3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Initially very tentative about moving up to such a large ship with over 4000 passengers. Some reviews wailed about long lines before, during and after. But my wife convinced me it would be great... she was right. Stayed in Manhattan ... Read More
Initially very tentative about moving up to such a large ship with over 4000 passengers. Some reviews wailed about long lines before, during and after. But my wife convinced me it would be great... she was right. Stayed in Manhattan the night before and decided not to go to the terminal until after embarkation had begun. So much better than standing for an hour waiting for security to open. We were able to go right to security and into the registration area lines which just kept moving. Total time including forms, pics, and up the gangway just 45 minutes to the first beverage. Spent some time wandering and discovered the 5 O’clock Somewhere outside bar. Great view of Manhattan. This bar and comfy seating areas surrounding the outside on Deck 8. Moved onto our room that was nicely appointed with a balcony that was great for morning coffees, afternoon sunning and champagne evenings. Our only disappointment was the cleaning staff who did not keep the standards we expected. The entertainment was great. Two pianos “Howl at the Moon” were so much fun we went 3 times! Steve and Rhonda we incredible talents, perfect performers for this type of music singalong. They even let a 87 year passenger play the drums a few times. Joe played great and it was a joy to see him play. There was also a 3rd player who had just joined “Howl”. He had an amazing voice. Two other shows we saw in the Theatre were After Midnight at the Cotton Club featuring a look back at the great songs of a vibrant era in Harlem. Great dance and voices that raised the roof. Next was The Choir of Man where a full slate of typical “anthem” songs with great choreography, solos and harmonies pulled you along with the boys night at their pub. The restaurants were exactly as billed with variety that should have pleased anyone. As with any ship you need to do some research. Check menus so you get what you like. Italian, Brazilian, Steakhouse, Japanese, Asian, French, Tapas. Some of those with up charges or as part of a dining package. The food hub is the Garden Cafe (Buffet). Every station is different so take a trip around the room that has everything from Hotdogs to Pad Thai, Fast or slow, deserts fancy and simple. Breakfast options, again, take a look around, self serve and never leave hungry. Oh yes, it also has two service bars. Short moving lines, plenty of seating that might be a bit tight if you are trying to sit a large group together. Leisure areas with pools, hot tubs, pool bars, deck chairs everywhere. My wives tip, go up, up higher for a cool experience sunning at H2O 17th deck that had a cooling waterfall grotto. Water slide, Ropes course with walk the plank off the edge of the ship. Basketball, Miniputt all up high. Once in beautiful Bermuda, we decided to pass on the excursions instead taking the Ferry across for a short trip to Hamilton for the day as we bar hopped from terrace to terrace. On Wednesday’s they hold a street festival in the evening. The next day we stay on the Wharf, while my wife hits the shopping, I tour the Old Fort built by the British. A great look into history, great exhibits and views. Next time beaches and snorkeling are on the agenda. Oh yes, there will be a next time for Bermuda! The elevators are fore and Aft. Occasionally busy and again possibly difficult for large groups or large families with strollers. But overall pretty smooth. Tip: remember that each set of buttons only calls 4 of the 8 elevators around it. If you press both sets on the same side, then all 8 are called. (PS that’s why the doors open and no one gets on occasionally). But you’re already on, so don’t get steamed, just get good at the close door button inside after you wait a beat for slow walkers. On The last day if you can’t get down the stairs the elevators will be quite full. Tip: Go up to go down. The sea days were great and the ship took the sea with very little sway thanks in part due to the weather awesome. Life is good! We’ll be back on NCL. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Bermuda has always been a bucket list item for us and what better way to travel than a cruise! I thought the port time was long enough and was able to get to the major sites I wanted to see. I have been on a few cruises before and here is ... Read More
Bermuda has always been a bucket list item for us and what better way to travel than a cruise! I thought the port time was long enough and was able to get to the major sites I wanted to see. I have been on a few cruises before and here is what I loved about Norwegian. The Free Style dining is great! My husband and I did not keep any kind of regular schedule and it was nice to breakfast at 7:30am or 11am and dinner at 5pm or 9pm. Definitely would recommend late night reservations at the Manhattan Room for their late night live music starting at 8pm. On the flip side, the optional "formal night" was kind of lame and not well promoted. We actually missed it and just decided to wear our formal clothes to dinner the next day. The Open Bar Package as your Free at Sea offer is definitely the way to go. I loved the huge option of Bars and Cocktail Lounges. We barely had time for all of them but the interior designed and menus are terrific. And the bartenders are fast and professional. make sure you check out the water front in the mornings and afternoons, it is always quiet there! We only went to one specialty dining restaurant, Le Bistro, and the additional prices were extremely reasonable. We had a great waiter and the food presentation was beautiful. My husband and I loved the Thermal Spa and Suite. We got the whole week pass and it was totally worth it. We spent about 2 hours a day there just enjoying the quiet and hot stone lounge chairs. I especially appreciated the Hydro-therapy Pool and Steam/Salt rooms. I had a bit of a cold while we were traveling. I am glad we had the passes because there was never a hot tub open anywhere on the main Pool deck. We only spent the first day there and avoided it because it was too crowded the rest of the trip. The Choir of Man show was AMAZING! We had planned to go the first night but I got seasick so we went to a later show in the week and it was totally worth it! The songs and talent were great. After Midnight had a strong cast however, I thought the content of the show was a little dated (problematic). Especially since it was a fully black cast of performers bopping around the "Cotton Club". Could probably use a bit more diversity on the production team. The Cruise Director was very energetic and hilarious we had a ton of fun at the 80's night and the White Night. Also the ropes course is legit! It is not physically strenuous but definitely thrilling! I was kind of relieved the upper level course was out of service due to high winds. Make sure you bring sneakers for this otherwise they will not let you participate! Overall we would definitely consider Norwegian again for their wide variety of activities, bars, and nightlife on the Escape. The Ship was definitely packed but having a few quiet places to retreat to made it feel like we were on an Ocean Oasis. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My balcony was upgraded by my husband to Haven as a surprise for our 10th anniversary and gift for my Birthday. It was an amazingly and unforgetable experience. I really loved it. We were treated as Royalty with our Butler, Steward and ... Read More
My balcony was upgraded by my husband to Haven as a surprise for our 10th anniversary and gift for my Birthday. It was an amazingly and unforgetable experience. I really loved it. We were treated as Royalty with our Butler, Steward and Concierge. Embarking was great as I was surprised with going to Haven for the first time and disembark was smoth. The weather helped a lot. Sunny every day and ocean was smoth, I didnt feel I was in a ship. Food was fantastic. In the exclusive Restaurant at the Haven, the cheffs were exceptional. Congrats for them. Also we loved the private area with pool, jacuzzis, comfortable lounges and sundeck at the top of the ship with fantastic views, without mention our Balcony Penthouse that was really fabulous with cards with Congrats from Captain. Treats, cards, champagne, flowers, and Nespresso and teas and animal folding towel on the bed every day. All Entertainment was really enjoyable. Staffs 5 stars. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our first time on the Escape. Embarkation was quicker than our previous cruises from Manhattan. Our dining experience was the best of the four NCL cruises we’ve been on. We dined in Chaney’s and Le Bistro and were extremely ... Read More
