Sail Date: February 2019
We choose this ship because we had been on it before and we like to cruise in February. Arrived at port early and got on ship fairly quick being platinum members. Once on ship, we went directly to make restaurant reservations and got ... Read More
We choose this ship because we had been on it before and we like to cruise in February. Arrived at port early and got on ship fairly quick being platinum members. Once on ship, we went directly to make restaurant reservations and got everything we wanted. After that we went to one of the smaller dining rooms (taste) and waited for others that were traveling with us to have lunch. By the time we were finished, our rooms were ready and we went to them and got settled in as much as we could until luggage arrived somewhat later. It was warm enough that we were able to be on our balcony for sail away and a beautiful sail away it was with a absolutely beautiful sunset. We were not able to stop at the private island due to rough seas and wind, so off to Jamaica we sailed. We did the Brimmer Hall Plantation excursion and it was quite interesting. After the plantation, we headed to a beach which provided the highlight of the cruise( and not a good one ) I lost my wallet. Back on the ship, guest service was very helpful in contacting our credit card company to close that card and transfer charges to my wifes card. A day and a half later I was notified that my wallet had been found and everything was still in it and the authorities in Jamaica would mail it back to New York( this proved to be quite expensive, $105.00. ) Overall the cruise was very good. Most of the entertainment was very good with Choir of Man being best followed by Howl at the Moon which we went to every night it was on. The food was very good and selection on where to eat good. My biggest gripe is the Atrium being such a congestion point. When ever something is going on there, the crowds block the aisles and being so close to the guest service desk, it is very hard to talk to a Representative with all the noise. Another gripe is the way the photograph department now works. Photos taken in the restaurants can no longer be purchased as part of a package they must be purchased separately. One cannot blame the ship for some of the sickness that was going around, they were constantly cleaning and wiping down everything and trying to get guests to wash their hands. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We love the megaships and have never been to western carribbean, so this seemed to be a perfect getaway from the cold northeast weather. Ship is beautiful and very clean. We especially liked the boardwalk for walking or just relaxing. ... Read More
We love the megaships and have never been to western carribbean, so this seemed to be a perfect getaway from the cold northeast weather. Ship is beautiful and very clean. We especially liked the boardwalk for walking or just relaxing. Cagneys, le Bistro, la cucina and Bayama were all delicious. Although I have read mediocre reports on O Sheehans, we enjoyed several meals there. The crew was great, friendly and helpful. Room steward took good care of our needs. We did not see all the shows but we did enjoy a few. Golden octaves in Atrium were very good. We only did 2 excursions, the ncl transfer to Disney and Costa Maya ruins. I had prepurchased Epcot passes and although time in the park was short, it worked for us. First timers especially with children would probably be disappointed. Costa Maya doesn't seem to have much to offer but I did enjoy the Chacchoben ruin tour and port area by ship had lots of shops and looked nice. Our only complaint is that disembarking in New York is always slow, this time it was Horrible! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our first 2-week cruise and it felt 'just right.' Plenty of time to settle in but we didn't get bored. There is lots to do on the ship, whether you're active or sedentary. We found that there were lots of ... Read More
This was our first 2-week cruise and it felt 'just right.' Plenty of time to settle in but we didn't get bored. There is lots to do on the ship, whether you're active or sedentary. We found that there were lots of things we would classify as excellent (Manhattan dining Room, Choir of Man, service staff, variety of offerings in the Garden Buffet, the fitness center, dancing in Skyline and at dinner, embarking quickly as a platinum member), but we cannot rate this as excellent because of the non-existent waiter service in Skyline Bar, lousy (and pricey) meal at La Cuccina, repeat performances of ship's shows (the ones we really liked we saw 3 times, but to sit through the same exact comedy routine each night was a but much), and the staff at the Customer Service desk area is never pleasant, cabins seem even smaller than on other ships, and the bad experience of disembarkation. So, we give it a 4 stars out of 5. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Hello. Our Embarkation & disembarkation went fast smoothly. The ship was pretty and kept clean. Our cabin on the 13th floor was a nice hit we were on the medical floor. Dining in the taste in the mornings for breakfast made ... Read More
Hello. Our Embarkation & disembarkation went fast smoothly. The ship was pretty and kept clean. Our cabin on the 13th floor was a nice hit we were on the medical floor. Dining in the taste in the mornings for breakfast made our day and dinner @ Manhattan Room made my retired spouse cruise worthwhile. Also lunch and late snack at O' Sheehan's was a fun finger licking experience. Dance your way up to The Mojito Bar on the 8th floor for great coconut and Ginger Mojito's, Also Specialty Dining at Cagney's Steakhouse & Moderno Churrascaria were mouth watering a must treat in fine dining... Music Entertainment by the Octaves was excellent Also The choir of men made us feel we were home at our local pub. also After Midnight made the family feel like we were in Harlem wow that's Broadway. Shore excursion was cancel for NCL private Island Great Stir Cay due to weather. We enjoy these other excursions Harvest Cay Belize a excellent port, Jamaica Bamboo Beach Club VIP Lunch & White House Grand Cayman w/ Lunch. We will be back soon now that's the way to Cruise NCL Style. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We started out with hours long lines waiting to board the ship due to an outbreak of Norovirus on the previous cruise. After long lines snaking in and around the pier we were finally allowed to board. Then we waited on the stairs to be ... Read More
We started out with hours long lines waiting to board the ship due to an outbreak of Norovirus on the previous cruise. After long lines snaking in and around the pier we were finally allowed to board. Then we waited on the stairs to be allowed to go to our room. We found out later that it was due to disinfecting the walls and cabins. All had to climb the stairs to get something to eat in the buffet. Soon after we were herded back down to the “ mandatory muster “. Believe it or not after that horrible introduction everything got much better! Aside from restrictions on accessibility to food in the buffet, and constantly being reminded to “ washy washy”. All negative reminders disappeared. Excellent accommodations, food and smooth seas. Every port was easy to get around, and aside from Tortola bore little signs of the hurricane damage we were expecting. By the last few days everything was back to normal, and our only regret was that the cruise wasn’t longer. A definite 2 thumbs up! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We enjoyed the eight Caribbean Island stops and the ship entertainment. It was our first time on one of the huge ships, and overall, we preferred the smaller ones from our first six Norwegian cruises. The Escape just didn't seemed ... Read More
We enjoyed the eight Caribbean Island stops and the ship entertainment. It was our first time on one of the huge ships, and overall, we preferred the smaller ones from our first six Norwegian cruises. The Escape just didn't seemed designed to service that many passengers, especially when we needed to use the elevators, get into the main dining rooms, find a place out on deck on the nice weather days, or make a reservation at a specialty dining room. We also wished this ship had a forward lounge, the way all our other ships did. We missed having a quiet place to relax where we could sight-see ahead. Not having this large forward lounge, or other large lounges, also meant that all the big group activities such as trivia, dance lessons, and games had to done in the atrium, which made that three-level center part of the ship constantly noisy instead of a nice place to relax, as it was on all our other ships. The entertainment quality and choices were fabulous. The professional shows in the theater, repeated three times each, was a good way to do this rather than the standard way the theater productions were done on our other cruises. Also, we liked the Supper Club dinners with entertainment, and the Headliners Comedy Club entertainment. The piano entertainer, JR, was really good. Since we are beer drinkers, we liked having The District Brew House with its 24 beers on tap and 50 in bottles. This was our first cruise where we could get good beers, although all other bars on the ship still served only the standard lagers. This next comment applies to all our cruises, which have been only on Norwegian, so i don't know if any other cruise lines do anything differently: We wish for more information, information, information! So much about the ship and its workings and offerings could be explained in advance, or when you arrive, rather than having to learn everything by accident, experience, asking other passengers, or never learning something at all. We knew nothing about how the Box Office worked for getting reservations all week at all the many venues that required reservations; we had to learn from other passengers, and hope that we were getting to the Box Office soon enough to get what we wanted. Even then, we couldn't figure out the list of options covering all 14 days - we just had to let the agent do it for us, and hope it was what we would like (it was). We also wish Norwegian would have information sheets to explain what drinks are served at which bars, what to expect with regard to successfully getting into the main dining rooms (we almost never could get in since there were such long waiting lines), and information to help us know various rules such as No Reserving Deck Chairs. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
