and coffee taking forever, waiters not sure what table they were serving and trying to order drinks in the dining room. The Buffet was well laid out and both sides had the same items so easy to find a small line. There was a bar within the Buffet that made getting a beer or drink very easy. I fell in love with the Pasta Bar, made to order with sauce and ingredient choices. There were no Hot Dogs or Hamburgers but maybe the Margaritaville at Sea was for hamburgers. The one time we went it was raining and this is an outside venue. ENTERTAINMENT We only saw Million Dollar Quartet and needed no reservation to get a seat at the 7 PM show. The young musicians were amazing and portrayed the characters excellently. Not to be missed. We went to the Howl at the Moon first night and I howled long and loud, LOL Music was good and piano players were energetic and had incredible talent. I am told I howled until 1 am but don’t remember. We went back on night 2 but crowd was not into it and we left. Night 3 was back to night one caliber. The Casino seemed to be bigger than any at sea we had seen. It was nice because there was no smell of smoke yet. I put $5 in a slot on day 1 and came away with $37.50. Wish I could be more exciting about the Casino but we just did not have time to see everything and stay there. All in all our experience was positive, we knew the ship would have issues but for us, they were few. The staff and crew were always on hand to take care of passenger issues with one exception but that was eventually dealt with. Having an inside cabin was okay for the 3 day but we agree we need to see out. Because of the weather, we can’t comment on chair huggers, kids in the adult pool, or any people smoking where they should not be. We attended the Meet & Greet and the Cabin Crawl and met some wonderful new friends we will keep forever. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We booked as a 3 night break from Hamburg to Southampton and then got the chance as Platinum latitudes members to stay on an extra night at a reduced price So overall thoughts on the ship? Firstly is it disabled friendly? On the ... Read More
We booked as a 3 night break from Hamburg to Southampton and then got the chance as Platinum latitudes members to stay on an extra night at a reduced price So overall thoughts on the ship? Firstly is it disabled friendly? On the whole yes, it’s a big ship but easy to get around and not too many bottle necks EXCEPT Embarkation Disembarkation Muster Drill And queuing for restaurants at peak times like just after shows finish It will be interesting to read reviews when the ship is full and in warm weather as to how crowded it gets on sun decks There were a lot of people with walking sticks and some in wheelchairs It can be a long walk from one end of ship to the other and would recommend getting a cabin near the elevators. If you can use stairs it’s a bit easier than having to wait for the elevators which at peak times were full when the doors opened onto your floor. The congestion on elevators was exaggerated on this short cruise by no portering facilities so you had to carry your own luggage on and off ship. The 2 sets of elevators with 8 in each are called forward and aft but are actually about a third of the way along from front and back of ship. With 20 decks the public area decks are 6/7/8 and 16 upwards for the sun decks Cabins We saw a good selection on our cabin crawl and there is bound to be a style to suit your style and budget. We liked our balcony cabin and the angled balcony available in a few such as 10276 will make a lot more room to relax in your own private space on a warm weather itinery. I’ve heard a few people complain that having the bed configuration near the wardrobe limits space . It certainly isn’t pushed up against it-there is a bedside table between the bed and wardrobe which is at least a foot wide. We didn’t find it an issue getting clothes out of the wardrobe in fact my husband found it easier sitting on the bed and leaning forward to grab his clothes from the shelves. The lighting system you activate by placing your room card in the slot inside your room works well and indicates to your cabin steward you are in residence. There are 2 switches to indicate do not disturb or make up room and they show as lights outside in the hall. Entertainment Million Dollar Quartet was very good but don’t drag your husband along if he isn’t a theatre fan! Howl at the Moon duelling pianos was great entertainment each night [they wont be playing every night on a regular cruise though or they will be exhausted Starlight band in 5 o clock sometime bar we really enjoyed but they are hampered by the design of the room. 5 o clock sometime bar implies a lively all day atmosphere but it doesn’t seem to work In May we were on the older NCL Star with the old bar refurbished to become 5 o clock sometime .That suffered by being a throughfare with bad acoustics and uncomfortable seats. This newly designed bar had its own problems attracting people to sit and listen to the on stage band. It had limited opening hours-supposed to open 12 noon but bar often closed mid afternoon Uncomfortable beach type chairs Rotating lights around stage dazzle audience for a few seconds There is an automatic door leading from waterfront which is the outside smoking area into the bar. Therefore there is a draft when people walk through it. The exit from the bar into the main inner r area consists of 2 glass doors. One of these open with a handle from the outside but have to push a lever from the other side and as there is no indication which door to open first the 2 doors never shut properly and bang together. SPA I used the thermal spa-very nice and had 1 treatment-a discounted head to toe with full body/scalp/foot massage and a facial Dining We ate in Manhattan restaurant one night where service was slow. Because platinum latitudes perks not extended to this short cruise we didn’t have a meal voucher so didn’t eat in speciality restaurant For ease and convenience ate mainly in O Sheehans and buffet and were perfectly satisfied Communication There was misinformation about back to back passengers having to attend multiple muster drills which caused frustration and resulted in people turning up late to their muster station. The only pre information given that there would be no portering facilities available at the port was for the invited guests cruise on 28th. There was no pre warning for the other mini cruises departing from Hamburg and Southampton Added taxes/gratuities We had pre paid our daily service charge and were aware of the 18% automatic bar charge .As we had pre paid a corks and caps beer and wine package that 18% was also pre paid However the final 2 days in and around Southampton there was extra port tax and VAT payable which was not pre warned but I knew to expect by reading info on cruise critic However I have read reports of irate people blaming NCL claim this extra money for themselves-nope blame our UK government. TEETHING PROBLEMS The non functioning safe and tv should have been on a checklist before guests arrived Toilets on deck 7 outside the theatre-there is a female toilet on 1 side and male on the other and both doors labelled correctly .However the high level indicators show a male figure on both sides! A silly mistake by someone hanging the signs but it’s going to irritate if not fixed Toilets on deck 8 outside District Brew house. The ladies has 3 cubicles 2 of which the handles are loose with too much play on the shank-someone risks getting stuck in there The curtain across the balcony window in our cabin had the final hook missing so a loose flap hanging down –looks unsightly on a brand new ship All above issues were reported to guest services/maintenance Would I do such a few days cruise again-oh yes!!! I am however disappointed that our group missed out on the souvenir lanyards tote bags etc that were given to other cruisers even day guests .Being the first paying guests on an inaugural cruise would have expected some kind of recognition. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
we chose this cruise for a bit of fun for our 2 Grandsons and my husband. we heard it was the newest ship yet and the 4th biggest cruise ship in the world, as soon as we heard NCL was coming to Southampton we rushed on the web and booked! ... Read More