This was our first time on the Escape. Embarkation was quicker than our previous cruises from Manhattan. Our dining experience was the best of the four NCL cruises we’ve been on. We dined in Chaney’s and Le Bistro and were extremely pleased with the selections and the quality of our meals. We also fined in Taste and Savor and enjoyed our meals and the ambiance. The entertainment was first rate. We especially enjoyed the Choir of Man so much that we saw it twice. Howl st the Moon and Carole’s King were also very entertaining. Our only criticism was regarding the Atrium. There were a number of shows, games, demonstrations there but the area was too small to accommodate all the passengers watching the events. In addition, the venue was too close to the passenger services desks such as excursions, cruise next, and guest services which meant that the noise from the atrium made it extremely difficult to communicate at those desks. All in all this cruise was first class. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because it is within driving distance. Also, we did the same exact one last year, and we had a GREAT time. Embarkation went VERY well. I think that we were in Savor eating by 11:30. We parked at the port, which was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it is within driving distance. Also, we did the same exact one last year, and we had a GREAT time. Embarkation went VERY well. I think that we were in Savor eating by 11:30. We parked at the port, which was expensive ($280). The ship is beautiful and very clean! Every staff member who I interacted with was AWESOME! They always did their best to make us happy! I LOVED Spice H2O! (Adults only area.) This is where I spent my afternoons. I also enjoyed the ropes course on this ship! So much fun! We ate 6 of our dinners in the Manhattan Room, and the staff was excellent! One night we ate at Moderno's! Wow! My first specialty dining experience and it was amazing! I will have to try that again! Breakfast in Taste/Savor is super good! I highly recommend it! Lunch in the Garden Cafe was great because they have so many choices! I love that they have actual hard ice cream along with the soft serve! I also loved their "salad action" stations each day for lunch, where they would mix up a different salad of the day for you. We were in angled balcony cabin 9900(aft, starboard). The view of the water isn't that great because the Waterfront roof is right outside of the balcony connected to it, so a cabin on a higher deck would def be a better view. Our room attendant, Gilbert, was EXCELLENT! He was the BEST EVER from all of my cruises! Wow! We loved Choir of Man! I wish that I had seen it earlier in the week, instead of on the last night. Carol's Kings (Male Vocal Group in the Supper Club) was very good! It was nice to get food during the Supper Club show. I didn't get to see After Midnight on this cruise. I love being at one port for 3 days because it seems very relaxing. No rushing on and off of the ship each day. We went to Horseshoe Bay Beach, St. George's, and we spent the 3rd day exploring the Dockyard. We LOVED the complimentary ferry to St. George's; it was a lovely and very comfortable boat. We loved this cruise so much that we will be doing it again next year! The brand new Encore will be replacing the Escape on this itinerary next year. I look forward to see the new ship! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My husband and I were on NCL Escape, leaving NYC on the Memorial Day Weekend. The 3-day stopover in Bermuda gave us plenty of time to explore and enjoy the beautiful islands of Bermuda! EMBARKATION: It was quick and easy. Each of ... Read More
My husband and I were on NCL Escape, leaving NYC on the Memorial Day Weekend. The 3-day stopover in Bermuda gave us plenty of time to explore and enjoy the beautiful islands of Bermuda! EMBARKATION: It was quick and easy. Each of us carried a duffle bag and carry-on, so we bypassed all the people checking their luggage with the porters. We are also NCL Platinum members, which allow us priority embarkation. After we went through the security, we were ushered to a dedicated counter and processed quickly. We were onboard the beautiful NCL Escape in no time! SHIP: Escape is the largest cruise ship we have ever been on. We were on Getaway and Breakaway before, but this ship beats both of them! Since it was Memorial Day Week, the ship was pretty full. While we had no problem getting into the elevator the entire week, we did take the stairs as much as we could. Our booking included free drinking and specialty restaurant packages. If you choose these two promotions, you are required to prepay gratuities. In our case, it came out to $309. For 7-day cruise, the specialty dining package consists of three dinners. But as Platinum members, we also received two extra specialty dining coupons, as well as a bottle of wine at Cagney’s or Le Bistro. We need to book all our specialty restaurants and the main entertainments as soon as we got onboard. Since we were unable to book anything online (not sure why), we were running around making reservations on the Embarkation Day! Any Maitre D stationed in front of the specialty restaurant can help you book all your dinner reservations (but not for specialty dining with coupons, which required different line). Shows like “Choir of Man” and “After Midnight” required reservation at the Box Office. We booked most of the things we wanted and were eating lunch at Savor Restaurant by 1:15 PM. After the mandatory lifeboat drill at 3:30 PM, the ship left the pier at 4 PM. It was smooth sailing through the Hudson River. Our room was on the starboard side,, so we watched the Statue of Liberty as we sailed by the Liberty Island. No matter how many times we see this magnificent statue, it never gets old! STATEROOM: Our stateroom was a Spa Mini Suite on the 15th deck. After I booked our room, NCL offered us an opportunity to bid for the Haven staterooms. Since we were happy with our room selection, we bid the lowest price – and were not disappointed when we didn’t get it. Upon entering the room, we found a bottle of Champagne, a plateful of chocolate covered strawberries, and two bottles of water on the desk -- part of the Platinum perks. Our stateroom has everything we needed – including two robes and his/hers slippers. The bed was very comfortable as were the pillows. There were plenty of storage spaces, including cavernous space underneath the bed where we stored all our luggage and bags. Although I brought along a power strip, we didn’t need it. The room had sufficient outlets for our needs (except for the bathroom). Bathroom has two sinks and large shower. It had Bvlgari amenities, including a shower pouf. You need to bring an adapter if you want to use the outlet in the bathroom. It was for shavers only. Since we use Waterpik flosser, we called the front desk and asked for an adapter, and it was delivered quickly. We used the adapter for the entire week and left it on the counter on the last day. While our room was very quiet (we didn’t hear any noise from our neighbors), we heard loud noises coming from ABOVE! On top of us is the pool area, and every morning around 4:30 AM, we could hear workers cleaning the deck and moving chairs. After the 2nd early morning wakeup, we went to the customer service and asked if the crew could delay cleaning until more reasonable hour, but the rep couldn’t answer. He called us later to offer us another room, but we didn’t’ feel like packing again, so we declined. Luckily, we brought our earplugs. The customer rep sent us a plateful of chocolate-covered strawberries (our second plate!) for our inconvenience. One of our favorite perks is the complimentary laundry for each of us, so we filled two laundry bags few days before we disembarked and they were delivered nicely folded. Nothing beats packing clean clothes on the last day of our trip! Our room steward was Blasé. He was a quiet fellow, but he kept our room clean and our ice bucket filled. On the first day, we asked him to remove all the contents from the mini fridge (it’s not covered in the drinking package) so we can put our own drinks in there. Any time we need to contact him, we just left a sticky note on the mirror and he always obliged. Before we disembarked, we gave him extra tip, aside from the automatic $15 pp daily tip, which is shared by the crew. He made our trip very comfortable. FOODS & DRINKS: The specialty restaurants were outstanding on Escape! We went to Cagney’s for filet mignon, Le Bistro (twice!) for lamb chops, and La Cucina for Osso Buco! We had prime ribs at O’Sheehan on the Embarkation night. (Prime ribs were also offered at the Garden Café on the same day.) Our biggest disappointment was dining at Bayamo. We saw Bayamo’s menu from our stateroom TV and it showed Alaska King Crab Legs and Stone Crab Claws, so we made two reservations. (There is upcharge for dining at Bayamo if you have the Specialty Package.) But when we sat down at the restaurant and looked at the menu, there were no crab legs! We asked our waitress about it and she said: “Oh, we changed the menu.” Really? Shouldn’t you update your menu on TV? This restaurant was our least favorite because the seafood was rather plain. My dessert was a chocolate cake covered in sauce, but the sauce had so much gelatin in it that it tasted rubbery. I told my husband if I dropped the cake, it will probably bounce right back! We cancelled our second reservation. Our biggest surprise was the tapas at Pincho’s! This small specialty restaurant is fee-based, but the dishes run between $2 - $8 only. Every dish the waitress recommended was perfect! We especially enjoyed Iberico Jamon ($3), Duck Montadito ($5) and Gambas Al Ajillo ($6). We were thinking that tapas were just snack foods, but after a couple of dishes, we were pretty full! Although they were not quite the same as the tapas we had in Barcelona, we enjoyed dining here. We were very happy with our meals onboard Escape, including