I love NCL and the freestyle, casual cruising experience. The 14 day southern Caribbean cruise is fantastic and I have taken this cruise out of NYC for the last several years. Living in Long Island, I am less than an hour away from ... Read More
I love NCL and the freestyle, casual cruising experience. The 14 day southern Caribbean cruise is fantastic and I have taken this cruise out of NYC for the last several years. Living in Long Island, I am less than an hour away from the pier. It sure beats flying and waiting on TSA lines or having travel delays especially when leaving in the winter. It was a rough start as the previous cruise had an issue with the norovirus and although NCL told us to arrive after 10:30 AM, their communication with cruisers was very poor in not stating specifically what the issue was and because the CDC had to do a thorough inspection of the ship, most of the cruisers had to wait on long lines outside the cruise terminal in the cold for hours. Once onboard, the wait for cabins and lines for lunch were terrible with many people not being able to use their cabins until late in the evening. We were in the Haven and our room was not ready until the evening and the lines so long for lunch, we did not have lunch but instead settled for a "liquid lunch" (not so bad!). I do understand that because of the issue, their was no choice but felt that NCL should have better communicated the situation to passengers the day before. I would have arrived much later to the pier and perhaps they should have offered a $50 OBC on this cruise or a future cruise to make amends for the inconveniences. I am sure this experience soured many and perhaps will not cruise NCL again. Once the cruise was underway, it was fantastic. The ship is beautiful, the crew great and I know they had been working long hours sanitizing the ship both on the previous cruise and this one. Being in the Haven, the cruise experience is even that much better, but with the raising of Haven prices, not sure how many more Haven experiences I will have. That being said, I love sailing on NCL and the 14 day cruise out of NYC and have signed up for next year and 2021. The entertainment was good, but I actually thought the entertainment venue was better on the smaller GEM, although a few shows were very good (Cotton Club and Men's Choir). The band in the Skyliner lounge (in the casino) were also great. My Haven Aft Facing Cabin was beautiful and I always book the aft when cruising in the Haven, even though it is a long walk to the Haven and you probably do not exactly experience the Haven experience as much as those situated in the front. I think we only visited the Haven sundeck three times during the cruise and preferred to enjoy our large balcony with very comfortable lounges. The restaurants were pretty good although some of the best dishes have been eliminated from NCL's signature restaurants (Le Bistro and La Cucina) and the cold soups (one of my favorite cruise experiences) was only available in the Haven restaurant at lunch. No doubt, the Haven Restaurant offered the best dining experience and service, but that is to be expected. The ports for this cruise are the best and although I have visited them many times in my cruising career, my favorites are still Barbados, St. Marteen and St. Thomas. We did only one ship excursion in St. Thomas...Kon Tiki and it was great. I would recommend this ship excursion as it is a very happy experience with rum punch, steel drum band, dancing and a visit to a very nice beach. All had a great time. Looking forward to next year's 14 day cruise on the beautiful Bliss! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We choose this cruise of 14 days to laze. We like the ports and shore excursions. The food waz very good in every restaurants and also un the Garden Café. The service was excellent at our cabin and very good for the rest. But at the ... Read More
We choose this cruise of 14 days to laze. We like the ports and shore excursions. The food waz very good in every restaurants and also un the Garden Café. The service was excellent at our cabin and very good for the rest. But at the o'sheehan one time only the service was too fast. They put all the meals on the table at the same time. We like also the performance of the band Let's Groove and the others signers too. The shows at the theater were amazing. In spite of the big sanitize of the ship , we have great time. The crew did very well to keep every place very clean. We liked the shops but we didn't find things for kids. We wanted to buy gifts ( clothes, t-shirts earings) for our grand daughters ( 2 and 4 years old) but we found just stuffed animals. The disembarkation went very fast. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We like to travel with friends after the holidays and the ease of departing from NY at the last minute. Great to be able to get to the sunny Caribbean and go from below zero to 75F in a just a couple of days! We liked the fact they ... Read More
We like to travel with friends after the holidays and the ease of departing from NY at the last minute. Great to be able to get to the sunny Caribbean and go from below zero to 75F in a just a couple of days! We liked the fact they we had several sea days to relax between some port days. The chef had excellent menu choices for dinner but of course we would have preferred a varied menu at lunch in the dining room. Bring back rack of lamb and lobster tails! Enjoyed the hot tub every day on deck 16 but no bubbles on deck 19. Loved visiting the spa and the wonderful massage by Gina from the Philippines. The entertainment was excellent and especially enjoyed After Midnight. Our cabin steward was very kind and always available. We appreciated the free laundry and being ready for our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise since we had never been to the western Caribbean. The ship had many activities every evening - shows, Howling at the Moon, comedians, a magician, and more. All shows were excellent! Dinner at the main restaurants, ... Read More
We chose this cruise since we had never been to the western Caribbean. The ship had many activities every evening - shows, Howling at the Moon, comedians, a magician, and more. All shows were excellent! Dinner at the main restaurants, and particularly at the speciality restaurants, was excellent. Unfortunately, breakfast and lunch at the restaurants was always the same - it would be nice to vary the menu. We were very disappointed that we did not stop at Great Stirrup Cay. We were told the waters were too rough, although the skies were blue, the sea looked calm, and the sailboat along side us was not even moving. Also, there was a lot of smoking on board. The smoke from the casino drifted into many areas on the ship. And the Waves Bar area near the pool was a smoking area, making it an undesirable area, and the smoke from the bar wafted across the jogging track. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
i choose to get away this winter for two weeks and i found it to be so pleasurable i would certainly do it again given the chance. my only complaints were the main dining rooms of savor, taste and the manhatten were extremely slow. many ... Read More
i choose to get away this winter for two weeks and i found it to be so pleasurable i would certainly do it again given the chance. my only complaints were the main dining rooms of savor, taste and the manhatten were extremely slow. many times we had to leave the restaurant before dessert to see the 730 shows that were scheduled. the food was excellent except for the lunch menu which remained the same for 14 days. dinner menu changed daily. we also tried two specialty restaurants - cagney's (steak) excellent service, food, la cucino - again lacking in service food average. entertainment included two broadway plays (after midnight and the brat pack) very very good and numerous bands throughout the ship which were exceptionally talented singers. i especially enjoyed the ventriliquest and juggler comic. i found the entertainment first rate along with the food quality. we did not do the buffet. as far as ports, the river tubing on the white river was fabulous. we also did the turtle sanctuary in grand cayman and airboat adventure in port canaveral.(both enjoyable) i also especially liked costa maya where the many of the locals were performing some air defying acts. all in all it was a very enjoyable vacation. i might add we had the drink and gratuity package which allowed us to pay up front and not have to worry about anything on drinks or tips on our bill at the end which i understand now ncl is charging 20 percent gratuity on a drink on their drink package and now are not offering the gratuity package which were great perks. oh yea, the app of ncl needs work for purchasing their shore excursions. 3 x we had to go down to the desk to correct what the app did not do! would do 2 weeks and ncl again Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Never felt crowded on the Escape at any time - hard to believe over 4K passengers onboard. I found staff in all positions from wait staff & cooks in Garden Cafe every morning, to my cabin attendant Jinyu (a real sweetheart & so ... Read More
Never felt crowded on the Escape at any time - hard to believe over 4K passengers onboard. I found staff in all positions from wait staff & cooks in Garden Cafe every morning, to my cabin attendant Jinyu (a real sweetheart & so efficient) to box office staff, and specialty dining room staff very accommodating & friendly. Impressed by their patience & always smiling and greeting guests. The food in was very good in all the specialty restaurants but also Manhattan Room & Taste & Savor but also the Garden Cafe. But The Cellars staff especially Cecelia the sommelier and bartenders, Edward & Sithu made every evening sunset so relaxing and enjoyable. The entertainment show The Choir of Man I highly recommend as well After Midnight. Only disappointment was not being able to see Great Stirrup Caye due to weather but understood about safety. I will definitely look forward to my next NCL cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