we chose this cruise for a bit of fun for our 2 Grandsons and my husband. we heard it was the newest ship yet and the 4th biggest cruise ship in the world, as soon as we heard NCL was coming to Southampton we rushed on the web and booked! we had booked an balcony on deck 14 so we were very high. i didn't know it was high because when your with NCL they pick it for you, you cant pay extra to choose where your cabin is! we got at ocean terminal ( we like ocean terminal a lot, we went on ventura in that terminal) we arrived after McDonalds breakfast ( best ever, i had a bacon baguette). i would highly recommend it if your at Southampton and your struggling to find a breakfast the kids will like. we got at the terminal at 11:00am and boarded 11:20am best we have ever had ever! we walked to deck then we went to the garden cafe to have lunch and...... every single chair was used! there was no space whatsoever! we were hungry maybe we could go to the main dining room taste, but full up as well! we went back up to deck 16 to the garden cafe and there were lovely happy waiters helping us find a table 5 points for that! we had an announcement from the cruise director our cabin was ready but we didn't go yet because they're lots of ques for the lifts ( as always on this ship ) we waited half an hour to actually find a lift! as only 2 sets of lifts for 4,500 passengers is not enough ( what are ncl doing?) we went to taste for dinner ( loved it!) i had the chefs recommended chicken ceaser salad. our cabin overlooked other balconies ( would not like to be in those cabins!). our cabin was spacious and modern with USB chargers, the beds were comfy. there was a prom deck with the famous 5'O'clock bar. you CAN walk on the bow but its not connected to the promenade. the pool deck was small and split into two so it was crammend and horrible the pool is always packed and people hog the sunbeds! it is disgusting to see NCL being lazy and not putting in big pools and making there ones packed! i liked the water park, high ropes, mini golf and H20 all good for kids and middle aged adults. but i think the NCL escape needs more improvements and there are ques everywhere! the ship was a bit to big for me and bigger is definitely NOT BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We have just returned from a family taster on the new escape. We were by in large impressed with the ship,but it had teething problems. The life boat drill was a shambles I appreciate that it has to be done but to wait for everyone to turn ... Read More
We have just returned from a family taster on the new escape. We were by in large impressed with the ship,but it had teething problems. The life boat drill was a shambles I appreciate that it has to be done but to wait for everyone to turn up well past it's start time was ridiculous, the majority of us turned up and signed in when told but there were passengers just strolling in well after, a waste of half an hour especially when you are only on board for less than 24 hours. We have previously sailed in the Epic so the Escape had a lot to live up to and in some cases it didn't. The drinks were very expensive as was the al a carte menus. We were fortunate enough to have booked a dining time at the Manhatten Room because they were queuing to get in. Not all that impressed with the menu and way too much garlic butter on the steak. We were disappointed that there was no childrens menu in the restaurants, our 10 year old son had to eat an adult meal which was too much for him and only one thing tat he liked on the menu. All the bars were good and served a nice prosecco. Our stateroom was lovely although we didn't like being woken up by an announcement in the middle of the night about a code bravo. The beds in the stateroom were extremely comfortable. Breakfast was a free for all with passengers bringing their suitcases in the garden cafe and all trying to find a table. We thought the staff were friendly and pleasant. All in all we had a good time but had we not have cruised before it might have put us off, but because we had such an amazing time on the epic we will be cruising again. We won't ,however, be doing a taster again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Well this was our first time sailing with NCL...so it was great to sail on a brand new ship!The Escape is a great sized ship with plenty to do and see. The Top deck was great with the slides and pools along with a huge ropes course and of ... Read More
Well this was our first time sailing with NCL...so it was great to sail on a brand new ship!The Escape is a great sized ship with plenty to do and see. The Top deck was great with the slides and pools along with a huge ropes course and of course crazy golf. My 11yr old loved this, along with ten pin bowling and basketball games, etc. The public areas are great and we thoroughly enjoyed having a good look around. We loved the area around the O'Sheehan's bar, there was a real buzz here. We also really enjoyed the atmosphere in the District Brew house on an evening, the photo booth here went down well with my family members. The three complimentary restaurants were beautifully decorated, along with a lot of the ships décor. The staterooms were of a good size with great sized bathrooms. We stayed in a balcony room one night and an inside cabin the other night (as booked separately) and found them a perfect size. The balcony room came with tea and coffee facilities, but apparently there was no coffee available on the ship, so one teabag had to do! Hopefully this will be sorted out on the next leg of the ships journey. The balcony itself was actually bigger than I thought. We were able to have a look around the Haven suites which were absolutely fantastic! We watched one show, The Million Dollar Quartet, the singing was great but I found the show quite long, my other family members enjoyed it though, it comes down to personal taste though so my recommendation would be to check it out for yourself. Food wise, my favourite meal was at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville's one lunchtime, both the food and service were great, fantastic Keylime pie! We tried the Manhattan restaurant one evening, this was very busy and therefore there was no personal service from the staff. There was a good ambience however. Freestyle dining is great in principal but there were so many queues around the popular eating times, and getting out of the restaurant was a challenge! Personally I would like to see more 'Classic' dishes on the menu, I didn't find the starters or deserts on the menu very interesting. I chose herb encrusted chicken for a main which came with half a tomato and a small spoon of mashed potato, no other vegetables, so a little bland. I didn't enjoy the desert. Yet again this is just my personal opinion. The Garden café was okay for breakfast but not so much for an evening meal, I found the food quite cold. O'Sheehan's served some great snacks, the apple and cinnamon pie was very nice indeed! We didn't have a main meal here, will try that next time. The drinks onboard, as on any ship are very expensive, it would be well worth choosing an alcohol package if you are onboard for longer than a couple of days. The Sail away party on the top deck ( 28th Oct) was great, a fantastic atmosphere! So overall, the ship itself was fantastic, the activities were great, the cabins were great and the general atmosphere was great! BUT my main gripe has to be the severe lack of happy smiley faces with the staff, bearing in mind this is only a couple of days into the ship's inaugural cruises. I was quite shocked actually, normally on a cruise ship staff smile at you and say hello but I simply didn't feel that on this ship, (apart from Margaritaville's) Not sure why? I do love these taster cruises though, a family member was able to experience her first cruise and loved the ship, so it was perfect that it left from Southampton, looking forward to the next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
this ship is the best. the ship size was a bit to big for my opinion, well i like a bit big ,but not to much. we ordered to be in the haven. lovely. it was a king size bed there was 3 balconies one with a sun roof. the room was spacious. ... Read More