breakfast at the Garden Café. Some mornings, you’ll find two ladies going around the tables with the day’s special pastry, singing: “yummy, yummy, good for your tummy!” Take whatever pastry they are offering because you won't see it again. For ship of this size, we didn’t have any problem finding seats – even on sea days. For lunch, sometimes we ate at the café, other times at the Taste or Savor Restaurant. Both restaurants have the same menu. If you have the drinking package, there were plenty of places to order your drinks. I don’t drink, but there are non-alcoholic drinks available. My favorite is the virgin Raspberry-Guava Mojito – really refreshing and delicious with real mint leaves! Be aware that you are not allowed to bring any bottle water (or any drinks for that matter) onboard and bottle water is not part of the drinking package. You have to buy it separately. (Tip: bring your empty water bottles from home and fill them from the filtered water in the Garden Café.) SPA & GYM: NCL’s thermal spa has many facilities and the thermal pool has powerful jets. Wear swimming suit that’s sturdy; otherwise, you’ll have wardrobe malfunction right in front of everybody! Also, if you are absent for a period of time and you left your personal belongings on the lounge chairs, the staff will move them to the floor to free up the chairs. Spa can get very crowded, especially on sea days. Gym has many types of equipment, including many treadmills. We never had to wait to use it. There is a separate room for weight lifting and another room for yoga and stretching with ballet bar on the wall. This room also has a heavy-duty punching bag. ENTERTAINMENT: We both enjoyed the “Choir of Man” and “After Midnight”. If you made reservation for “Choir of Man”, go to the theater early. The casts will pour you draft beer and you can take pictures with them on stage. The talented nine-member singers may offend some people with their antics, but it’s all in good fun. Go and enjoy the show and have a beer with the guys! We were bit ambivalent about booking “After Midnight”, after reading some negative reviews. We were absolutely BLOWN AWAY! This show is Broadway quality with dancing (so much tap dancing!) and singing (led by Melinda Doolittle, the American Idol finalist). This show is what entertainment is all about. While you can make reservation from your stateroom’s TV, it’s not always reliable. We booked a Supper Club show successfully from our stateroom, but when we showed up, we were denied entrance because our reservation didn’t show up. One curious observation – my husband and I are regular cruisers. This is the first time where we did not see the captain come on stage during the Welcome Aboard show to greet the passengers. We felt slighted. A simple “hello and welcome” would’ve sufficed. BERMUDA: We had beautiful weather while we docked in Bermuda! Celebrity Summit docked right after us. So, what did we do for three days here? Day 1 – we took a mini van ($7 PP) from the port to Horseshoe Bay. This beach is beautiful, with clear blue water and limestone cliffs. We went there in the morning and found the water to be bit chilly for swimming. When we left at noon, the water temperature got warmer. After we set up our beach tent that we brought from home, we walked around a bit. For lunch, we took taxi ($22.75 metered) to Art Mels Spicy Dicy for their famous fish sandwich. This place is for takeout only, so we took our sandwich and walked to Hamilton (took about 30 minutes) and ate at one of the benches alongside the Front Street. We did some shopping before taking the Hamilton ferry ($4.50 PP) back to the Navy Yard. (You buy the token inside the terminal.) Day 2 – we took NCL’s complimentary ferry to St. George’s. This boat is very modern and can accommodate a lot of passengers. It took about 50 minutes to arrive at St. George’s. It was a very comfortable ride and there’s bathroom on each deck. The ferry will keep to their schedule and will leave on time. (Tip: Bring sun umbrella with you, especially if you have small children, as waiting for the ferry will be in the glaring sun. It was pretty uncomfortable standing in line at the end of May. I can’t imagine what it’ll be like in June, July or August!) The ferry docked right next to the World Heritage Center. St. George’s is a quaint little town. We were here last December but didn’t have the chance to visit Tobacco Bay, so we took our beach tent again and headed to that direction. It’s an easy walk from the dock. You basically follow the crowd, as everybody will be going the same direction. On the way, we saw the Unfinished Church -- so called because the church ran out of funds and there was split in congregation. There are only skeletal walls remaining, but the structure has Gothic charm to it. The ground is well kept and the place is peaceful. Further up is the Tobacco Bay. This is a small beach and not as pretty as the Horseshoe Bay. The main part of the beach was already crowded when we arrived, so we went to another side of the beach behind large boulders. This area has trash scattered about and there were a lot of seaweeds and small rocks and shells on the beach. But it was quiet, the water was clear, and we had the small beach to ourselves. My husband snorkeled while I was content to just sit under our beach tent and enjoyed the view. We didn’t’ stay too long before heading back to town. We had delicious lunch at Wahoo’s Bistro on Water Street. It’s bit pricey (they take credit cards), but we ate grilled Wahoo fish and taco while overlooking the St. George’s Harbor. You can’t beat the view! This restaurant is conveniently located near the ferry terminal. Shopping in St. George is cheaper than shopping in Hamilton. Day 3 – we spent our last day at the Snorkel Bay Beach right by the Naval Dockyard. It required entrance fee of $5 pp, because this is a private beach facility. The beach is small and covered in small rocks and sharp shells, like the Tobacco Bay. We didn’t bring our water shoes, so it was uncomfortable walking to the water to snorkel. There were a lot of fish in the water! You don’t need to go far to see them. We were not allowed to use our beach tent here. In fact, you can’t bring your cooler, or your own food or drink, from outside. A small sign for rules and regulation is posted near the cashier’s window. Other than the Snorkel Beach, there are shops, bars, restaurants and other attractions near the cruise ship to keep us busy in the morning. The ship left Bermuda at 3 PM. After one more sea day, we were back in NYC. DISEMBARKATION: Ignore the color tags for the time to leave the ship. They mean nothing. Just get on line on Deck 7 and you’ll be let out of the ship as the line moved along. We got on line at 7 AM with all our belongings and waited 30 minutes by the casino before the line started moving. We went through the immigration with no wait time and were out in the street by 7:45 AM. There were plenty of taxis outside vying for customers. In conclusion, while it wasn't perfect, we did enjoy our time on NCL Escape, and Bermuda is AMAZING destination! We would cruise with NCL again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We found cruising NCL to be super relaxing and a lot of fun! The Escape is a beautiful ship with a fun and helpful crew. We definitely plan to sail on The Escape again! Embarkation was a smooth process, very organized. Our overall ... Read More
We found cruising NCL to be super relaxing and a lot of fun! The Escape is a beautiful ship with a fun and helpful crew. We definitely plan to sail on The Escape again! Embarkation was a smooth process, very organized. Our overall food and beverage experience was excellent. We chose to eat at Cagney's Steakhouse, LeBistro French Restaurant, Moderno Churrascaria, the buffet, O'Sheehan's, Savor, Taste, and The Manhattan Dining Room. Cagney's, LeBistro, and Moderno (all premium restaurants) were all wonderful - delicious food, great service, and excellent options. We were also pleasantly surprised by the buffet - delicious food, lots of options for all meals. Savor, Taste, and the Manhattan room were very good as well. Our experience at O'Sheehan's was hit or miss, but overall not bad. I wasn't thrilled with the cupcake I purchased at the bake shop (white chocolate strawberry); in my opinion the icing was way too stiff and the cake part was sticky. But the complimentary desserts were all hits with our family. Everyone on the NCL staff was professional and helpful. Our room steward checked with us every day and kept our room spotless. He even left me an extra box of tissues and an extra pillow when I came down with a cold during the cruise. The food staff was perfectly attentive without being overbearing and were VERY helpful with food allergies again without being overbearing. They were knowledgeable about how the food was prepared and double checked anything we ordered. We had plenty of allergy-safe options from which to choose. (For reference, our allergy concerns were Tree-nut, Peanut, and Shellfish.) There are plenty of onboard activities for all ages. Our family enjoyed the rope course, water slides, dance parties, pool, H2O, and the Grotto. The Grotto in H2O is a beautiful, peaceful retreat! There's plenty of entertainment on board. Here's our overall rating of the shows we attended: 18+ Comedy Show: Just meh. Not all that funny. After Midnight: High energy show, great dancing, beautiful costumes. Very