This is our 2nd. time on the Escape, previous sailed her to Bermuda and been on the Breakaway, scored a bidding upgrade - Inside (IA) to mid-ship Balcony (BB) for a reasonable price, enjoyed our time on the balcony and/or with sliding door ... Read More
This is our 2nd. time on the Escape, previous sailed her to Bermuda and been on the Breakaway, scored a bidding upgrade - Inside (IA) to mid-ship Balcony (BB) for a reasonable price, enjoyed our time on the balcony and/or with sliding door open with all those nice days. Our trip to MCT - Pier 88 was an easy one, plenty of porters curbside to help checked our tagged luggage, arrived a little after 10 a.m. and breezed thru security quickly, and, directed to Platinum check-in area, back of building - all in 20 minutes with key cards issued & photos taken. We found our way to the designated, roped-off lounge with Zone #2 boarding and watched as the last cluster of disembarkation passengers came off the ship at 10:45 a.m. Haven & Special Needs began boarding shortly after 11 a.m. and we quickly got called to follow, and warmly welcomed by crew as we stepped off 2 "Z" gangways onto ship's deck 7 Fwd, and, headed inside. Staterooms were still being cleaned, fortunately - we only had 2 small carry-on bags to tote around to make our way to Taste, 1 of 2 MDR open for sit-down lunch while others were herded into elevators up to deck 16 for the buffet (Garden Cafe) already serving lunch - rooms finally announced as ready & open at 1:30 p.m. (about 30 minutes later than "usual" from experience). We're surprised that the MDR was opened after 11:30 - early than noon & with a short wait, ready for sit-down meal services and we're given a nice table for 2, not shared, by the window ... with the fuel barge outside, docked alongside for refueling. Unlike shorter 7 night cruises out of NY, these longer itinerary is reflected in the demographics ... namely, cruisers are somewhat more mature, older along with families with pre-schoolers & small children; and, those from overseas as well as Canadians. All of the onboard announcements were made in English only and there was a Noro-virus outbreak that apparently exceeded the 2% threshold among crews AND passenger during the sailing, that prompted ship-wide cleansing measures & steps for the 2nd. half of the cruise to contain the spreading. We felt that with such important health matters being addressed, that the written notices could've and should've been issued in multiple key languages, to stress the serious nature of requesting "washy washy" compliance & proper hand-wash protocol. As a whole, this cruise had perfect weather all the way, except for the last 1.5 sea days en route back to NY as we transitioned past the warm/cold weather fronts, back to winter weather & outdoor enjoyment basically eased, except for the brave souls at the hot tubs. Sea conditions were just about perfect - thanks to mother nature - waves between 2 to 5 ft. mostly, and briefly had waves of 8 to 10 ft. which is really calm for a mega ship at 160,000+ tons. Sunny days & cooler evenings and nights, except for port stop at Costa Maya, Mexcio as we ran into storm clouds, showers & rain on and off all day - where we decided to stay on the ship. The other disappointment was in missing NCL's private island at GSC at Bahamas' Berry Islands, due to wind condtions & directions (north) with safety being the prime factor, unable to tender us ashore (we missed in last Spring on the Gem & 2017 on the Breakaway, able to get an extra evening/time docking at Nassau pier by the evening) - thus, turning into an extra "fun" day at sea, headed straight for Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Fortunately, NCL's other private island, the newest, Harvest Caye at Belize has its long pier, not a tender dock and while it is smaller, perhaps, and with a longer walkway to the main "entrance" - it was nice & refreshing, and, offered plenty to do - including a giant pool with plenty of loungers and (extra charge for rental) vented clam shells for sun/uv shade protections ... and ziplines and other outdoor activities. Golf cart transport are available for guests unable to make the 1/4 mile walk each way under the shaded & covered walkway. We did NOT book any shorex offered by NCL, over-priced & under-valued and planned our own, or, just wing it when we got ashore. George Town, Cayman Island was much better & we rated it great compared to Ocho Rios in terms of things to do, see and pricing. Cozumel, Mexico is another popular cruise ports with several (7) ships in town at different locations and still, didn't feel crowded and plenty to do & see, and, the waterfront is easy to walk around, safe & there are no pushy vendors unlike Jamaica ... we scouted out what to do next time, if and when we go back again (all of these with pictures & reviewed elsewhere in the NCL forum/board here on CC) Escape has one of the best & fun crew and officers and hats off to all of them for their extra hard work during our 15 days, dealing also with the steps & measures deployed against the acute virus symptoms being reported. A CC Meet & Mingle was organized and housed at the District Brew House on Day 2 to a pack full-house, standing room only, plentiful of beer samples for adults ... something not done on other NCL ships, and, a Slot Pull was held as well as a Cabin Crawl, including 2 stops touring the Haven, thanks to fellow CC'er. We have a friend room steward that emptied our mini-refrigerator (look for the adjustable temperature dial) so that we had room to store our own chilled beverages, snacks & chocolate strawberries delivered as extra treats - and towel animals were waiting for us on several nights, until they got extra busy with special cleaning & didn't have time to do it. Ice buckets were refilled daily and on request, but stopped with the virus outbreak. Like the other Breakaway/Plus class, the ships still looks great after being in continuous service for several years, well maintained and everything worked. The main theater has improved & better seating, with the metal in the seatback and enough legrooms for others to pass thru to their seats in the same row - advance reservation is a must, especially true for the "lounge" style comedy shows and other shows held in the Supper Club (a cover charge might apply, check your bookings for details). We saw After Midnight before and booked "The Brad Pact" again, which turned out to be its final week on the Escape, replaced by the Choir of Man, which others liked, moved onto the main stage as a free show. The busy & popular Fwd atrium lobby is where many other performance, demonstrations, presentations and contests, etc. were held - often standing room only even when extra folding chairs were setup for the overflowing crowds ... among the best liked singers, Golden Octave. Margaritaville has a $15 cover charge and is open daily noon to 4 pm, whereas breakfast is complimentary & less crowded - located on deck 17 midship; but is generally empty & grossly under-utilized. Food Republic was supposed to be open on sea days but closed shut, for whatever reasons - thus, when we wanted a mid-day snack and turned off by what's in the buffet. O'Sheehan's is the go to place, 24/7 for basic comfort food and it's nighly dinner specials - service is usually quick, friendly and food comes out its own small gallery, hot & edible; and, we can also recommend it as an alternative to the MDR for a sit-down hot breakfast with its limited menu choices, still very good. Garden Cafe - we visited it a few times, mainly during off-peak and late evening for a quick bite, just to see what's offered, coffee & dessert and a place to sit back & relax, and maybe twice for lunch on port days when MDR isn't open at all. As expected, there is a good choice of variety but nothing really impressive, looks good but after a few days, everything looked the same - they do try to vary selections on themed nights, whether it's All American, Italian, Caribbean, Asian or BBQ/Grill oriented ... not a place to be if you wish to stay on a healthy diet and/or not gain 10 lbs disembarking the ship. MDR - Taste & Savor, opposite each other on deck 6 Aft are basically identical twins, serving the same food/menu items as the bigger Manhattan Dinner Room, set up as a supper club with a big dance floor for show performing, which we never saw while walking by or highlighted in the Freestyle Daily ("newspapers" distributed.) Guests without reservations are typically asked if they wish to share a larger table with other "strangers" when doing a walk-up. We booked almost all of our dining slots ahead and while onboard, day #1 so it was easier for 2 of us to be given our own table, which we insisted. If rushing and/or on a clock to catch a show or need to be elsewhere within the next 2 hours, inform your server team so they can pace their services accordingly ... a full meal routinely take 90 minutes. NCL has 14 different nighly menus, rotated and we managed to get/sample or seen all 14 of them ... some of the items were repeated more than once. Unlike years past, there are fewer variety among the starter items, i.e. French Onion soup served at least 3 times, must be easier than Chicken Noodles Soup, now replaced by Vietnamese Chinese Pho everyday for lunch. The other subtle changes, fewer red meat served (which is good, in a way) but lower grade meat used and smaller portion sizes, including the petite "sides" are becoming our talk at the dinner table, promptly us to sometimes just going ahead to order an extra entree or doubled orders of starters to share. We find friendly, cheerful and usually prompt & attentive services by our wait team, but at times, minor details were overlooked - like a table set by without butter or small knife, coffee & tea given without a spoon or creamer/milk ... or, bread crumbs not always swept after plates & cleared and taken away, before dessert is out. Our 2 evenings of complimentary dining, booked for LeBistro and Moderno were good to excellent, and, we get used now to the annoying limit to one starter & one entree, below $20 (just raised to $25) or one dessert - but free is free. Those with healthier appetite will likely find themselves still hungry after eating at Cagney's & LeBistro, whereas Moderno is AYCE and there are some good choices at the salad bar, where this time- servers handled the fork & spoon to picking & choosing what we like, due to the reported Noro