this ship is the best. the ship size was a bit to big for my opinion, well i like a bit big ,but not to much. we ordered to be in the haven. lovely. it was a king size bed there was 3 balconies one with a sun roof. the room was spacious. the entertainment was excellent. there was 5 shows in the morning and 8 shows in the evening. this ship had nickelodeon on board. so when you watch it on the telly it is on a cruise ship. the dining was okay. the menu in cagney's steakhouse was amazing.. we participated in the conger dance on deck when we left new York we loved the dance routine. the buffet was lovely it was just it is always packed. we weren't allowed coffee in the day the same with milk. the staff are very friendly patting your heads giving you hugs and stroking your head there like your mom ore dad. i probably enjoyed the view the most. when we went to Barcelona the first couple day at sea was good and the last couple was really boring. it felt like you were trapped. the service was amazing they let us book an excursion in new York. this ship is more for children then adults because its more screens and slides everywhere.we have had a voyage on the opera and that is better. oh well! this was still amazing. there was the le bistro that we had snails and pigeon. mom was shocked by millionaire dollar. while we was on this cruise we saw msc aromia, qm2, azura and carnival triumph. the aromia was a mid sized ship the right size for me. the triumph has suffers lots of damages and engine fire. this ship is big and not my type of ship.the queen Mary 2 is very old fashion. the boarding scheduled were to small for every body to get of that 3,467 passenger liner.the azura was massive I've heard it is one of the biggest ships in the world it is by p&o a British line.oh and we saw anthem of the seas .our ship was 5 cm bigger . so i said"we're bigger than you. the children club on the escape was anightmare. it was to good there was a children aqua park with fast slides.the embarkation in hamburg was ridiculous. we waited 6 hrs and then we didn't bother. we got a cocktail and had a bit of a swim. in Bruges we saw the opera. I've been on her the escape was much different to the msc opera . the ports were lovely, apart from new york. new york was a bit packed. back to Madeira my home port. then i flied to the uk. and told my family how much i loved it. finnaly i found this usefull website to help people not to waste thier money if they dont like a ship! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
We have heard various critiques during the transatlantic cruise and was disappointed by how critical people were. Here's our two cents. Entertainment - Tenors of Rock, Las Vegas Tenors, After Midnight, Million Dollar Quartet ... Read More
We have heard various critiques during the transatlantic cruise and was disappointed by how critical people were. Here's our two cents. Entertainment - Tenors of Rock, Las Vegas Tenors, After Midnight, Million Dollar Quartet were all first rate. Food - We love "real" food and every day the buffet had loads of fresh vegetables prepared many ways, salads made any way you like and lots of fresh fruit. Balcony Room - lots of storage, biggest bathroom we've ever had, nice balcony. Staff-all unfailingly helpful and friendly. Rope Walk - awesome!!! Downside: Trivia was a lot of fun but Atrium is just too small for the amount of people interested. There seemed to be some "bottle jams" getting people moved around, particularly disembarking. Overall kinks they will work out. We were thrilled by the dollar value of this cruise and think overall it was excellent Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We have just returned from the 10 day cruise and really enjoyed it we had the UDP and the Drinks package thank god! As the drinks are very expensive. We were expecting to be able to get any drink to the value of 11 dollars, it was in fact ... Read More
We have just returned from the 10 day cruise and really enjoyed it we had the UDP and the Drinks package thank god! As the drinks are very expensive. We were expecting to be able to get any drink to the value of 11 dollars, it was in fact 15 dollars so there wasn't much we couldn't have, also if you do get a drink that is more you only pay the difference. There were teething problems with some accounts so we couldn't view our booked restaurants on our tv but customer services printed them out for us so no problem. We found our balcony cabin to be more user friendly than on the epic more storage space and the wardrobe is better for longer items as the life jackets etc are not stored in the bottom like they are on the epic. The bathroom was spacious and well laid out. We enjoyed all the restaurants we had booked but I do think Teppanyaki needs to update its routine... It's exactly the same as the epic so a bit repetitive unless of course it's your first cruise. We had booked for 6 nights UDP and just before we sailed decided we would also book Bayamo which we understood we would have to pay for. When we ate there we were charged a fee but. It the full rate BUT when we went to Cagneys on our last night we were told we had used all of our 6 already so would need to pay. I explained how we had booked it and she said as we had eaten at Bayamo it classed as one of our 6 Which I found to be unfair as we had expected to pay at Bayamo. They didn't make a big deal at all about it and let us eat for no charge. I think they do need to clear up the few "grey" areas of the UDP. We enjoyed the water front but feel there is room for more seating as more often than not you couldn't find a seat! We are latitudes members so had no problems with embarkation, disembarkation was fraught with bottlenecks and some people not happy to wait in line! We chose the easy walk off and once they had clearance the queue moved quickly and we were off the ship within 3/4 of an hour. The top deck sun bathing areas seem very well thought out compared to the epic, there seem to be more bars so you never have to go to far for a drink and lots more sun beds. There are also lots of hot tubs. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
Great new clean ship Excellent quality entertainment. Food at 3 restaurants same, I think they wanted you to try their speciality restaurants! . Enjoyed the open seating, anytime dinning. More variety in Garden cafe. Seafood night nice but ... Read More
Great new clean ship Excellent quality entertainment. Food at 3 restaurants same, I think they wanted you to try their speciality restaurants! . Enjoyed the open seating, anytime dinning. More variety in Garden cafe. Seafood night nice but tasteless. No shrimp cocktail like most cruises as daily appetizer. Staff extremely friendly. A bit rough the first few days and a rescue at sea. Lots of different types of entertainment . Trivia, deal or no deal, parties, etc. Ship was not filled to capacity which was great. Great room ( balcony) , with lots of storage. Getting off the ship was very chaotic and a long process. Events regarding the ships inauguration were in progress which did not help matters. Ship kept very clean. Sanitization always in process. Purchase of Aleeve on board very expensive $10.99 , 3x regular price! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
Inside cabin worked better when we asked Chris the cabin attendant to separate the beds, otherwise it's a tight squeeze on either side of the bed. It would be great if you could turn the heat/Ac off completely as the dry air really ... Read More
Inside cabin worked better when we asked Chris the cabin attendant to separate the beds, otherwise it's a tight squeeze on either side of the bed. It would be great if you could turn the heat/Ac off completely as the dry air really affects my husbands asthma ( we got home late sunday night and on Monday he was $120 lighter in the wallet after a Dr's visit, 3 lots of meds and an x-ray. Can't complain for the price of the cruise but would have willingly paid more for at least ONE stop on the way to Miami. 8 days at sea is a long time. The entertainment was typically 2nd-rate, except for the Gaucho and the 3 comedians. Flamenco guitarists should stick to playing their guitars ....their singing was terrible ( who's the talent scout ???). We left after 15 mins. The Rock Tenors.... well, we left after 10 minutes, the effort to make reservations for seats was a complete waste of time. Food was good, we did 50/50 in the nicer restaurants and buffet. We had SILVER Latitude level when we boarded and DIDN'T have 'Priority Boarding' in Southampton. Now we have moved up 2 points and now have GOLD so hopefully boarding will be a better experience in Barcelona next year. Getting off the ship in Miami, our time to disembark was 9:30am as we had a late afternoon flight, well we were postponed until 10:30am and FINALLY got out of Customs & Immigration at 12:30. OBVIOUSLY THE PORT OF MIAMI WERE NOT EQUIPPED TO GET SO MANY PEOPLE OFF THE SHIP ....THEY NEEDED EXTRA STAFF TO FILL THE EMPTY BOOTHS and maybe it would have gone a lot faster. Also there were NO TOILETS in the waiting area ... 2 hrs with nowhere to pee, DISGRACEFUL ! THAT'S ALL FOLKS ..... Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