enjoyable. Dueling Pianos: Very talented musicians, funnier than the comedian, but same kinds of jokes at each performance - once is enough. Don't ask them to play any Billy Joel or Elton John - they obviously hate it and will either not play your request while insulting you for asking or totally destroy the song with their own lyrics. Choir of Man: Fantastic show! We even purchased the CD afterward. This is the show to see! 5 stars. As for excursions, we did the Sunset Bermuda Triangle Glass Bottom Boat excursion through NCL and the Restless Native Catamaran Snorkel excursion through our excellent travel agents (Rick & Marian at Dream Vacations). Both were excellent! -The Sunset cruise was funny and very interesting. -The Restless Native crew were a lot of fun and the the snorkeling took place in water that we could stand in, making it accessible for everyone, and the more adventurous passengers could swim out into deeper water to see the reef. -On our own, we took a cab ($45 for six adult passengers) to Warwick Long Bay. The cab driver was friendly and helpful, the beach was beautiful and uncrowded, and we even found a little cove with lots of fish! Everyone in Bermuda was friendly and helpful. -I also recommend trying the Afternoon Tea at The Princess Hotel in Hamilton - delicious! A reservation is helpful, but not needed. If you do not have a reservation, just allow about 30 minutes for them to prepare your food - everything is made fresh! Disembarkation was a smooth process. Lines were long, but that's to be expected on a cruise carrying 5000 passengers. My disembarkation tip: Get a NYC porter for your luggage! No charge - just a tip (which they definitely deserve!), and they will get you through to your car or taxi super fast! Overall, a great trip I would love to do again! I'm hoping the Escape will get some improvements to it's professional entertainment, but at the very least Choir of Man is now included and is amazing! Yes, there are a variety of offerings onboard for an upcharge, but there's plenty to enjoy for no additional cost. Great cruise on a beautiful ship! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We traveled to Bermuda on the NCL Escape over Memorial Day 2019 for one week leaving from NYC. We had a Mid-ship Mini Suite which is really a balcony room (no suite perks) with a slightly larger and very nicely equipped bathroom. ROOM ... Read More
We traveled to Bermuda on the NCL Escape over Memorial Day 2019 for one week leaving from NYC. We had a Mid-ship Mini Suite which is really a balcony room (no suite perks) with a slightly larger and very nicely equipped bathroom. ROOM - we all know cruise rooms are very small but this room had a comfy bed (requested a pillow top mattress cover that really helped). The bed seemed larger than a queen, closer to king size which we appreciate since both my husband and I are tall. Balcony was small but nice. The bathroom was really nice with a great shower. Great room attendant that always had the room freshen up when we returned and of course had all those cute towel animals every night. We booked the trip last minute (2 weeks before leaving) and was not given offer to upgrade since ship was nearly sold out and did sell out shortly after. FOOD - we enjoyed several different restaurants, including speciality since we had the package that gave us 3 meals at speciality restaurants. All had really nice atmosphere and food was very good to excellent. My favorite was the French restaurant - truly outstanding food and service. We also enjoyed sitting outside on balcony at the Italian restaurant where it was quiet and enjoyed sunset. We are FOODIES from NJ/NY area and accustomed to excellent food options so this is probably the most difficult area to satisfy us and was surprised with the good quality all around at main dining, buffet, and the speciality restaurants. DRINK - our cruise came with the drink package, a really nice perk and value. When we boarded the ship we noticed you could upgrade the drink package so you can have 1) Starbucks coffee (unlimited) and frappachinos/cold brew; 2) Bottles of wine at dinner: 3) Champagne that included Vue Cliquot 4) nice quality wines and drinks and 5) Bottled water. Although we are not big drinkers, I am a coffee addict and very happy to have my StarBucks every morning over the buffet coffee and I enjoyed a glass or two of Vue Cliquot Champagne nearly every evening with dinner. We are also huge water drinkers so having access to a bottle of water anytime was exactly what we wanted and worth to us the extra fee to upgrade. If you really enjoy higher quality wines and speciality liquors this is a really good value add-on. SHOWS - great shows and so many different types of entertainment to enjoy. We loved every one. SPA - we paid the extra fee to have access to the Spa area with the heated loungers and special therapy pool. It was a nice quiet place to visit in the afternoons when the rest of the ship is busy. My husband also enjoyed several massages of which he really enjoyed and thought were high quality. BERMUDA - we were in port for 3 days and we really enjoyed the island. We bought the two day bus/ferry pass that was convenient for getting around and used that to visit the caves. We also took a taxi from port to the beach which was probably same price as some of the shuttles if you have more than one person. Don't do the beach tour with the ship, it's much cheaper to take a taxi and rent the chairs on your own and very each to manage. We did do a very nice snorkeling tour and the catamaran was truly a luxurious ship and we had a fantastic time. We did witness a couple crash on their scooter; they were riding double and for some reason lost control and hit the curb and crashed. The man had banged up his leg pretty good and probably needed stitches; the woman seemed to be ok. Our Taxi driver told us that there were many Scooter accidents so just be very careful if you decide to rent these - we did not. SHIP - nicely maintained and clean. Was worried about the number of passengers this huge ship will book with over 4000+. The ship was busy and crowded at time but found plenty of quiet places to enjoy. If you like to sit at the pool, that was the busiest area but still plenty of sun decks and could find a lounge chair. We didn't sit by pool too much, I preferred reading on the balcony. We didn't do many of the athletics available, except some basketball but lots to do, especially for the active or younger passengers. There is really more things to do then time allowed on a one week trip! Overall we really loved the trip, NCL Escape and the convenience of leaving from NYC. We parked at the terminal, easy to exit the ship upon our return, got a porter that pushed us through customs faster and well worth a generous tip as the porter who also brought our bags up to the car. Will definitely do NCL again! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This has been my 7th NCL Cruise. Everything was perfect. Food was wonderful, service was impressive and we loved all the entertainment also. Ship is kept spotless and the crew is tirelessly working for us. We also enjoyed beautiful ... Read More
This has been my 7th NCL Cruise. Everything was perfect. Food was wonderful, service was impressive and we loved all the entertainment also. Ship is kept spotless and the crew is tirelessly working for us. We also enjoyed beautiful weather and very smooth seas! Eating at Cagneys is always a treat! Lobster bisque is amazing and rib eyes and filets were delicious. We also had a fabulous meal at LaCucina. The one negative about the Escape is the fact that the ship does not have a large public, windowed room at the top, for that panoramic view. The Spinnaker lounge on the Pearl or the Gem has it. Ship seemed crowded at times. People hog chairs by the pool all day. This happens on all ships, but we couldn’t find two chairs together on sea days. We bid on an upgrade from an ocean view to an aft balcony and received it. We were very happy. Room was comfortable with a nice size shower. Shower has an adjustable shower head for short people. I love it! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We like the convenience of cruising out of the NY area ports. Love Freestyle Cruising on NCL. We found the Breakaway + Class ESCAPE easy to get around and full of fun activities and great entertainment. All of the places we ate at ... Read More