incidents. We took advantage twice of free & complimentary room service in the morning, continential style on full sea days when we didn't want to leave until mid/late morning, knowing that we would be fine with a light one - delivered within the requested 30 minutes time slot, and a small cash tip appreciated from the thankful crew (a reminder, please leave those cups, glasses & plates, etc. inside the cabin, room steward will remove them as part of the cleaning routine ... instead of cluttering the narrow corridors.) O'Sheehan's served comfort food, often piping hot, especially with its expanded hot breakfast options and usually doesn't take long for us to get seated. Same is true for lunch except on port days, as the MDR is closed leaving the buffet & OSH as the basic options - I missed some of the older menu items like the chicken pot pie but it's difficult to leave on an empty stomach. Although there wasn't an official take-out option when ordering food here, we did see folks walking out with plated & covered food and utensils to take back ... could be due to the quarantine in place. For those new to NCL, on disembarkation morning - if you aren't in a hurry to leave the ship, enjoy a full breakfast in the MDR, as its Express selection unique to that "last" day has been expanded. Likewise, each morning - the MDR has a Daily Choice of 3 rotating breakfast specials, in addition a good choice of regular items for ordering. On full sea days, ask the wait staff about their Daily Special - something different - at the MDR, as otherwise, it is the same menu for the entire cruise at lunch, one of them was a thinly breaded port loin special and another being a meatballs dish. Getting around the ship - the Waterfront on Deck 8 is less populated and there are plenty of oversized cushioned chairs & sofa to sit around, relax, read and enjoy the scenic beauty of being at sea. We've noticed that a number of joggers are now using this outside deck as their walking path, which isn't designated for and it's a shared public space for everyone to enjoy ... the lifeboat deck on 6 is probably better suited as it's nearly always quiet, beware that there are no chairs or loungers, etc. for this area. The official jogging path is marked and on deck 17, some of the "lanes" criss-crossing popular venues like Margaritaville, resulting in passengers bumping into each other ... NCL, please re-design this with the next class of ships being built. On elevators, there are only 2 banks of elevators for passengers, Fwd and AFT and it's typically packed full on embarkation & disembarkation days - not all fellow cruisers showed courtesy in stepping into the rear of the small elevators instead of blocking the doors and/or access to the buttons, and made it harder for others with special needs to share & get in/out ... and, doesn't take much for those lugging oversized luggage to jam up the elevators while struggling to get around. The ports - Port Canaveral is what it is, but a 7 hours stopover is just inadequate and worst if heading into Orlando area, even if skipping the theme parks. One can only do so much re-visiting Coca Beach and/or Coca Village - the worst is its 1 PM arrival time ... our option, stay on the ship & enjoy it with fewer crowds, except lots of seasoned cruisers knew it too. GSC or NCL's private island, always a toss-up especially with a north wind blowing, even with calm seas and no waves, usually meant tender boats cannot be runned - resulting in an extra sea day, unless a berth is availabe at nearby Nassau, or else, sailings like ours would just bypass & resume sailing direct to the next scheduled port. Disembarkation has become rocket science for NCL at its NYC port facilities, info about colors & time and how-to, etc. had been distributed to all guests, 3 to 4 days prior to arrival - allowing folks to plan, decide and organize their orderly departure time & how to best take luggage off the ship - whether it's on-time, early, super-early like ours, or running late/behind schedule for whatever reasons. It has been fine-tuned by holding passengers on the ship, instead of releasing several hundreds plus onto the cold pier's exterior walkway, who then must squeeze thru the bottleneck toward the "down" escalators or sole elevator for pax in wheelchairs or walkers in need of assistance. We're among the priority disembarking pax with luggage already transferred onto the pier, and quickly made our way down to the customs/arrival hall, found our bags waiting & then queued up for the line using porter services, then breezed quickly thru - no more than 15 minutes from bottom of stairs out to curbside on 12th Avenue ... in our case, also up the giant elevators to level 2 with no-wait for a yellow taxi, taking a metered fare ride to our home in Queens, arriving on our door steps in less than 30 minutes. During our cruise, we're able to take advantage of doing 2 free bags of wet laundry, stuffed full & had it returned, folded & clean in a basket, within 2 days - as part of our Latitude Platinum perks, along with getting 2 free bottles of water. Pro tips - each person should bring his/her own BPA-free water bottle and use a clean cup each time to transfer & refill at the water station, as paying for bottled (non-mineral) water is foolish, IMHO. Unlike most NCL ships, the medical "center" or clinic is located on deck 13 Fwd, just behind the elevators and has posted hours for non-urgent care and a self-service dispensing machine is stock with basic items for sale, 24/7. Satelite WiFi internet - NCL has, without a doubt, among the pricest deal on using its high-orbiting satellite WiFi internet, for as much as $35 a day for unlimited, streaming & VPN use, one device at a time, $30 for non-streaming and $15 a day for social media use. It offered PAYG at $1 a minute, which is very costly unless you need to use 15 or 30 minutes on a cruise and plan to be off the grid. We have been Google (Project) Fi subscribers for 3 years and loved our roaming coverage in 170 countries, including 4G HSPA+ data coverage at all of our ports, reducing our needs to stay connected at sea and we managed to be online using only 320+ minutes for our entire 15 days, without buying extra, trading for an upgrade, etc. Overall speed is good, usable & adequate with high latency, not blazing fast but much improved in the last 5 years. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This is out 3rd cruise for the year. First time with Norwegian. We have a party of 8 people (2 kids). We found out some areas which need to improve. Check in time is a bit too long and not organized. We spend over 60 min to check ... Read More
This is out 3rd cruise for the year. First time with Norwegian. We have a party of 8 people (2 kids). We found out some areas which need to improve. Check in time is a bit too long and not organized. We spend over 60 min to check in. Staff not feeling like welcoming their guests. Food has not much selection in the Garden Cafe for the last few days. Not all of the specialty restaurant are worth to try. We purchased 5 dinning; been to 4 different restaurant. Bayamo is the most not worth. We pay $12 extra on top of the dinner package. The seafood is not fresh, the ingredients taste like they had been frozen for a long time. Cagemy's Steakhouse is the second restaurant that we tried. The steak is way over cook. Service is good. LeBistro, we have been to this restaurant two times for this cruise. This is the best one out of four. Service is excellent. Food presentation and taste are very good. Tappanyaki, food is too salty, mentioned to chef not to put too much soy sauce and salt, ended up way too salty. Service is good. Atmosphere is good. Main dinner - Manhattan is surprisingly good. Service is very good, food is awesome, Atmosphere is very nice. We were try to visit in the last few night, but they had a full house. O' Sheehas's has the best breakfast and snack restaurant in the cruise. We've been to this restaurant many time. Staff are nice and food are excellent. Entertainment, we watched two show: magic show, for the record and after midnight. Not too impressed. Not much activities for kid to spend time on this cruise. Escape the Top is the only activity that we found is worth to do in the cruise. House keeping is good. He keeps cleaning up the cabin as needed. He has a very positive and good attitude, A+++ service for him! Area around the pool deck is a bit messy. Used towel, cups, mugs stay there until night time. Floor always wet. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This was my second cruise with NCL, the first being a booze cruise on the NCL Sky. I have been on about 18 or so cruises, mostly with Princess, Celebrity, and MSC. I am in my mid 40s and traveled with a friend and his mother. And this ... Read More
This was my second cruise with NCL, the first being a booze cruise on the NCL Sky. I have been on about 18 or so cruises, mostly with Princess, Celebrity, and MSC. I am in my mid 40s and traveled with a friend and his mother. And this was my first cruise over New Year’s. New York: I took Amtrak up from Washington DC the morning of and got to Penn Station just before 9. I walked up to the port while stopping for breakfast along the way. Then walked over to the port. This was an easy walk even with a suitcase. There was a little rain but with an umbrella I had no issues. The gates to the port at 48th and Twelfth were open with easy pedestrian access. Embarkation: After approaching the gate, a traffic cop pointed me in the direction of the porters. I dropped off my bag and took the elevator up to check in. No lines at security and check-in. I then was pointed to the waiting area. I was in group 7 and only had to wait maybe 30-40 mins until boarding. The whole process was pretty quick and without drama. After boarding I met up with my friend and his mother and we sat and had a couple cocktails while we waited for the cabins to be ready. Ship: Our first impression of the ship was it looked really nice. There were a lot of venues to hang out which seemed to disperse people well. It was also very easy to get around. With 5000 guests on board it flowed well. The overall cleanliness of the ship was really good and it appears public toilets we touched at least every 30 mins. The app for your smartphone was great. You could book everything, check your account, and best of all message or call friends right from the