Firstly emberkation was very good from Southampton ,ship was lovely loved the band in the 5 o,clock somewhere bar and the piano player in the district , loved all the shows on board , tenors of rock, las Vegas tenors, million dollar ... Read More
Firstly emberkation was very good from Southampton ,ship was lovely loved the band in the 5 o,clock somewhere bar and the piano player in the district , loved all the shows on board , tenors of rock, las Vegas tenors, million dollar quartet etc , loved comedy club we had no trouble getting seats as we reserved a time on the tv screen. We weren't keen on the hypnotist as we have seen better and we hated the fuelling pianos as they kept asking for money we stuck it for half an hour they only played 3 songs amongst the begging and wanting us to scream and clap and sing along did not feel they were worthy ,we walked out ,we stuck to the included restaurants food was very good and hot , only ate once in buffet , ship was not too crowded apart from foyer not enough seats great game shows etc there , great entertainment crew . Only disappointment was they ran out of special brews on tap on first day ,not good , we did not go in the pools as weather not hot enough until last 4 days , cabin was good did have trouble with the patio door banging as seal had come loose for 1st 3 nights had a small $60 compensation for lack of sleep , thought we deserved more , good cabin steward never bothered us , disembarkation in Miami was better than we have had previously although the queues were longer after we joined it there should have been more customs officers to deal with us all. We would sail again with Ncl in warmer climes next time though.We paid for two shows in the supper club fabulous venue the brat back for the record was fantastic and the wine lovers show was very entertaining .We had no trouble getting tables for 2 in dining rooms., we paid over £880 for our drinks package and probably had our money's worth . Drinks are expensive ,We had a good package price with 5 days stay in Orlando but would have liked a cheaper drinks package price.All staff were very good , bar staff worked very hard , not enough of them we felt sorry for them . The ones in the District bar were very entertaining . Do not listen to the bad reviews as we don't think it was a bad cruise at all especially compared to the similar transatlantic on the Quantum of the seas same time last year which was riddled with faults. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Firstly emberkation was very good from Southampton ,ship was lovely loved the band in the 5 o,clock somewhere bar and the piano player in the district , loved all the shows on board , tenors of rock, las Vegas tenors, million dollar ... Read More
Firstly emberkation was very good from Southampton ,ship was lovely loved the band in the 5 o,clock somewhere bar and the piano player in the district , loved all the shows on board , tenors of rock, las Vegas tenors, million dollar quartet etc , loved comedy club we had no trouble getting seats as we reserved a time on the tv screen. We weren't keen on the hypnotist as we have seen better and we hated the fuelling pianos as they kept asking for money we stuck it for half an hour they only played 3 songs amongst the begging and wanting us to scream and clap and sing along did not feel they were worthy ,we walked out ,we stuck to the included restaurants food was very good and hot , only ate once in buffet , ship was not too crowded apart from foyer not enough seats great game shows etc there , great entertainment crew . Only disappointment was they ran out of special brews on tap on first day ,not good , we did not go in the pools as weather not hot enough until last 4 days , cabin was good did have trouble with the patio door banging as seal had come loose for 1st 3 nights had a small $60 compensation for lack of sleep , thought we deserved more , good cabin steward never bothered us , disembarkation in Miami was better than we have had previously although the queues were longer after we joined it there should have been more customs officers to deal with us all. We would sail again with Ncl in warmer climes next time though.We paid for two shows in the supper club fabulous venue the brat back for the record was fantastic and the wine lovers show was very entertaining .We had no trouble getting tables for 2 in dining rooms., we paid over £880 for our drinks package and probably had our money's worth . Drinks are expensive ,We had a good package price with 5 days stay in Orlando but would have liked a cheaper drinks package price.All staff were very good , bar staff worked very hard , not enough of them we felt sorry for them . The ones in the District bar were very entertaining . Do not listen to the bad reviews as we don't think it was a bad cruise at all especially compared to the similar transatlantic on the Quantum of the seas same time last year which was riddled with faults. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
Thought I would try Norwegian for the first time, have always used Royal Caribbean and Celebrity before. Couldn't refuse the deal, an 11 day cruise plus return flight from Florida for less than the cost of a return flight! Nice ... Read More
Thought I would try Norwegian for the first time, have always used Royal Caribbean and Celebrity before. Couldn't refuse the deal, an 11 day cruise plus return flight from Florida for less than the cost of a return flight! Nice ship, modest luxury and (being inaugural cruise) in perfect condition. CABIN: We started with an inside cabin, which was very cramped, barely room to squeeze past the side of the bed and virtually no storage (1 wardrobe, no drawers at all). However we found out that the ship was not full and asked for an upgrade. The Guest Relations guy needed to speak to a manager who was not there, but we got a promise of a call back that evening. No call back, assumed the answer was no. Two days later I asked at GR desk, to be told we had been upgraded to a balcony cabin,but nobody had told us, so we could have moved two days earlier! Much better cabin, but still had to squeeze past the bed. DINING: Comprehensive mix of dining options, a few complimentary rooms, and several paid restaurants. Menu and food in the free rooms was reasonable, but much better in the specialty rooms, which all had themes. Some also had side sections on open deck, great in the Caribbean, not much good for the first 8 days trans Atlantic! ENTERTAINMENT: This was spectacular, though possibly all the stops had been pulled out for the maiden cruise. In particular Tenors of Rock were brilliant, Brat Pack was cleverly interactive, Million Dollar Quartet was great (if you were old enough to remember the 50s) and After Midnight and Comedy club were high quality. LAYOUT: Very different style of layout to Royal Caribbean/Celebrity/Princess - small central Atrium and everything arranged over decks 6,7 & 8 apart from the Theater. What they called the Atrium was a 2 level entertainment area which had nowhere near enough seating for the various demos, classes and trivia quizzes. Guest were bringing chairs from the adjacent meeting rooms or had to stand by the bar. The huge Manhattan Restaurant had a large dance floor which would have been far better a venue. DECKS: Hated the layout of the pool decks. Adult flumes, junior flumes, rope walk and a large central bar overshadowed the main pool deck making it feel cramped - you had to pick where to sit to avoid losing the sun after an hour or two. The saving grace was Spice H2O with its fascinating rock caves and waterfalls, great for cooling down. The hot tubs started off cold, were OK by day 8, but unbearably hot by the end. CONCLUSION: Nice enough ship, great entertainment (if sustained) good food options, but disappointing deck layouts. Would not feel safe with small kids. Would not rush to book NCL again, prefer Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