We like the convenience of cruising out of the NY area ports. Love Freestyle Cruising on NCL. We found the Breakaway + Class ESCAPE easy to get around and full of fun activities and great entertainment. All of the places we ate at were very good except for a disastrous experience at the La Cuchina. (overcooked Veal, undercooked Tortellini, everything served cold and they dropped one Entre on the way to the table and we had to wait an additional 20 minutes for our meal. And nobody ever came to our table to ask if everything was alright! My wife could not even eat her cold, overcooked meal and we got up and left!) For a pleasant change, we were able to find ample lounges on several decks any time we wanted to get some sun. The "lounge police" were finally doing their jobs marking and clearing lounge hog's belongings! Thank You NCL for listening to our complaints! For VIBE fans, they had shockingly doubled the rate which caused a lot of discussion on the first day. We found out that there was only one elevator on the ship that would go up to deck 19 and after waiting 40 minutes to get up there, we cancelled the Vibe and got our money back ($418 dollars for two). Thankfully, we found out we did not need it since we always found lounges on the "free side" of Decks 18 & 19! Entertainment was generally very good with our favorite being "Carol's Kings". All the lounge acts were great! Getting on and off the ship was a breeze this time with no big waiting lines. When we got back to NY, we left the boat, got off the elevator and found our luggage immediately (thanks to my wife's eagle eyes!) and time from rolling off the boat to being loaded in our car was about 20 minutes! I know everyone is looking for their own thing regarding excursions and we found the Glass Bottom Boat to be a fun, educational experience. Our Bus Tour of Bermuda was great and our driver, Preston, was fantastic! He was articulate, funny and very informative. Also, the boat tour of Millionaires Row was a winner! Best way to see some of the biggest and most beautiful homes along the island coast! We had visited Bermuda 25 years ago and really enjoyed going back again on this cruise. Everyone on the Escape worked hard to make sure our experience was a good one! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
I’m careful with my reviews because I read them carefully prior to booking and my hope is always the same, people that write point out the good as well as the bad. We have been in 17 cruises, with 5 different cruise lines. Nine of these ... Read More
I’m careful with my reviews because I read them carefully prior to booking and my hope is always the same, people that write point out the good as well as the bad. We have been in 17 cruises, with 5 different cruise lines. Nine of these cruises have been in a Norwegian ship. The various cruises were on Norwegian, carnival, Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean ships. The truth be told although most would think the same quality from ship to ship, and my guess possibly what the cruise line strives for, it’s just not the case. This review is regarding Norwegian cruises, specifically the Escape. As you will see I rated it excellent and do so with sincerity. We have taken cruises on the following Norwegian cruise ships, Escape, Breakaway, Dawn, Gem, Epic, and Pearl. There are and will always be a few hiccups so to speak on any vacation regardless of how taken. It’s not so much that a problem develops, what’s of more importance is how any issues are handled. The staff, Chiefs and management aboard the Escape far exceed that of all the other Norwegian ships we have been on. My wife as well as I have a variety of medical issues, all of which have the potential of ruined vacation if care is not taken by staff to assure cleanliness in the room of dust, sanitation throughout the ship to assure colds and illness isn’t spread but my wife having a major Gluten allergy Chiefs and waiter staff assuring foods are prepared and handled avoiding any chance of cross contamination. Entering the Escape a food service manager is assigned to any and all vacationers to assure food is handed in strick compliance. Regardless of so many areas of a ship to eat, anytime a key card is swiped in a food area, that supervisor somehow responds to the area to assure no mistakes are made. Although I’m sure many that cruise are aware this is done on other ships as well as other Norwegian lines... None are as careful as those on the Escape. In fairness, any ship can be just lucky or have a bad day. But with 5 cruises now on the Escape, each cruise on this ship has actually improved and a few supervisors as well as managers have kinda got to recognize us. Chiefs and food service staff routinely add to our experience by sending gluten free items/treats to the room for my wife to enjoy. Only drawback we have found on Norwegian is entertainment. Because we cruise so often on this cruise line, there is a bit of redundancy on shows. For example, although a great show, the magician dinner show has been running for over s year on this same ship. This being said for those similar to us that cruise often and enjoy a particular ship, we lose out on entertainment because after seeing several times it gets old. So my suggestion to Norwegian staff is IF they are going to keep a show or act for any extended period of time, that show should be updated with new material. For a magician I would think this would be easy to do, why it’s not done beats me. I would think after a year doing exactly the same thing would get old on the magician as well. Same goes with the Newly or not so newly wed show. How hard would it be to change up the questions asking guests called up to participate? I realize this is being a little critical of a ship I’m rating 5 stars, but Hope is someone in management looks over this review as well and possibly consider what I’m saying as a easy way to make trips even more enjoyable for others like us that cruise 3-5 times a year and are regulars on their ships. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The cruise was great! We didn’t have great weather on the sea days going down to Bermuda, but the rest of the time the weather was awesome . And we loved Bermuda! So clean, safe, and the people were so nice. We would definitely be ... Read More
The cruise was great! We didn’t have great weather on the sea days going down to Bermuda, but the rest of the time the weather was awesome . And we loved Bermuda! So clean, safe, and the people were so nice. We would definitely be interested in vacationing there again. Here’s what we thought about everything: Ship: Really loved the ship overall. We never had to search for chairs on the deck, and loved the large selection of bars and lounges. Fitness Center was awesome as well. The cons were that the pool was teeny tiny (we never went in it), and the ropes course and slides were closed for most of the cruise. We did get to do the ropes course which was super fun, but there was only one staff member on the course, so it was hard to determine which way you were supposed to go. Another not so awesome thing was the smoke in the casino. It was right in the middle of the ship, so it was hard to avoid, and you could smell the smoke on the 6th and 8th decks as well. Staff: By far the best part of the cruise!! Every member of the staff was amazing and consistently went above an beyond for us. Our cabin attendant was fabulous, and many of the staff members we saw on a regular basis remembered our names. We had an issue with our next door neighbors smoking on their balcony, but the guest services staff addressed the issue and even followed up with us to make sure it didn’t continue. Food: We had high expectations for food since we live in NYC, so I would give the food a B+. There was plenty of food and tons of options, but it wasn’t amazing quality. The buffet was inconsistent and sub par at best. The main dining room Savor was alright, but the Manhattan Room was like bad wedding food. We did enjoy the specialty restaurants, though. We went to Moderno, Cagney’s, and Teppanyaki. Moderno was great, but we overdid it on the appetizer buffet, so were too full to try all the meats! The grilled pineapple, though, was to die for. Cagney’s was decent, but the service was super slow. The steaks were pretty good, and it was cool to be able to order huge porterhouse steaks that would cost us an arm and a leg in NYC. The appetizers were not very good, though. Teppanyaki was awesome, probably the best Teppanyaki I’ve had! Excursions: We did Scuba Diving, Hidden Gems, and the Segway Tour. Scuba Diving was fun, but we only went out for a half hour, and Joel and I had done shallow scuba diving before, so it wasn’t too exciting. Not sure if it was the time of year, but there wasn’t much marine life. Hidden Gems was awesome, and we lucked out with only 8 people in our group! I will say that the water was still pretty cold, so I’d definitely suggest doing the Bermuda cruise in June. Our tour guide was awesome and it was a great way to see pretty much the entire country in one day. Segways were also really fun, and we had a great guide for that, too. Cabin: It was perfect! No complaints at all. Entertainment: Joel and I used to be performers, so we had pretty high expectations for the entertainment. Unfortunately, it was pretty horrible; I’d give it a C- at best. We went to the variety show the first night and quickly realized that we would not be partaking in any of the entertainment options for the week. Talent was lacking and the production quality was very low. However, we did enjoy the dueling pianos and we LOVED Joanne Rochell (I think that was her name) who played at the District Tap House. She was by far the best performer on the ship, and I wish we had known that she had a show at the Supper Club, because we would have made reservations! Overall, we had an amazing time, and can’t wait for our next cruise!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first Norwegian Cruise, and I don't believe it will be the last! I will give my review in categories. Embarkation We arrived at the pier at around 10:45. Didn't have to wait too long in line before we were ... Read More