app. The guest service desk was nice and smiley but never corrected my problem after all their excuses and promises. Cabin: This was my first time in a Studio. It is a small cabin and my first impression was there was not going to be enough storage to unpack. But surprisingly there was enough storage to put everything away and not leave the cabin cluttered. The funky lighting was cool and it was a nice cabin for a single. Had great temps and water pressure in the shower. The Studio Lounge was great for free coffee in the morning and water at the end of the night. My cabin steward wasn’t the best. My cabin was only vacuumed the day I arrived. I almost took the vacuum from the hall and did it myself halfway through the 9 days. She didn’t really make the bed well and it took 3 days for her to realize to just leave the accent pillows under the bed as at turndown there’s no room to store them anywhere else. I would definitely stay in a studio again if I was traveling solo. Lifeboat Drill: I am mentioning this as a comparison with other lines. It wasn’t a formal process and you didn’t have to bring lifejackets. The way they sat you in the theater made sense for the drill but in a real emergency this process would never work. Bars: I tried most of the bars on the ship. All had good service. We even had great bar waiter service at both Spice and while at the Private Island. My favorite bar was Cellars Wine bar. SiThu, the wine specialist, was great. Excellent service and very knowledgeable on wines and gave good suggestions. A true asset for NCL. He made the cruise for me as well as making our stop there before dinner a delight. Plus the surcharge after the UBP for the wines I was drinking was very reasonable. The District Brew House was another favorite for me. I’m not a big bourbon fan but their cocktail, Cannon Ball, was great. I also really loved the piano guy, JR, who played there almost every night. He was really good. Food: Over all the food was good. We ate in the Manhattan and Taste twice each and also specialty dining. For breakfast I would go to O’ Sheehan’s. This was the quickest breakfast for a made to order omelets. It would normally come right as my drinks. For lunch I would just get a snack somewhere. Dinners in the dining rooms were ok for the most part but a little slow. The last night we ate in Taste and it was the worst. I thought I was eating at Walmart. First, the lady at the next table came over to say “excuse me but I think my baby is under your table”. Sure enough her baby was crawling on the floor under our table. And when I looked around by their table they had an open box of Gerber rice cereal, turned over, and toys on the floor next to their table. Who does that in a dining room? Next when my meal came the veal was uneatable. It was tough like leather. And the waiter really didn’t seem to care. It definitely wasn’t the last dining impression you want to leave a guest. Specialty Restaurants: We tried the Teppanyaki, Cagney’s, Moderno, and La Cucina. The Teppanyaki was fantastic and fun. Much better than the one on MSC Seaside from my last cruise. Cagney’s was great as always. Moderno was wonderful. The chicken legs, lamb, and spicy sausage was the best. La Cucina was a last add on for a birthday and wasn’t part of our dining plan. However, it was good. The main dish I ordered wasn’t the best but overall the meal was good. And it turned out our meal was comped so that made it great. I would highly recommend doing a dining package as it is a good value. Buffet: Only ate in the main buffet once for a quick lunch. It was ok but a bit of a zoo. I normally try to avoid them as I hate the crowds. Entertainment: I only attended one main show, After Midnight, which was good but just not my thing. We did a comped dinner show with Perry about Broadway because they postponed Choir of Men. Perry’s show was really good. Two days later we saw Choir of Men. That was excellent and well worth the price. And we also did the Wine Lovers Lunch. That was great as well. Even though they charge for these dinner shows, I think these are a great concept. And the venue is up close and personal. For New Year’s they had 3 different parties going on. One at Spice, the main pool deck, and in the atrium. All three were rocking out and celebrating. We bounced between them and had a good time. The only negative was the wine bar closed at 11 so you couldn’t get a good glass of Champaign for a toast. All the other bars were just serving this cheap Prosecco. Pools/Slides: I never really used any of the pools. We did use the “luke warm tubs” in Spice every day when we hung out there. Always meant to try the water slides but timing and weather really didn’t work out. We did the ropes course and that was fun and tiring. Hanging on for all that time really did give me an arm workout. If we had more days of warmer weather I would have probably tried the pools. Internet: Internet worked fine. I bought unlimited social package and it worked great for my needs. I really didn’t want to be tied to email while I was on vacation. But the system did allow my email to download a couple time during the cruise. Also like I mentioned before the app was great. Ships Staff: Everyone was great and some were amazing. There was a few not so much but they weren’t the norm. Fellow passengers: There were 5000 passengers onboard. Of those about 1800 kids. For the most part the kids weren’t an issue except for them being allowed at the late night parties. Ports: We stopped at Port Canaveral (overnight), Miami, Great Stirrup Cay, and Nassau. Went to Cocoa Beach at Port Canaveral, didn’t get off in Miami, beach day at Great Stirrup Cay, and walked around in Nassau. Disembarkation: After some debate I decided to do the last time slot for express walk off even though my train home wasn’t till noon. Easy process again. About 0730 I started making my way down to deck 7 with my luggage. It took a little time to catch an elevator as most people were heading down early. I waited outside O’ Sheehan’s for about 10 mins or so and they called my color. It was nice to see the guy checking to see if the people were the correct color. Walked off and continued to keep moving till I got to customs. I got to the front of my line and the CBP Agent decided to get up and leave. After a few minutes they moved us to another line. I walked to Penn Station from the port. Easy walk and I had plenty of time but from the time I was walking off the ship to Penn Station only took 45 mins. Issues: Really had no issues. A mild nuance with the poor job of my cabin steward and the whole dinner at Walmart night. The Taste dining room did charge me full price for a glass of wine when I had the UBP and guest services never fixed it. They just has excuse after excuse and said it would be removed later and it never was. Last thoughts: It was a good cruise and getaway over the holiday. I wouldn’t say NCL is my favorite but a nice cruise and I would sail with them again. Just not sure I like having to pre-book every meal and activity beforehand. It was a very relaxing cruise with good service which was what I needed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We were on the December 28th 9 day sailing on Escape. Ports included Orlando (overnight), Miami, Great Stirrup Cay and Nassau. This was my 17th NCL cruise. Previous cruises included Star (3x), Breakaway (3x), Jewel (2x), Getaway (2x), ... Read More
We were on the December 28th 9 day sailing on Escape. Ports included Orlando (overnight), Miami, Great Stirrup Cay and Nassau. This was my 17th NCL cruise. Previous cruises included Star (3x), Breakaway (3x), Jewel (2x), Getaway (2x), Jade, Gem, Epic, Sun, Dawn, and Spirit (reviews all on here). We had the opportunity to sail in the Haven on this cruise. We had sailed previously in the Getaway Haven and the Gem Haven, and had non-haven suites on Jade and Star (2x). I mention this as much of my review is about Haven and the comparisons to these other experiences. Escape Haven was the worst service we’ve had in the Courtyard and Restaurant of any sail. Ports were not the destination of this cruise for us. We wanted the ship and the Haven. We stayed on board all ports except for GSC. All I will say is that GSC was a great day and we highly recommend the Wave Runner tour. All of the reviews about it are true – you can go as fast or as slow as you want and it is all around fantastic and well worth the price! I’ll talk first about entertainment. After Midnight was just so-so for us. I expected to know more of the songs but I didn’t know any. The tap dancing was good, but the rest of it just really wasn’t our cup of tea. We stayed for the entire performance only to be polite. We really enjoyed The Brat Pack, but unless you are intimately familiar with all of the movies, none of the lines or references will make any sense to you. I’ve seen all of the movies except Weird Science probably 20+ times. That said, once was enough for us. We much prefer Rock of Ages on Breakaway to this show. JR on piano in the District Brew House is great. We also enjoyed Chelsea Taylor the one time we saw her. The bulk of our time was spent at Howl at the Moon which was fantastic. Marty was just ok, Ben very good, and Angela is phenomenal. Definitely not to be missed. We heard phenomenal reviews about Choir of Man and regret not springing for this dinner show. Next time for sure! Dining. We ate at Bayamo, LeBistro, Cagneys, Teppanyaki, and LaCucina. All were fantastic, and Bayamo was definitely worth the $12pp upcharge to your dining package. We had a 3 meal package plus our two coupons for being Plat Plus. The service in the specialties was excellent and better than the Haven. So now for the Haven. This was hands down our worst Haven experience in terms of Courtyard and Restaurant service. First, the positives as there were several. First, the room was gorgeous (a forward penthouse suite) and our Butler, Bagus, was great. No issues with service from him despite being outside of the Haven proper. Our Steward was also excellent. The highlight for us was Haven Bartenders Branko and Shah. They were social, entertaining and just all around great guys. Now for the bad. Now here’s the thing. If this was your first ever Haven experience you would probably not have an issue with some of this as you don’t know how good it could (and should) be. After having phenomenal service on our prior Haven & Suite sails, things just fell short. 