I'll be quick: This is my 15th cruise and 2nd on NCL... The balcony cabin Deck 11 was what you would expect. Be sure to use the 2 large drawers that are at the base of the sofa for storage. Shower was a just bit larger than ... Read More
I'll be quick: This is my 15th cruise and 2nd on NCL... The balcony cabin Deck 11 was what you would expect. Be sure to use the 2 large drawers that are at the base of the sofa for storage. Shower was a just bit larger than other ships. TV signal was poor but that's not what you're here for. Bed was comfortable. Entertainment was first-rate with all kinds of music to enjoy. Food in the main dining rooms and buffet was outstanding. So much so that I did not feel the need to go to the premium places although we did try Cagney's (more on that later). The indoor/outdoor concept on Deck 8 is a nice touch. The bartenders were great making the drink package a super value. Internet was horribly slow. Took 10 mins at .95/min to check 2 emails. I requested half my money back and they agreed. Outdoor spaces were great with plenty to do (or not do). The ropes course is a lot of fun if you dont mind heights. The really bad part was the service. Much of the restaurant staff appeared tired. Room service was awful. Got our coffee order wrong 8 out of 9 times. Service in the restaurants was slow and error prone. Took 20 mins. to get in an order at Cagney's. We ordered drinks and appetizers and then left after an hour or so. The Thermal Suites at the Spa were nice with tubs, hot chairs and various thermal rooms. Unfortunately they forgot to man the door at times and people were sneaking in for free. They corrected this later with a partial credit. Bottom line: If they fix the service issues, this ship is about as good as it gets. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
We chose to try a cruise from Europe rather than a cruise from The United States because we wanted to see how other people live, eat, travel and converse with others. Our trip from New York to Barcelona was fantastic, and upon landing ... Read More
We chose to try a cruise from Europe rather than a cruise from The United States because we wanted to see how other people live, eat, travel and converse with others. Our trip from New York to Barcelona was fantastic, and upon landing in Barcelona, we were able to see a few of their amazing artifacts, architecture, eateries and attractions, which were all truly enjoyable. Be sure you have Euros, not American money, before you travel to Europe, if possible. Aboard the ship, our room was great, dining was delectable, entertainment was abundant, service on board was superb and our Ports of Call were chosen very nicely. But when traveling and visiting the Caribbean Islands, beware Diamonds International (DI). Though many of their offerings are tantalizing, be sure the price you pay them is commensurate with the value of the items purchased. We still have a major issue with Diamonds International nearly a year after the cruise. After purchasing a large, loose Tanzanite stone for $25,000, and learning while on the cruise that I lost my job and was therefore going to be unable to repay for the merchandise, I attempted to return the stone for a full refund to several other DI stores, but my attempts to return the stone were rejected, despite my following the DI Return Policy outlined on the reverse side of the sales receipt. I was told that I would have to deal with DI Headquarters in New York City when I returned home, which I have done, and where I have been treated rude and discourteously. Additionally, DI's 'deal' with me was the I would have to pay a $5,000 restocking fee in order to return the merchandise despite my following their Return Policy while still on my cruise in the Caribbean. The ethics and alleged customer service, which translates to value (to most people) was abhorrent. My recommendation to you, avoid Diamonds International in the Caribbean. In the event DI does me right, I will most assuredly let you all know, but in the interim, BUYER OF DIAMONDS INTERNATIONAL MERCHANDISE, BEWARE!!!!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
EMBARKATION: What a nightmare that is. The ship spans two terminals, which is why you need to check you e-docs again right before you board. We spanned in Miami, Terminal B & C. Keep in mind parking is at Terminal C. Knowing ... Read More
EMBARKATION: What a nightmare that is. The ship spans two terminals, which is why you need to check you e-docs again right before you board. We spanned in Miami, Terminal B & C. Keep in mind parking is at Terminal C. Knowing which terminal to go to wasn’t clear to everyone, the lines were long (noon) and the heat was beating down. While there was a desk with a NCL rep, he said nothing. The baggage handlers were directing traffic, and it took me a while to actually find a handler who would take my bag and I was waving a $5 bill to get someone’s attention just to place it on the cart I was standing right next to. Once we make it into the terminal, another long, long line. There is a priority room, I guess for NCL Elite and another line for Latitude members. But all lines were moving extremely slow. MUSTER: no one had to stand outside and we did not need to listen to multiple languages, although we did wait a long time for everyone to show up. This specific cruise had a very high urban composition. SHIP: Of course it is shiny and new but there was clearly a lack of air conditioner, especially in the elevators. There are two sets of elevators but they are the smallest elevators I’ve ever seen on ship, so I would give the elevators a D. Very hard to get an empty one going in your directions. NCL seems to include a free package of your choice for a while now for balconies and above. So it seems like the entire ship had the Ultimate Beverage Package that the bartenders could not keep up with. Getting a drink was extremely difficult. The multiple lines streaming out of each bar seemed to be 5 to 10 deep. It was horrible, but they didn’t seem to mind giving you multiple drinks at once. The price fix for a UBP Drink is now $15.00. Don’t forget if you start ordering drinks as soon as you board you pay the tax until you on your way out to sea. For simple questions, the staff never seemed to know the answers. ROOM: We booked a mini-suite spa a long time ago, included was the ultimate beverage package and the thermal spa. The mini suite was way smaller than I expected, the photo makes it look way bigger. The bathroom however, was huge, double faucet sink, walk in double door spa shower (numerous jets including overhead shower). Great water pressure and hot, hot, hot water. Shower gel and a combo shampoo conditioner in on wall dispenser. Lotion and more shampoo on sink counter. We had three in the room, they separated the bed into two singles and the couch was made into a bed at the beginning of the cruise. It was a very hard couch, so we requested and received the second night a thin egg crate, which helped. The refrigerator was filled up with mini bar items. The flat screen TV had few stations and although you would assume the remote was new, it was very difficult to change the channels. Press, press, press and nothing would happen, then all of a sudden it would skip 5 channels. What I really liked, they had the push button for make up the room or do not disturb. These must be connected to the stateroom attendants, because you do not see them lingering in the hallways at all. POOL: None of the hot tubs are hot. Those using seemed to enjoy the slides. Some hottubs were clearly marked Adults, but children were in them and the staff standing right there, did not ask them to leave. We even asked that deckhand where the adult hot tubs were and he didn’t know to tell us about h20 spice, the adult only exclusive area. FITNESS & SPA: The fitness center was nice, smaller than I’ve seen on other ships, you must walk through to get to the salon and spa. Thermal spa was included with our suite (or you can pay $40 per day). The warm tile lounges lined a large window, so passengers were treating them like regular lounges and “hogging” them with towels/shoes, etc. These lounges are part of the spa treatment, and “were” to be used by passengers only if you were lying on them. Because they were mostly