This was our first Norwegian Cruise, and I don't believe it will be the last! I will give my review in categories. Embarkation We arrived at the pier at around 10:45. Didn't have to wait too long in line before we were called. It was then that we learned that our cabin had been changed. We were no longer on deck 14. Now we were on deck 15, on the opposite side of the ship. I wanted to check out the new cabin before I complained. As it turned out the new cabin was quite acceptable. Cabin Our cabin steward was Jefferson. If we saw him 3 times during the cruise it was a lot. However, the room was always clean, and the towel animals that everyone was afraid were being done away with were always present. Bars Our first drink was in the Atrium Bar. There is nothing that tastes better than your first drink of the cruise! Every bar we went to always made us a good drink. The best bar was the Prime Meridian. They made the best martini there! Restaurants I can't say we had a bad meal on board. Everywhere we ate, from the Buffet to Cagney's, was really good! I'm a real prime rib fanatic and I can honestly say that the prime rib in the main dining room was just as good, if not better, than in Cagney's! Entertainment We only went to 3 shows, The Choir of Man, The Carole Kings (a Carole King Tribute), and Wine Lovers, The Musical. All were surprisingly excellent! We also saw a comedian, I can remember his name, that was also good. Spa As we weren't traveling with anyone, this trip was all about us! We treated ourselves to massages, daily acupuncture, and an algae cleansing bath. I also went for a full service shave! The spa staff was excellent! Shore Excursions Having been in Bermuda twice before we opted to take a mini-bus tour of the island to see if we missed anything. We hadn't! The tour was a nice way to spend a day. The Crew Those that I had interaction with were always very nice. My main complaint is I never saw the cruise director and I never saw the Captain. On my previous cruises I always ran into one or the other several times. Is this a normal occurrence on an NCL Cruise? The only real complaint I had was the lack of ventilation in the Casino and especially the cigar lounge. I love to smoke cigars! It was hard to enjoy a good stogie in there! There was no ventilation except for an overworked air-purifier. Whoever designed that place should be shot! If I ever cruise on Escape again I'll do my smoking on deck. Disembarkation Getting off the ship was as easy as getting on. We didn't have to wait long and our luggage was right there and customs was a breeze. Before you knew it we were home being licked to death by our dog! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
The trip was great. Everyone was very friendly. The staff at the kids club was exceptional. My daughter was not looking forward to the kids club (splash academy) because of her experience on a carnival cruise, but after her first visit ... Read More
The trip was great. Everyone was very friendly. The staff at the kids club was exceptional. My daughter was not looking forward to the kids club (splash academy) because of her experience on a carnival cruise, but after her first visit she was sold. We met some really great people and the entertainers were very good. The comedy show was good not great. Getting on and off the ship was very smooth and easy. We were a little disappointed about the rope course, one of the zip lines was closed but we understand it was for safety. The ship was clean. This was my second trip on the escape and I would consider this ship again in the future. I found everyone at guest services to be attentive and helpful. The show choir of man was funny and entertaining. We are so glad we chose that show. Thank you NCL. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Beautiful ship! The crew was courteous and accommodating. Our cabin steward was wonderful. The entertainment was great. The restaurants; from the Main dining rooms to the Specialty restaurants were fantastic! We absolutely LOVED The ... Read More
Beautiful ship! The crew was courteous and accommodating. Our cabin steward was wonderful. The entertainment was great. The restaurants; from the Main dining rooms to the Specialty restaurants were fantastic! We absolutely LOVED The Manhattan Room; the classy, upscale Main Dining Room! The live entertainment was an added bonus. La Cucina was our favorite specialty restaurant. We had waterfront seating on the second port night. Food was out of this world and the ambience Amazing! The Choir of Man was the BEST show onboard! The cast was High energy, great, talented singers. John McDonnell, the comedian was gut-busting hysterical!! Jacky, The Cruise Director and Jake, Assistant Cruise Director had great personalities and made all activities fun for everyone. A great vacation to the beautiful island of Bermuda! We spent a fun, relaxing day at Horseshoe Bay Beach. We took the free Ferry provided by Norwegian to St. George and had a wonderful day there; historic place with beautiful architecture. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
The crew and staff were kind, courteous, helpful, and friendly. Our steward was always accommodating. We rarely went on the top deck because our balcony was lovely. The main dining rooms were beautiful - we especially loved the ... Read More
The crew and staff were kind, courteous, helpful, and friendly. Our steward was always accommodating. We rarely went on the top deck because our balcony was lovely. The main dining rooms were beautiful - we especially loved the Manhattan room - live music, great dining. O’Sheehans wings were delish! Did a couple of meals in the Garden cafe - lots of choices ... we preferred wait service, though. Entertainment was top notch - “After Midnight” and “Choir of Men” are must sees ... “Howl at the Moon” dueling pianos and comic Chris Bliss are also not to be missed. We bought a photo package and were delighted by all the background choices over the course of the week. All of the photographers were fun & easy to pose for. The shore excursions gave us a great taste of Bermuda and made us look forward to our next visit. So fabulous, almost afraid to do another cruise since it may not live up to the greatness! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose the Escape because we like the bigger cruise ships. We live in NJ so leaving from NY couldn't have been any more convenient. We parked right at the terminal. Parking is pricey there but, it couldn't be any easier. We ... Read More
We chose the Escape because we like the bigger cruise ships. We live in NJ so leaving from NY couldn't have been any more convenient. We parked right at the terminal. Parking is pricey there but, it couldn't be any easier. We parked and were on the ship in minutes and when we disembarked we were in our car and home in an hour Our last 4 cruises have been on NCL ships. Free Style cruising is our style. The choices of activities and entertainment are numerous. The Latitudes Program has perks we enjoy. This was our 4th time staying in the Haven Complex on a NCL Ship. I will warn you that you can't turn back once you've been there. The service and amenities are unparalleled. The perks of priority boarding & disembarkation at all ports, private lounge and bar, private pool and hot tubs, private restaurant, and the top notch staff are unbelievable. We've tried to explain the luxury of the experience to our friends. Once you try it you'll be a convert!! Our cabin was a Courtyard Penthouse. Very spacious and clean. Plenty of storage. Jovito and Crisol took amazing care of us. Our cabin was always spotless. The daily treats and canapes were delicious. My husband ordered a Birthday Package for me. The cabin decorations were nicely done and the cake was huge. We ended up sharing the cake with the staff. We ate at Cagney's, Teppanyaki, and Le Bistro as our 3 specialty meals. All were excellent between the abundant food and excellent service. We ventured out to the buffet one day so my husband could get soft serve ice cream. It was fine. Nothing special but, not terrible. We got lunch, my husband had soft serve and we never went back. We ate all of our other meals in the Haven restaurant. I can't say enough positive things about the service and food we got there. Everyone was so pleasant and efficient. Yes, the menu is the same every day but, there are so many choices it doesn't make a difference. Also every night at dinner there is a special. Most of our Bar Time was spent in the private Haven bar. The bartenders were masters of their craft. No drink stumped them and the introduced us to so many new cocktails we had never tried before. If you get the chance, try a Pistachio Martini. I promise you'll love it!! The Choir of Man was amazing!! Don't miss it. We did a Wine and Cheese pairing seminar. Loved it!! The Casino was hot and cold. In the end we didn't lose our shirts:) There were people smoking in there but, I didn't find it unbearable. I can see how it would be a problem for people who are vehemently against smoking. I just didn't find it as dramatic a problem as others have mentioned. Never played Bingo or Deal or No Deal. Not worth the extra money to us. We heard so many bad reviews about After Midnight that we cancelled our reservation and skipped it. The supper club shows didn't really appeal to us so we skipped them as well. Bermuda is a beautiful island. The first day we went on a private tour with Byways Tours. Heidi took us allover the island. She chose the stops and we saw everything we could have wanted. Stops included a beach, private gardens, Fort St. Catherine, the lighthouse, bridges, fish feeding, and the outside aquarium. A picnic lunch is included. We ate a picnic tables by the water. Perfect Day!! The second day we took the free NCL Ferry to St. George. Try to be there around noon for the Dunking Stool Re-enactment. We took the ferry back and wandered around the dockyard a little and shopped. Our final day we took the Local Ferry to Hamilton. Shopped some and then headed back to the ship for a late lunch. The NCL Escape and Bermuda are wonderful!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Those of you in the New York area should consider yourselves lucky to have access to the NCL Escape and its Bermuda itinerary. This was a great ship and we (my wife and I – ages 59 and 50) experienced a high level of service in almost ... Read More