1. Courtyard Valet. There is only one Valet, and we never saw him before noon. Occasionally servers from the bar area would come around but only did so after we complained to the Concierge that we were having to walk inside to get our own drinks. Again, if you were sitting at the large pool bar this was an improvement in that the bar was never crazy the way the large pool bar is. But you still should not have to go in an get your own drinks, they should be coming around every 15-20 minutes. This was our experience with the Valets on Gem and Getaway. There were always people, including us, that would be in wet bathing suits and robes or towels at the Haven Bar. Not once did we have to go to the Getaway Haven bar for our own drinks while pool side. Gem didn’t have a bar but the Valet was constantly there and our drinks were rarely empty. Also, in the mornings, used coffee cups and such would sit on tables for hours before being cleared as again, there was no valet service. I will note that we saw this most often on Port Days. But even if the majority of Haven guests are off ship, the service should not be diminished (or eliminated?) for those who chose to stay on board. What is shocking is that the Escape Haven is twice the size of Gem Haven yet they both only have one valet? How does that make any sense? Escape Haven is 3 decks, although technically only two would be serviced by the Valet. It is still too much space and too many people for just one Valet. The sheer volume surely contributed to the fact that the towel covers on each lounger were not regularly replaced at each chair. Often these would be wet from prior use by another guest. It was often necessary to place another towel on top to stay dry. 2. Restaurant. Holy cow this was the absolute worst service ever. We are used to the wait staff knowing us pretty much after day 1. Here it was absolutely chaos. On several occasions, we had to wait for a table with a restaurant sitting empty. One morning there was a line of about 5 couples waiting to get in, again, empty tables galore. In what I assume is an attempt to be accommodating, we’d have 3 different waiters come by to ask if anyone had gotten us our drinks or taken our order yet. Why isn’t one waiter assigned to a particular station? This resulted constantly in our table conversation being interrupted and us having to say “someone got it already”. This also removed the personal element that we feel you pay for by being in the Haven. Every morning it would take FOREVER to get our tea, coffee and milk despite this being the same order every single day. On Star, for example, the Maitre’D would see us coming in and would bring our tea and coffee to us within seconds of sitting down, without us even having to ask. We had the same waiters every day and one serving us, not 2 or 3. On Escape, breakfast averaged about an hour, lunch even longer. Very, very slow and others had commented on these same issues. One night, we ordered coffee and tea with dessert. The desserts came out and were long gone before the coffee and tea ever arrived. To make matters worse, the concierge was utterly useless. We voiced our complaints to him on at least 2 occasions, early on. While there were some improvements here and there the only result was for them to send flowers to the room and have even more people come to ask us if anyone had taken our order. Very strange. Getting nowhere with the Concierge, we then phoned his supervisor. We received a call back from Roland, the Assistant Hotel Director, who listened and agreed with us that this was unacceptable for the Haven. He said he would like to meet us and that he’d come by our table personally as he knew what time we’d be at LeBistro that evening. He further said he’d be our “ambassador” for the week and keep in touch with us. Well, Roland never came to meet us at dinner or any other time and we never heard from him again. This was on, I believe, day 4 of the cruise. Roland’s lack of follow thru of any kind was, quite honestly, shocking. We cruise NCL 3 to 4 times per year and enjoy the line and usually have gotten top notch service, particularly when an officer has been involved. This again was such a difference to us after experiencing incredible service from Concierges of the past (Suzanna and Anoop, specifically). We had a standing room service order every night that included pizza, to be delivered around 10pm. We repeatedly asked for the pizza to be well done. It came soggy and undercooked every night, and one time it didn’t come at all. I know our Butler was on top of this because we’d heard him phone it in. But because it comes at 10pm it’s brought by room service, not him or the night butler. One time it didn’t come until 1030 and we happened to be in the room that night and the pizza was already cold. Totally unacceptable. We were fine with it being cold at midnight or whatever time we rolled in as that was to be expected. But at the time of delivery it should be hot. 3. Haven access. On two occasions we saw teenagers in the Haven Courtyard hot tubs that were not part of the Haven. We reported one group and another passenger reported another group. They were removed, but why isn’t this being policed by the Concierges? Another reason to have a Valet to assist with these matters. Relative to the group we had removed, the Assistant Concierge merely came out and told them to leave. She then left the area before making sure they did indeed leave. I feel they should have been formally escorted out or that she should have at least waited until they left. They did ultimately leave but only after another 10 minutes went by. The courtyard was not busy at this time, and these individuals would have had to walk right by the concierge desk. At this point, it was also day 8 of the cruise. Shouldn’t they know by then who does and doesn’t belong? The rest of us passengers certainly did. Then the last night there was also someone at the Haven Bar who was not a Haven guest who had been invited in by a friend. This could have possibly been a dinner companion which I know is allowed with permission and usually payment for dinner so we did not say anything about this. As a suggestion to NCL, they should either do random card checks, have a double access door, or figure out a way to ensure the Haven door closes faster. The one on Escape is very slow. Anyone could easily be as far away as the elevator bank, see someone go in, and follow them in long before the door is even close to closing. The one particular group of teens we saw were loitering outside of this door. We did enjoy this cruise, but would probably not sail in the Haven again on this ship unless a different Concierge was assigned. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Family holiday cruise that left from NYC, so we did not have to fly anywhere. Our family had several teenagers who all had a great time. Cabins were clean and adequate. Dining good- nice to have the specialty restaurants- especially ... Read More
Family holiday cruise that left from NYC, so we did not have to fly anywhere. Our family had several teenagers who all had a great time. Cabins were clean and adequate. Dining good- nice to have the specialty restaurants- especially loved Cagney's. Entertainment was excellent- enjoyed After Midnight, Melba Moore, the Golden Octaves, Howl at the Moon, Comedians and the Choir of Man. Overall, service was also excellent. Thank you for the Interdenominational Service at Midnight on Christmas Eve. I do think there could be better attention to people with some physical limitations (not necessarily in a wheelchair). I was told by the excursion and guest service desks that the shuttle from the pier into Nassau did not start until after the excursion times, so I passed on a Nassau bus tour as I was concerned about how much walking I would have to do to get to the tour bus-I do not ever use a wheelchair, but cannot walk great distances so it would have been nice for the ship to arrange a shuttle to the tour bus. For safety reasons, we arrived later than expected in Florida, so i did not go to Canaveral, but took the bus to Cocoa Beach---not much to do there in the short time we had. The Atrium area was too crowded during days at sea, and seats were not always available. When weather permitted, hot tubs were overcrowded near the pool area, and those in the adult area did not , in my opinion, have adequate railings for exiting.......I had decided to stay on board one day hoping to use the hot tubs, but that didn't happen for the two reasons just mentioned..As staffing was limited those days, I was reluctant to go in the hot tub and have to ask a stranger to help me get out..... I chose the alcohol beverage package- it would be nice to include bottled water within that package..... Overall, staff were wonderful- our cabin steward was Lindl, who kept our cabin clean and stocked with necessities. It was fun to find his creative towel sculptures waiting for us when we returned to our cabin at night. I was delighted to have a room near the elevator, and even though it was December, I was able to take advantage of relaxing on the balcony when we were in the warmer climate. Thanks to Omar Salgado who listened to some of my concerns re Access issues, especially regarding the excursion issue in Nassau. If I were to leave from Manhattan again, I might take advantage of the wheelchair, but perhaps you would consider some type of golf cart/airport type shuttles for people with some mobility issues who don't usually use a wheelchair?? Several people could avail themselves of this at one time rather than one staff per person in a wheelchair... Also helpful were Deepak (the hotel director?), Kivanc Ucar, Charry Sabanal and thanks to all the chefs and sous chefs for the fabulous meals! I would travel again with Norwegian, but might ask more about access/mobility before the trip and, perhaps, ask for a wheelchair ( which I really would not like to do, as they should be reserved for people with greater need for same than me). Hopefully, Norwegian will consider some of the suggestions I have proposed. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Let's break it down the good and bad. We travelled from New York to Bahamas Good - Service, Food, Entertainment, Could be improved - Excursion activities, cost of it and length Bad - everything that had to do with boarding ... Read More