being used by a pair of shoes, or magazine, I found that extremely annoying. The staff kept telling us, that there was a sign, stating these rules, plus you were to limit use to 30 minutes. I never found that sign, nor did I see “housekeeping, removing left items as the staff said they were expected to do. So good luck on that one. Also we were in the spa women’s locker room, also ceiling to floor windows and sure enough, along comes a window washer (MALE) on his slider. Two women were completely naked drying off. Someone reports it to the front check in, and the staff come running in to pull the shade down. FOOD : I would say the food is better on NCL than RCI. I really do like the concept of separate complimentary dining venues (even though I thought it odd they all have the same menu). We always went around 5:30 and got a window seat. It sort of felt like you were in a specialty restaurant atmosphere. The typical MDR experience on other ships I find to be so loud and chaotic so I did like this. Sometimes we had to rush to get to a 7 pm show and just returned later for our dessert. The Garden Café buffet was nice as well, many choices and the food was decent. I didn’t care for their breakfast, so would opt for the Taste or Savor where there were cooked to order options. We wanted to try and book the Italian specialty but it was sold out the whole time. Of course we saw plenty of empty seats whenever we passed by. ENTERTAINMENT: DH-68; Me 60, DD 32. Before even leaving I was leery of the entertainment onboard. And mind you, my DD and I go to Broadway plays on a regular basis and love the theater. We wished one of the shows, had more currently music and themes. Both complimentary shows were set in the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. And if you want something more recent like the 80s you can pay for the Brat Pack. UGH. With such high caliber shows on Royal, we were disappointment with the selection on NCL. Let me say, these folks were very talented and some of the best singing I’ve ever heard from cruise singers and dancers. But the music just wasn’t our type. There are so many musicals to choose from, I have no idea why NCL chose these three shows with old decades old music to have on the same ship. We did purchase and really enjoy the Wine Lovers Musical in the Supper Club. Again, very talented singers, fun, upbeat, and you get to drink wine. We saw two African American comedians plus the host in the comedy theater, BOOK THESE quickly as they sell out and the venue is small. The host was my favorite Gina Brillon as she wasn't raunchy as the two headliners. ATTRIUM: I felt the need to point out that the atrium was the center for much entertainment. Trivia and other cruise director games and such; dancing, music and of all things this is where they played their daily MOVIE. It was nice having the trivia questions up on the screen in case you didn’t understand the accent of the staff asking the questions. The down side of this location, was this is also the location of guest services (by the way this line never let up and was lengthy always), but the noise level was crazy and you couldn’t even be heard by guest services when speaking with them due to the activity. DISEMBARKATION: Aside from it being pouring in Miami when we disembarked, it went way better than embarkation. As odd as I thought that the attendant did not distribute luggage tags the last day, I now realized how great it was that we went to select our own luggage tags from guest services. I want to choose what time I disembark, I hate most lines, select that for you. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
The food was excellent in the complimentary restaurants. I dined at the buffet, main dining room Taste, O'Sheehan's and Margaritaville. The only food I paid for was in the "supper club" and it was average there. ... Read More
The food was excellent in the complimentary restaurants. I dined at the buffet, main dining room Taste, O'Sheehan's and Margaritaville. The only food I paid for was in the "supper club" and it was average there. Entertainment was excellent. After Midnight, the Cotton Club musical had an amazing cast of singers and dancers. Maybe 20 minutes too long, but great just the same. The Million Dollar Quartet was beyond great. The "Brat Pack" in the supper club was good fun and the cast was very talented. That's all I could get to in 3 days. There is also comedy, karaoke, dueling pianos. The room (balcony) is a little tight and storage not great. Our cabin steward did a great job of keeping the room spotless and stocked with towels and turned twice a day. The area I must give them low marks on is bar and dining waitstaff which is too bad. Be prepared to wait a long time to be served at bars. I did not see any waitstaff walking around to alleviate the lines at the bars. The time spent waiting for the food at O'Sheehans (breakfast) was excessive. They were overwhelmed at Margaritaville. Our drinks came about the same time as the food...and that took a long time. So, either they need a new system of doing things or more people. The buffet was well maintained and kept clean with tables at the ready. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
We sailed on the NCL Escape for our 15th anniversary. All was as expected from NCL. New ship met some expectations, exceeded others. The crew is still finding it's 'sea-legs' on the Escape. Bar service was very slow. ... Read More
We sailed on the NCL Escape for our 15th anniversary. All was as expected from NCL. New ship met some expectations, exceeded others. The crew is still finding it's 'sea-legs' on the Escape. Bar service was very slow. Waiters hard to locate around pool decks. Million Dollar Quarter, After Midnight and the Supper Club all OUTSTANDING shows! Be sure to make reservations early as the theatre is smaller than expected. Disappointed that the vegetarian offering in the Supper Club was the same tasteless offering as the main dining. For the pricing we expected a menu offering exclusive to the Supper Club. We had enjoyed an out of this world eggplant parm in the Illusionarium on the Getaway last year and had hoped for a similar offering. NOT available, but hope that will change. Margaritaville has veggie burger options and several fish offerings. Other dining locations have substandard vegetarian and lackluster fish options. Please/please improve fish and vegetarian menu options! LeBistro was a disappointment for our anniversary dinner. It used to have an outstanding swordfish offered. The sea bass and sole were disappointments. Will not waste time or money next time. The rope course with two operational zip lines were awesome! Two of the water slides (tubes) were never open. Hopefully that will change. We will be sailing again in January on the Escape. Hope to find that the crew hits it's stride. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
My husband and I were on the 3-day sailing of the Escape on November 11th, which was the U.S. public inaugural sailing. We booked in February 2015 when the sailing was supposed to go to GSC and have one sea day. In July, NCL changed the ... Read More
My husband and I were on the 3-day sailing of the Escape on November 11th, which was the U.S. public inaugural sailing. We booked in February 2015 when the sailing was supposed to go to GSC and have one sea day. In July, NCL changed the itinerary to Nassau + one sea day. I seriously considered canceling, because we've gone to Nassau plenty, but my husband convinced me not to and I'm glad he did. Going in, we knew that this was the second sailing after the TA so there would be kinks and not everything would be perfect. I think that helped our view of the Escape and the trip itself. Embarkation: Really easy! We arrived at the port at 11:30 a.m. and were on the ship by noon. We are Silver Latitudes members, but were put in the Gold/Platinum checkin line, which may explain the fast checkin. Overall, we were very impressed with the ship. We've sailed the Epic and the Sky (as well as other lines), and knew the Escape was an improvement on the Breakaway and Getaway, which were improvements on the Epic. Layout: We very much liked the layout of the Escape. There were some similarities to the Epic, so we found it easy enough to navigate. I'm still glad those fish on the carpet point forward, though! Stateroom: We were in a balcony on deck 12 aft. Enjoyed the location