Those of you in the New York area should consider yourselves lucky to have access to the NCL Escape and its Bermuda itinerary. This was a great ship and we (my wife and I – ages 59 and 50) experienced a high level of service in almost every aspect of our cruise (we are experienced cruisers). Could it be that our extra attention came because of the cruise critic meet and greet, and our personal connections made at that meeting with some executive staff and other cruisers? Maybe, but then again, we talked to more than a few people who found the level of personal service to be excellent. Also, if you are reading this review, you'll probably have joined the cruise critic roll call for your cruise, and you will probably have the opportunity to make the same connections that we did. The food ranges from "good" to "great", where one of the better meals (surprisingly?) was in the MDR (Manhattan room) with a pork belly dish that made our mouths water and compelled us to inquire how they prepared it. Other highlights included well-prepared steaks in Cagneys, a virtual meat-orgy in Moderno that my wife loved so much we had it twice, and the whole experience in Bayamo. The best kept secret (shhhhh! don't tell anyone! You'll spoil it!) is the breakfast area in Margaritaville (one flight up from the buffet - open to everyone!!). If it's not raining (access may be limited in bad weather) head up there to avoid the crowds and you can get made to order omelets and eggs, and a mini-buffet of eggs benedict, bacon, sausage, fruit, cereal and chocolate croissants - among other standard items. O'Sheehans was a great late night option for some good ol' junk food (and it was pretty good). Buffet was good quality, large and had many options and plenty of seating whenever we attended, save for a crowded last day at breakfast (no Margaritaville open at that time). And my wife and I witnessed that if you are a female and enjoy one too many late-night libations, and then happen to pass out at your table in O’Sheehans, a kindly security officer and assistant (one of each sex, smart policy by NCL) will kindly assist you up from the table and up to your room – thankfully, it did not happen to us. :) The talent is great on NCL, and once again, did not disappoint. After Midnight was great, and Choir of Man might have been even better! In fact, the talent playing in most lounges and the DJ’s in the dance bars and for the Glow Party are also high quality. We enjoyed the Howl at the Moon piano bar, although we have seen slightly better performers at this venue on other ships- still had a very good time, though (the female performer who was primarily at the Brewhouse but joined the guys for a few songs was actually the best of the bunch). The Supper Club show we attended was the Knights - a trio that performed a medley of British Male iconic singers - and they were just entertaining enough to make up for the "just slightly better than mediocre" food that came with the show. There’s no way to see everything the ship has to offer in one sailing, and it’s easier if you don’t try! The highlight of Bermuda (for us) was a "Hidden Gems" shore excursion (booked privately) that, while expensive was worth every penny. Cliff diving, cave swimming, spelunking, snorkeling - it had everything and more. Any criticisms I could give would truly be nitpicking (fruit could have been slightly better quality, the apple pie on the ship could use a makeover, and my raspberry crème brulee in Cagney's did not have a crust that "snapped" when I started in on it (still devoured every delicious bit anyway). MDR lunch can be slow sometimes (we never did breakfast here but heard the same). I did notice, however, that a day or two into the cruise the wait staff inquired whether you had dietary or time restrictions in most venues, which were accommodated - so don't be afraid to ask. The casino staff does need improvement, as this is the area I would consider service "spotty" (I personally saw mistakes made by dealers in the bettor's favor two times at UTH - dealer missed seeing he had a flush twice - and I heard about another - and I witnessed one error against the bettor at the craps table where a bet was not pressed properly - so gamblers, be aware). Drink service was also spotty at times in the casino. Some may think mistakes in the bettor's favor is a good thing, but those in the industry would recognize it's an indication of a larger issue. For disembarkation, our flight got moved up, and we had to self-disembark by lugging our luggage off ourselves. I suggest that unless you do one carry-on bag per person, this option will be a major hassle, but this was made bearable for us by Denielle Reyes, who really went above and beyond to make our cruise great. Personal visits by the high-level staff seemed common at many venues – it was one of the more memorable crew experiences we’ve ever had. All-in-all, this was a more than positive vacation experience. I would definitely recommend this ship and its itinerary, and will be sailing NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Hubby and I have cruised in the spring out of NY on the Gem in 2017 and 2018. We were hesitant to cruise on the much larger Escape for this year's cruise. While we needed a map to find out where we were going much of the cruise, ... Read More
Hubby and I have cruised in the spring out of NY on the Gem in 2017 and 2018. We were hesitant to cruise on the much larger Escape for this year's cruise. While we needed a map to find out where we were going much of the cruise, everything was easy to find. Elevators (except for embarkation and disembarkation) ran quickly. The ship was so clean and bright and every crew member were smiling, helpful, and friendly. Officers were everywhere asking how you were, how things were, if they could help you with anything. Cagneys Steakhouse was excellent! Service and food outstanding. Moderno was a big disappointment and we had booked it 2x. The food came out so slowly. You'd get a piece of chicken, wait 10-15 minutes for another server. If the same server walked by you again, he'd pass because you already had whatever he was offering. Plus the food was very salty. O'Sheeans was ok. Nothing great, nothing bad. Bartenders were fun to watch. Garden Cafe was good. Haven Restaurant was outstanding. Every. single. time. Service was fantastic. Food was fantastic. Bermuda is gorgeous and it is on our list to visit again. What can I say about embarkation and disembarkation that hasn't already been said. Its a mess. Long lines, confused people. Elevators stuffed full and more people trying to squeeze in. There has to be a better way. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This was my first cruise and it was wonderful. We left from NYC on 28 Apr 2019, and I did not explore NYC prior to departing. (From the area and am familiar with the area.) The ship was clean and maintained that way through the ... Read More
This was my first cruise and it was wonderful. We left from NYC on 28 Apr 2019, and I did not explore NYC prior to departing. (From the area and am familiar with the area.) The ship was clean and maintained that way through the entire 8 days of travel. The ship is huge and I was able to get my 10,000 steps in each day with no problem, and without any additional effort. We had a balcony cabin which was sizable enough for 2 people. Very comfortable. Each evening we looked forward to returning to the cabin to see the different animals that were created with the towels. Very creative. I purchased the specialty dining package which ended up being a hassle more than a help. The food was fantastic, in ALL the restaurants and each provided its unique dining experience. I made the reservations prior to boarding. Being a first time cruiser, I was unaware of all the activities on the ship, and I ended up rescheduling the reservations based on the activities on the ship. *** Perhaps a "sample" itinerary could be provided to first time cruisers so they can have an idea of what activities are available on the ship. *** Lots of activities on the ship. At times the group activities (music) were too loud. You could not talk to the person next to you normally. The excursion we went on was a walking tour of St. George and Tobacco Bay Beach. The tour guides were very knowledgeable. Bermuda was very clean and the people were very friendly. I am so looking forward to my next cruise, either back to Bermuda, or to a new destination. Thank you Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because of the longer than normal stop in Bermuda which really gave us time to explore the island. We were a bit concerned about the ship being so large and there being so many people on board. We bought spa passes ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the