Let's break it down the good and bad. We travelled from New York to Bahamas Good - Service, Food, Entertainment, Could be improved - Excursion activities, cost of it and length Bad - everything that had to do with boarding and off boarding The service was above and beyond to say the least. They really take care of you, your cabin, and any public space. The food was better than expected. We didn't choose any upgrade in terms of food options. The complimentary options were already above par. There are lots of restaurants to choose from and the buffet offered both delicious food and variety of it. Excursion varieties could have been improved. Though there are a few activities to choose from, it felt like they were roughly the same at the end of the day.... Now, the frustrating part is the boarding and off boarding process. Both were extremely time consuming to say the least. Not only that, even the off boarding process at each port took a longggg time. At one location, it took us 2 hours to get off the boat and we missed the number one excursion that I was looking forward to... That really set me off... If this happens all the time, then tell us and change the excursion time ahead of time.... For initial onboarding, we arrived around 1PM, which was our original allotted boarding time, and finally boarded the ship at 3PM, which was the original departure time of the boat. The ship left the port 2 hours after the original planned time. As expected, they never recovered the lost time and that ate into our excursion time at almost every port. Not sure why they wont open up more counters to let people board earlier... it was a mess in the cruise terminal.... The off boarding took almost just as long, I would say around 1 hour to 1.5 hours. I get space are limited in the terminal, maybe open up more spaces so people can leave a bit faster? I have to believe that there are faster ways to do this.... Anyhow, other than the boarding process, everything was fantastic. We did meet some rude passengers on the ship, but these folks you get anywhere when you have a crowd over 5000... Nothing to worry about but something to keep in mind of Have fun cruising Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
NCL Escape gave us a good deal. It was our first experience. Customer service was very good. Cruise had lot of shows which were complimentary. We enjoyed the Kyle Martel magic show, Brat Pack show, After Midnight show, Choir of Man and so ... Read More
NCL Escape gave us a good deal. It was our first experience. Customer service was very good. Cruise had lot of shows which were complimentary. We enjoyed the Kyle Martel magic show, Brat Pack show, After Midnight show, Choir of Man and so on.... Food was delicious. Every day they had varieties even for vegetarians and for people who had food restrictions. Supervisors in the buffet section were helpful and ensured I got my pre-ordered food correct. From early morning till 12 midnight they had provided lot of entertainment. Cruise director was approachable. Every one of the management member on board were friendly. Room service was great. Housekeepers kept the cabin clean . Beautiful part is everyday we saw a new animal art made with towel placed in the bed. We enjoyed having the balcony and ocean view cabin. On the first day we received chocolates in the room which I felt was a nice gesture. Guest services whenever there was a difficulty helped us guiding to the right place. Guidance in the ports were organized. We missed one of the shore excursion as we reached late to Florida. Still they had an option to do different excursion. We could have had more choices. In one sentence, our first experience was a great experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was my second cruise with Norwegian and the first on the Escape (Getaway previously). I really enjoyed the additions to the Escape from the Getaway (mainly the District Brewhouse). We went on the 12 day Eastern Caribbean cruise from ... Read More
This was my second cruise with Norwegian and the first on the Escape (Getaway previously). I really enjoyed the additions to the Escape from the Getaway (mainly the District Brewhouse). We went on the 12 day Eastern Caribbean cruise from NYC with my wife and 14 month old son. SHIP: Wow this ship is awesome. There was so much to do that I still didn't see if all over our 12 night cruise. Everything was cleaned immaculately throughout the cruise. On the last night, I took a stroll around the ship for one last look and found a whole team of crew power washing everything on the main deck and the buffet was torn apart for cleaning and sanitizing. The staff does an excellent job maintaining the ship at all times during the cruise and everything was always clean and tidy. STAFF: All of the Norwegian staff were EXCELLENT in ensuring my wife and I had all the baby's needs met. This was a 12 day cruise and many members of the staff got to know my son by name and would always be sure to stop by and say hello to him while I was chasing him around the decks. I an an Engineer and struck up a conversation with the Chief Electrical Engineer and he gave me his busines card and took about an hour out of his day to sit down with me and have a detailed 1-1 technical discussion of the ship and design. WOW! I was't expecting that but just goes to show the level of customer service across all levels of the Norwegian Staff. Additionally, my wife and I had some trouble adjusting to the mattress in the room (coming from a sleepnumber at home, no other fellow guests had issues) and the Housekeeping staff came to our room about 45 minutes after calling the front desk with two new mattresses and egg crate foam toppers for the bed. The next day the Housekeeping Manager stopped by to personally ask about the new mattress to ensure we were comfortable and comped us free laundry service for the cruise due to our issue with the mattress. This was completely unexpected and unnecessary but the Manager insisted and we were grateful for their accommodation. DINNING We were offered the Ultimate Beverage Package and Dining package as a promotion when booking. The Beverage package was great and the bartenders excellent. They consistent had bartenders at all the main entertainment venues walking around taking orders and all the drinks were well made. My only complaint about the dining would be the large gap between the quality of food and service in the main dining room and specialty restaurants. The specialty restaurants were EXCELLENT (think Ruth Chris/Morton's quality). The Main Dining room food was ok but nothing compared to the specialty restaurants. I understand Norwegian needs to make a good reason for the upcharge for the specialty restaurants but think that might be impacting the food/service in the main dining room for the worse. The service in the main dining room was not consistent and not as personal as the other venues. I got the feeling the main dining room staff was being stretched to their limits which causes the slow service and lack of personal interaction such as in the specialty restaurants. We went to the buffet for breakfast and lunch pretty consistently and always found that they had a large selection of food and the tables were always bused quickly by the staff. The buffet did get crowded at times but that is expected for a ship of this size. ENTERTAINMENT I spent one night walking around the different bars/lounges of the ship and noticed that every single bar had live entertainment. The choices in entertainment were endless with comedians, dueling pianos, Broadway style stage shows, Magicians, Bands, solo artists, etc. Several of the main performers gathered large followings throughout the ship. The ship was definitely bumping every night and had a great vibe going. KIDS CLUB The staff and facilities in the Kids Club were EXCELLENT. They have a program called Guppies for Children 6 months to under 3 years. Each sea day they had two "Mommy and Me" style classes that each lasted 30-45 minutes. The staff running these programs did an excellent job over the 12 days organizing different and unique activities for the parents and children to participate in together. We did songs, games, art and of course bubbles! My 14 month old son loved the daily classes and we were able to meet several other families from this program and ended up many of us eating together for dinner every night. We met families with children attending the Splash Academy (over 3 to 13 years old) and they all said their children loved the Splash Program as well. We went with several families to the end-of-cruise show the children in Splash put on and the staff did an awesome job engaging the kids and creating an exciting atmosphere for them. OVERALL This was my second NCL cruise and we had a blast. The crowd on the 12 day cruise was a little older however we were able to meet families in our demographic (30-40 years old). I really like that NCL runs consistent promotions for Beverage/Dining/Kids Sail Free which is one of the reasons I would keep coming back to NCL. The Specialty dining is excellent and I would be temped next cruise to buy the package for more meals. My only complaint was the quality of service and food in the main dining room. The room was fine but nothing really stood out like the specialty restaurants. The service was slow and inconsistent as well. We did have some great attentive waitstaff in the main dining room and ensured to fill out comment cards recognizing their service. The specialty restaurants, entertainment options and personable staff more than made up for this complaint and would not stop me from cruising with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
The ship was clean. The food was very good. The cabin was clean, the steward was helpful and the cabin was fare for the money paid. The entertainment part could be better. The Only one show "The chore man" or 12 days is ... Read More
The ship was clean. The food was very good. The cabin was clean, the steward was helpful and the cabin was fare for the money paid. The entertainment part could be better. The Only one show "The chore man" or 12 days is unacceptable. Rest of shows were similar, but was worth to look only for one day. Watching such shows second time with little additions was not interesting. The thermal suite was very good. However, The spa service people were afraid to do more than expected. The knowledge of time and knowledge of regular services was not adequate. In order to have spa staff The sport activities were excellent. The excursions on the ship was too expensive, parts of excursions were not interesting. Taking same service on the island was less expensive and usually had more value.Some information should be verified, because expectations from the beach given from ship was partially incorrect. Too many service charges for every order. The water should be given for free.The Internet service was very good. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This cruise was originally supposed to have 6 ports; San Juan, st. Lucia, st. Kitts, Barbados, st. Thomas, and Roseau, Dominica. After final payment, itinerary was changed. San Juan was eliminated and Dominica was replaced with St. John, ... Read More
This cruise was originally supposed to have 6 ports; San Juan, st. Lucia, st. Kitts, Barbados, st. Thomas, and Roseau, Dominica. After final payment, itinerary was changed. San Juan was eliminated and Dominica was replaced with St. John, antigua. Overall, this was a very good cruise, but we were a little disappointed with the loss of one port and a total of 6 full days at sea. Having said that, this ship had great entertainment, friendly staff, and ultimately we had a great cruise. Specialty restaurants were excellent. The main dining rooms were good, not great, and the buffet was just okay. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly with little wait time. I would not recommend the scenic rail excursion in st. Kitts. It was very expensive and not worth it. Our mini suite had ample room and we had a great steward. The bed was awful though, and the mattress really needed to be replaced. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose this cruise for convenience of leaving from NYC and the dates which had no students on vacation. First time on mega ship and pleasantly surprised. Embarkation was easy. Lovely balcony cabin was under the gym but no noise from there. ... Read More
Chose this cruise for convenience of leaving from NYC and the dates which had no students on vacation. First time on mega ship and pleasantly surprised. Embarkation was easy. Lovely balcony cabin was under the gym but no noise from there. Most meals in the Manhattan Room. Service was nice and relaxed not rushed. Garden Café was fine and not a problem with seating. After the first rush of crowded elevators on day one elevators were not overcrowded. Also ate at Cagney"s,Teppanyaki, Le Bistro, O"Sheehans. Specialty restaurants as expected food was good and service nice. Enjoyed "After Midnight" but less so 'The Brat Pack". Enjoyed the lively disco on the casino floo,r.the parties at H2O, Levity comedy shows in the theater and at Headliners, and some groups in the Atrium. Had excellent help with wi-fi package (I left it on all night and used up my time!). Ports were good and happy that there were no tender stops. Problem is that most of the tours are too much for too little and much of what you see are just the market areas. I wish there were large sightseeing buses so that you could really SEE the ports .Barbados has a shuttle bus to the port marketplace and then a $2 taxi to town and back. The crew talent show was fun and the Q&A with Captain and Engineer informative. Service was generally very nice and I enjoyed talking with crew from around the world. Long line leaving the ship and took much longer than expected. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We had a wonderful time on this cruise on NCL Escape which left on December 9, 2018 from New York. We were previously on this ship in November 2017 when it departed Miami for a 7 day Western Caribbean Itinerary. This was our 3rd cruise ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on this cruise on NCL Escape which left on December 9, 2018 from New York. We were previously on this ship in November 2017 when it departed Miami for a 7 day Western Caribbean Itinerary. This was our 3rd cruise with NCL, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. My wife travels in a wheelchair with me, so we had to book this 2 years ago in order to secure one of the wheelchair accessible balcony cabins, which was wonderful as well. Embarkation of the ship was a breeze, and we arrived at our scheduled time of 10:30 AM, and were onboard with our bags dropped in the room by approximately 11:30. As soon as we got onto the ship we went for lunch which was great. Our dining experience on Escape was fantastic overall. We ate in many different venues of the ship, including the Manhattan Room, Cagney's, Le Bistro, Teppenyaki, Margaritaville, and the Garden Cafe. The majority of our dinners were eaten at the Manhattan Room which is on Deck 7, Aft. We had a wonderful waiter, Archinta Patra who looked after each and every one of our needs, and make sure nothing went wrong at all. We also had a great Maitre' D', Moises Fernandes, who ensured that nothing was missed during our dining experiences. We also had at the 4 night specialty dining package as well, and went to the specialty restaurants mentioned above, and all were great, both in service and food quality. For Port Excursions, we mainly did our own thing at each and every one of the ports. In St Thomas, we took a cab into town from the Havensight Cruise Terminal, and walked around the old town of Charlotte Amalie, which was very enjoyable. There are many interesting little shops and boutiques located there, and I would recommend it as a must if you haven't done it before. In Antigua, our second stop, I organized an Island Tour for both the Cruise Critic and Facebook cruise groups, through a local tour operator, Emelda Frank. She took us on a 5 Hour tour of the island, and we saw all the fabulous things that Antigua has offer, including the spectacular Shirley's Heights and Nelson's Dockyard. If you haven't been to Antigua before it is a must. The great thing about this tour is that she was able to accommodate my wife in her wheelchair, and we were able to experience everything that the island has to offer. Our next stop after this was Barbados, where I met up with an old high school friend, and he showed us around the island. Barbados is wonderful, and I would recommend doing an Island Tour if you have the chance. Our next stop was St Lucia, where we did a COSOL tour of the island which took the entire day. We started first thing in the morning at the ship, and saw the entire island for the most part, including the Volcano, Pitons, Sugar beach, a speed boat ride, rainforest drive, and many of the other beautiful scenery that the island has to offer. I would also highly recommend this tour as well. Our final port stop was Basseterre, St Kitts, where we went to Reggae Beach for the day. I am not a big fan of St Kitts, probably my least favourite island of the itinerary. The reason for this is, there isn't a lot to see and do if you've been there multiple times. I would recommend an Island tour the first time, but other than this, the island has some great beaches and a lot of adventure tourism, which we can't partake in, due to my wife's physical requirements. The on ship activities were very good overall. There were a couple of things that could have used a little bit of work in this department. My wife and I are big trivia fans, and we participate in pretty much all of the trivia events that are offered onboard during the sailing. The one thing that could be worked on here is repetition of questions. With exception of the Progressive Trivia and specialized theme trivia, we saw some of the questions multiple times. Perhaps they could add some more questions to the rotation perhaps so that this doesn't happen in the future. On our previous sailing on the escape last year, we were a big fan of the District Brew Pub, and the live entertainment that it would offer in the evening with a piano player. On this sailing, we tried the venue twice, and had to leave, due to the excessive volume of the piano, which drowned out the singer's voice, to the point we couldn't hear anything. Perhaps this could be improved in the future. The themed parties, ie 70's, 80's and 90's parties were OK, but not as good as the same events on the previous sailing last year. I think that this might have had to do with the cruise director's choices of music, as the director we had last year was exceptional, and the parties were unforgettable. The Service on the ship was wonderful as well. We experienced no issues at all from members of the crew, and the Hotel Directors staff including the Director, Deepak Punia, Assistant Director, Roland Schrock were both excellent, and made sure that all of our needs were looked after. Additionally, the Food and Beverage Director, Kivanc Ucar was fantastic as well. All in all they were excellent, and I would recommend the ship to anyone who asks. I would definitely book on Escape again, depending on the itinerary offered. To summarize, the cruise was very enjoyable, and we had no major issues during the sailing at all. Thanks again for a great cruise NCL. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
The time for this cruise was the best for me. I felt like the itinerary worked well for how long of a cruise it was. I don't have any specific complaints, there was no issues I had and overall it was an amazing experience! I have been ... Read More
The time for this cruise was the best for me. I felt like the itinerary worked well for how long of a cruise it was. I don't have any specific complaints, there was no issues I had and overall it was an amazing experience! I have been on numerous cruises before and I would say that they all have pros and cons. This ships pro (for me at least) was the staff, absolutely amazing! They always went above and beyond! The con would probably be dining options. I love the "freestyle" idea and actually I think they did a pretty good job with it. There should be more variety in terms of complimentary dining places. Also the food was good but I would not say great. The embarkation and disembarking process was very smooth compared to other ports I have left from. The ropes course is a must so! I wasn't sure I would want to do it but I'm so glad I did!! Read Less
Norwegian Escape Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Service 3.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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