and the room was spacious for two of us (but held four people). We have not sailed the Breakaway/Getaway, but have read the balconies on those ships are quite small. Our balcony (angled) was quite comfortable, and it looked like a lounge chair could have also fit, along with the two chairs/table. Would have been tight, but it looks like one would have fit. Margaritaville: Was complimentary when we sailed, but we waited 1 1/2 hours one day and 2 hours another day to eat there, so I can see why the have changed it to an a la carte menu. The food was good, and once we were seated, service was good as well. But the wait...you had definitely had to plan if you wanted to eat there! And perhaps grab a snack while you waited. MDRs: We've found the food on our NCL cruises good to very good, so dine in the complimentary venues. We have yet to dine in a specialty venue because the complimentary food has met our needs. Therefore, we dined in each of the MDRs (a different one each night) as well as O'Sheehan's, Margaritaville and the Garden Cafe. Food is subjective, but we found it to be very good in all venues, despite menu changes and fewer menu choices in the MDR. Spice H20/the Grotto: Favorite part of the ship, particularly the grotto. So happy it's adults only. That policy was not enforced on our Epic cruise earlier this year, but we were glad to see it enforced on the Escape. The Waterfront: This was our second favorite area on the ship. We enjoyed walking around pretty much the entire ship and loved the views from the aft. Running track: My husband is a runner and ran on the ship each day. He didn't like the placement of this track (around the slides) in comparison to the placement of the track on the Epic (in a more out-of-the-way area). Also, the track "closed" around 8 a.m. each day, as deck chairs would be placed around it, but he got up to run early. Service: This was a 3-day cruise with a large group of about 900 on our sailing. Nearly everyone seemed to have the UBP, so on our sea day, the pool bars in particular were out of many of the popular mixes - Baileys, pina colada mix, mango mix. Also, bars were very, very busy, so bartenders rarely acknowledged who arrived first, second, third and so on. Instead, people just shouted out orders at random, therefore making bar waits 15-20 minutes at times. We saw one or two people walking the decks taking orders, but they would be stopped by the same groups each time and never would get to others. That is the only place service lacked on that cruise. Million Dollar Quartet: Thoroughly enjoyed it, even my husband! We did not see After Midnight or the Supper Club, since we only had three days. Disembarkation: As fast as embarkation. Perhaps it helped that it was a short cruise, but we walked off the ship at 8:45 and were through customs by 9:05. We sail again in January on a 7 day and are looking forward to checking out all the places we missed on this cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
We did the 3-night inaugural cruise from Miami to the Bahamas on November 11, 2015. We had a standard BC balcony cabin. All in all this was a great cruise. Both embarkation and disembarkation were perhaps the easiest I have ever had. ... Read More
We did the 3-night inaugural cruise from Miami to the Bahamas on November 11, 2015. We had a standard BC balcony cabin. All in all this was a great cruise. Both embarkation and disembarkation were perhaps the easiest I have ever had. We arrived at the port around 11am. The lines for check in were long, but since we are Platinum, we were able to bypass them. We quickly check in and were given boarding group number 4. Once on board, we headed to Margaritaville for lunch. I have been to several land based Margaritaville restaurants. The food is always so-so, but this was much better. service was outstanding, and the food was piled high and tasted good! We had breakfast mostly in O'Sheehan's, and it was good as usual. There were some service issues, both here and in the MDRs. I'm not sure if the ship was short staffed .... but I have bene on many, man NCL's cruises, and never had the wait times that we had here. Not just waiting for food, but also service issues - like someone taking your drink order, or your food order. Hopefully, those issues have been resolved by now. We didn't get off the ship in Nassau. Been there too many times, and really just wanted to enjoy the ship. We are returning to the ship with family in the spring, and this was our "check out" time. The pool deck is laid out much better than the 'away ships. While I was really looking forward to the Grotto, it was just way too crowded in there. We saw all three shows. Million Dollar Quartet was simply amazing. Incredible! do not miss it! After Midnight was a little slow for me, but my husband really enjoy it. I thought the tap dancers were phenomenal. The Supper Club show was very good, but the food left a lot to be desired. I'm not a picky eater, but left most of my meal. It was just ... bad. All in all, a great cruise. I am hopeful that the service issues have been worked out. The crew did not seem happy, but that could also be the stress of a new ship showing. I am looking forward to our spring cruise, and will do another review when we return. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
This is my third NCL Cruise and I did buy 2 more "Next Cruises" so I will be cruising again with NCL. Embarkation and Disembarkation both were easy, fast and without any problems. I have no suggestions where they could ... Read More
This is my third NCL Cruise and I did buy 2 more "Next Cruises" so I will be cruising again with NCL. Embarkation and Disembarkation both were easy, fast and without any problems. I have no suggestions where they could improve we were delighted with how fast it went. Service was a little slow but it is to be expected on an inaugural run. I expect after a couple runs they'll be more seasoned servers. We ate at Savors and the wait was 1 1/2 to get our food which was horrible, but our friends told us by the end of the cruise it was a lot better. After that we chose to eat in the buffet and honestly, I'm on a cruise and didn't want to spend all my time in restaurants, I want to grab my food, eat and get on with the fun. The food in the buffet was, fresh, hot, and had very good flavor, we found out half the time, what ever they're serving in Savor, Taste and Manhattan (Complimentary) you can get up in the Buffet. We had a HUGE travel agent convention on the ship, so a lot of venues/restaurants were booked and we heard lots of complaints from other passengers regarding that. It didn't affect us as we didn't use those areas, but I felt bad for them, as we all paid to cruise and when you can't use areas because they are closed for private functions every day, it puts a damper on the fun. We went to the 80's Party at Spice H2O... Very nice area but not enough seating and the bar is way to small for that type of venue. The grotto is nice but I think it's a waste of space, they should have put another bar on that side. Due to the lack of seating, if you got up to dance you lost your seat, and the dance floor was full of people standing around because they had no place to sit. For this reason we skipped out on "Glow" which is suppose to be an beefed up "White Hot Night", we didn't want to have to sit in our seats or lose them and/or fight our way to the bar or on to the dance floor. I went to dueling pianos and it started out a lot of fun, but after an hour the begging for tips stopped being funny and became annoying we ended up leaving. Margaritaville from what I could tell seemed like a huge waste of space. It seemed to always be closed, when the party should be starting, there was no music, it definitely wasn't the party atmosphere I was thinking it was going to be. I heard there was an hour to an hour and a half wait to be seated but it was never busy??? They should turn it more into a dance place or club. Not enough of those on the ship. Lots of bars though. Speaking of bars, there are a lot of them, a little something for everyone, we tried them all. Our favorite bar was the pool bar "up top" It's the only place on the ship to smoke besides the casino, if you gamble a lot I guess that's ok but the circulation was poor so it always smelled pretty smokey in there, and Tobacco Road Bar was disgusting, the smoking/cigar room fan broke the 2nd day and it never was fixed, you didn't need to smoke just walk in there and inhale. I should have taken pictures, other's did but it was a fog and you couldn't see across the room to the other side. I loved St. Thomas, Tortola was horrible, shopping is 7 blocks away and it was all these little huts with the same stuff in it, the people were friendly but if we were to cruise there again, I'll probably just stay on the ship, and Bahamas was really expensive as far as shopping goes, it rained out horribly so we didn't get to explore much. Over-all we love cruising, and few bad reviews never stop us. I've always believed, you make your cruise what you make it and we still had a good time. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
A little background information. We are a family of three. I'm 41, my wife is 40, and my son is 6. We live in New Jersey. It was a family cruise on the Norwegian Escape, seven day eastern Caribbean itinerary. We got down to ... Read More
A little background information. We are a family of three. I'm 41, my wife is 40, and my son is 6. We live in New Jersey. It was a family cruise on the Norwegian Escape, seven day eastern Caribbean itinerary. We got down to Miami a day before the cruise. We stood in the JW Marriott Marquis Miami. The marquee is a wonderful hotel. It's a little pricey but you get what you pay for. Positives 1. Food Republic, Le Bistro, Cagney's, Bayamo, and Pincho Tapas Bar. The food was sinfully good in those restaurants. Food Republic was my favorite. 2. Splash Academy, my son enjoyed that place. The staff was really friendly and professional. 3. Recreational activities, between the water slides, mini golf, children's waterpark, rope course, and etc.. There was always something to do for the family. We were never bored. 4. The Garden Café (the buffet) had a good selection of food. 5. St. Thomas and Tortola were fun places to visit. We did beach excursions. 6. The comedians in headliners were extremely funny. I enjoyed their standup. 7. The bars are abundant on this ship. I never have to wait long to get a drink. Negatives 1. Dinner reservations (Specialty Dining), if you don't book your reservations prior to the cruise, you will have problems booking it on board. By the second day of the cruise everything was booked. 2. O'Sheehan, the service was extremely slow. I went there twice and both times the server was nonexistent. The food is mediocre. There is no Kid's menu in this restaurant. 3. Margaritaville, the food is subpar and the wait to get in can be one to two hours. 4. No dance club, there isn't a designated area for dancing. They need a Bliss on this ship. Like one on the Norwegian Epic. 5. Internet, the speeds on the ship is mind numbingly slow. I can understand if this was 2005. Royal Caribbean and carnival has high speed Internet. Why can't Norwegian have it? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
This was DH and I’s second cruise, both have been NCL. Overall we loved it. *Embarkation- was a breeze. We arrived at 9:30 am to try to secure a Vibe pass. We were through security and to the waiting room within 10-15 minutes. We ... Read More
This was DH and I’s second cruise, both have been NCL. Overall we loved it. *Embarkation- was a breeze. We arrived at 9:30 am to try to secure a Vibe pass. We were through security and to the waiting room within 10-15 minutes. We boarded somewhere around 11:00 am in group #3. *Vibe- were able to secure #41 and 42 for Vibe passes. Other than the bad weather we had, that pretty much closed the Vibe a couple days, we really enjoyed the Vibe and it made our cruise. The Vibe is a small area in the front of the ship that has ample padded loungers, a separate bar and separate Jacuzzi. The bartenders at the Vibe were great, they knew us by name and since we had the UBP, they had drinks in our hands before we finished the others and brought them to us in the Jacuzzi. *Food- We are not foodies and don’t care for long drawn out meals, so we ate mostly at the MDR’s and the buffet. We found the food to be better in quality this year over last year’s trip. The buffet is clean, huge has tons of options and plenty of seating. During our trip Margaritaville was a free venue and we liked it as a change to the MDR’s and buffet. Now that there is a charge I don’t think I would pay ala carte for any of the food. We didn’t do any of the specialty restaurants. *Entertainment- I had million dollar quartet booked but it was cancelled due to sickness in the cast. We did not see any of the other shows. We did enjoy the games in the Atrium, always plenty of seating and movies. *Waterslides- The racer slides were out of order but the tube slides were fun and no waiting in lines during sea or port days. *Casino- was large, lots of new games and had a great bar in it, but very smoky. You could smell the smoke all the way down to the 6th floor. *Waterfront- loved napping on the waterfront on sea days, tons of comfy couches lining the waterfront, great for walks and picture taking. *Bars- our favorite was the District and the Casino bar. The District had comfy leather couches, and a great singer or on football days, games playing. We really enjoyed spending time there. The Casino bar was in the casino area with poker at the bar. We liked bellying up to the bar to play some poker. *Balcony Cabin- was new and plenty of room, balcony was big enough for 2 chairs. *Service- was hit or miss. Our cabin steward was not great and never had a smile. When I asked him for a cord for my CPAP he said he would get it tomorrow. Other staff we ran into seemed to run the gambit of happy to miserable. Pros- Good buffet and overall good food, Vibe, UBP, beautiful modern décor, the waterfront, the District, waterslides, ropes course Cons- Would like to see more movies under the stars, we only saw one at Spice, most were inside. The racer slides were out of order, Vibe closed due to wind a couple days, too much smoke in the casino and hit and miss service. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
We traveled on the Thanksgiving week cruise with 2 adults and one child age 8. Overall, we had a great time and would definitely recommend this again. The ship is brand new so that is always a plus for me. They have a great set up for ... Read More
We traveled on the Thanksgiving week cruise with 2 adults and one child age 8. Overall, we had a great time and would definitely recommend this again. The ship is brand new so that is always a plus for me. They have a great set up for families with Splash Academy and the other child care options. My daughter went to the splash academy every day and complained when we came to get her. There is no charge for evening hours, just a fee for 10pm-1am. We really liked that because on Carnival they charged for evening hours. There is something to do all the time. We played mini golf, did the ropes course, played at the water park (for hours) and if the weather wasn't great there was an arcade inside and plenty of themed activities for the whole family. I saw a lot of people with infants/toddlers on board and I honestly can't imagine having any fun with a child that young along. Just my opinion. Food on board was great, way better than expected. My daughter is a super picky eater and they always had something she liked. We ate at two of the specialty restaurants and really enjoyed them (Teppanyaki and Moderno). The buffet was always good too! The rooms were small, but felt bigger because they were laid out well. I would definitely recommend a balcony room because it feels like you have extra living space. I was able to get a spa pass for the week and it was one of the best things I did. They have a hot tub/hydro therapy pool, heated loungers, a slat room, steam room and sauna plus a snow room. It really helped me relax! We didn't take in any shows, just didn't feel like we needed to and I don't feel like we missed anything. They offer some complimentary group zumba/cardio classes which is nice since the gym on board charges for a lot of the other ones. They also have fun afternoon entertainment for the whole family. We did oragami one day and they had kids Wii dance every other day that my daughter enjoyed. There was karaoke every evening too which was fun to watch. This was a great ship for families and I definitely recommend it! 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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