longer than normal stop in Bermuda which really gave us time to explore the island. We were a bit concerned about the ship being so large and there being so many people on board. We bought spa passes and got an aft balcony (a little more space then the regular balcony) thinking that worse case is we spend a lot of time in the spa and in our cabin. But it was not necessary. The ship never seemed too crowded as long as you think a little bit about where the masses are going to be and avoid those areas. Example, when people are crammed around the pool during the middle of the day, there were PLENTY of lounge chairs on the upper deck. Not a problem for us. One of the best parts of the cruise was the entertainment. There was something fun going on at all time. The shows were fantastic! Choir of Man was outstanding. Food in the main dining rooms were very good. My husband is a chef and a bit critical about dining out, but he was very happy with the food. We had 3 specialty restaurant vouchers to use and we decided that if we cruise again on this ship, we may chose an different perk. The specialty restaurants very nice but really no better than the main dining rooms. I have a gluten issue and they are always very attentive to that. I had a problem pre-ordering my meal one night and ran into 2 officers right after. I asked them if they could help and they were both falling over themselves to help. I'm not kidding - they could not do more to make it right. Our cabin was a typical size cabin. Lots of storage and room for luggage under the bed. My only complain was that there was no one to great us when we came on the ship! Lol, I'd forgotten all about that until we left the ship and there were people there to say good bye. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
For us this was a spontaneous buy and cost-effective way of spending a few days relaxing at sea and in Bermuda -- without having to fly a anywhere and a short taxi ride away from our apt.in NYC. Besides embarkation, which seemed ... Read More
For us this was a spontaneous buy and cost-effective way of spending a few days relaxing at sea and in Bermuda -- without having to fly a anywhere and a short taxi ride away from our apt.in NYC. Besides embarkation, which seemed needlessly long and slow, we felt we got great value. We found the mini-suite and balcony perfectly suited to our needs. Bathroom was particularly well appointed -- double sink and spa jet shower. Not the biggest cabin ever -- but for essentially a beach vacation -- more then enough room. We also purchased the thermal spa for the week -- well worth the price a tranquil antidote to a hectic work schedule and beautifully designed and maintained. A dry heat sauna with huge picture windows of the ocean going by has a very detoxifying effect. We spent a lot of time there! We thought overall the food was good value. Of the specialty restaurants, we thought Bayamo was the best and Food Republic was especially fun and the food interesting and well-cooked. Savor was absolutely fine -- and we really liked the freestyle approach -- much better then fixed dinner times. O'Sheehens was a perfectly good replication of Irish pub food -- not the greatest prime rib ever, but more than fine for what it was. Tappanyaki and Moderno were just what we were looking for -- not quite as tasty/flavorful as say Benihana or an NYC churiscaria -- but a lot of fun and great service and since they were included as part of the suite dining package - superb value. We thought the drinks were superior and fairly priced -- comparable to a mid range bar in NYC. Very good cocktails and also a decent and well-priced wine list. While the buffet was plentiful and available 24/7, we'd have loved to have seen a better range of fruit and veg to counterbalance all the fried stuff. Would note that the cheeses were especially plastic. The desserts too were pretty old school -- 1950s sugary and bland with strangely artificial colors. Breakfast in-room was good, not fantastic and we only ordered once. On RC and Windstar, the eggs were tastier and fresher, the coffee better quality and the fruit riper and more exotic. The 3 days in Bermuda were fantastic -- we'd happily have taken an extra day there. While we boated/sailed/snorkled at various locations on the Island, we were pleasantly surprised at how much fun the Naval Dockyard was -- a historic setting, great shopping/food and snorkel beach was also a lovely find just a short walk from the ship. And getting on and off the ship quickly throughout the stay couldn't have been easier or faster. We also thought the complimentary ferry to St George's was a classy touch and loved exploring a town we probably otherwise wouldn't have visited. We thought the ship exceptionally clean. The staff showed just the right amount of courtesy and professionalism without being intrusive. We loved the old fashioned waterfront with restaurant and bar seating as well as the sundeck/prow/pool areas on the top decks. We were impressed that with such a high volume of passengers, there were always loungers available and that while the main areas of the ship were nicely busy and lively, nothing felt too crowded. Overall, we felt we got exactly what we paid for -- a much needed getaway to the sun and water with just the right amount of service and luxury that didn't involve the hassles of airports or the TSA and great value for money. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Excellent week!. Best shows on the ship was Choir of Man!!, Howl at the Moon, The Knights & JR, who we loved. He played nightly in the Brew House. He also had a one man Elton John concert in the Supper Club. I have never had a ... Read More
Excellent week!. Best shows on the ship was Choir of Man!!, Howl at the Moon, The Knights & JR, who we loved. He played nightly in the Brew House. He also had a one man Elton John concert in the Supper Club. I have never had a problem or not thoroughly enjoyed a cruise. Ship was clean & well maintained. Dining options are excellent. Great food every night. Love Bermuda. Nice to be docked for 3 days. You can get on & off as often as you want. April is not my favorite month to cruise, only because the wather going & coming is not always great. Bermuda weather was beautiful! Everyone from the Captain down are friendly, attentive. Never met a member of the crew that was not smiling or did not do there best to take care of your needs. Can't wait to next cruise.This was our first stay in the Haven. . Service & everything was just incredible! This was my 16th cruise on NCL. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
The escape is a beautiful ship! We had a fantastic time and are leaving with many memories that will last a lifetime! I can’t say enough about how awesome the entire crew was on this ship! Everyone was so friendly and went out of ... Read More
The escape is a beautiful ship! We had a fantastic time and are leaving with many memories that will last a lifetime! I can’t say enough about how awesome the entire crew was on this ship! Everyone was so friendly and went out of their way to make sure everyone was having a great time. The entertainment was incredible. Don’t miss The Choir of Man and These Guys. The music in all the bars was also great! Food was average. We ate in all complimentary restaurants and did not pay for speciality dining so I can’t comment on those. We were in room 12724 which was a forward sail away balcony. Room and bathroom were spacious. Closet was a little difficult to get to but it was fine. Bermuda is beautiful. Highly recommend the evening Bermuda Triangle cruise. If you want a unique experience we also did an excursion on our own with Hartley’s Helmet Diving. Very cool experience! Embarkation went very smoothly! Disembarkation did not due to the fact that the ship was almost two hours late getting back to port due to weather. It was not organized and very little staff were around and communication was lacking. Luckily we got off the ship just in time to get our bus. Overall I would highly recommend this ship and destination. It was a wonderful, relaxing vacation! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise popped up on my boyfriend's timeline and immediately we were booked! We had a blast on this vacation other than a couple minor issues. First the weather wasn't the best for us to be able to enjoy the entire outside ... Read More
This cruise popped up on my boyfriend's timeline and immediately we were booked! We had a blast on this vacation other than a couple minor issues. First the weather wasn't the best for us to be able to enjoy the entire outside of the ship. It was also unfortunate that on the sunny days the pools were not heated otherwise we would have definitely enjoyed the cruise more. Because of both of these factors we didn't get to try the slides and due to a storm on our way back we didn't get to try out the ropes course either. Other than the outdoor problems the complimentary dining, entertainment, specialty dining, bars etc were all amazing. The service on this ship was also better than we have experienced before. The cabin was always kept neat and clean as well which is always a good thing. This was our third cruise but first with Norwegian and I would say we will definitely be cruising Norwegian again. 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

Find a Norwegian Escape Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise