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So....where to begin. We were so looking forward to this cruise, having been on just two cruises previously, we we excited about the prospects of a big, state of the art ship and beautiful tropical beaches. Our only reference point was Princess Cruise Lines in Alaska and a Western Carribean cruise on NCL close to 20 years ago. After several weeks of pondering this review, I still cannot determine the target demographic for the theme of this boat. The ship is just entirely too big with a curious design. There were many features we looked forward too looking at the deck plans....the water slides, ropes course, pools. in reality, if there is anything more than a breeze, they shut down the ropes course. The water slides are packed, but the pool is the main tragedy. No one swims. The main pool is right up next to a big stage where "cruise director Tyler" emcees hypersexualized show after show to a hot, intoxicated audience. It is all so loud and unnecessary. The other areas of the ship were confusing. There is one small gift shop, surrounded by a high end camera store and jewelry/ watch store. Is a cruise ship really where you want to purchase a $3000 watch? The casino was nice, but a bit smoky, played a few hand of blackjack. The chandelier was pretty. They have the art auction rip off thing like other cruise ships. Did that once before. A small painting gets very expensive after framing and shipping. Next comes dining and entertainment. So a word to the wise.....book everything you can before you get onboard, or at minimum by day one. Apparently, there is no penalty for not showing up; but we were a bit miffed, learning that literally every show was booked by day 2 or beyond. Since you ships card isn't scanned until showtime, people just reserved everything. We saw one neat show the first night....then we were out of luck. We ate at the freestyle restaurants, but it doesn't matter which one you choose, because they all share the same menu. We didn't eat at any specialty restaurants because we couldn't get a table. We also miss a "formal" night, or a captain's dinner. Maybe something else NCL did away with. This morning buffet is a bit of a mess at prime time trying to compete for a place to sit. Cabin was fine. Unless you go all out for the captains suite, the rooms looked about the same. Storage is cramped and we were sleeping four. Can't expect much from 350 square feet. Nice "device" friendly room, but no drawers for clothes, just shelves. NCL really went downhill with service, primarily because you pay a flat fee - thus no incentive for staff to go the extra mile to assist. I don't know if other ships are doing this, but we adored the staff on Princess and NCL from years ago. I didn't even meet our steward. The ports / beaches were beautiful and the highlight of the cruise. Pay a cabbie to take you to a pretty beach and save hundreds avoiding the excursions. Word to the wise, bring your snorkeling gear - availability is variable from beach to beach. Also, if you chose an excursion....try doing it on your own. Booking it through the ship costs an extra $25 to $50 per person. Beware of some of the stoned locals on the USVI. One guy came up to me accusing me (an American) of stealing his land. Keep an eye on your belongings. Embarking and disembarking went smoothly. Despite the comments above, we had a great time as a family. As we we traveled with our teenage son and daughter and parents in their mid seventies. Perhaps this an overly harsh criticism, but between airfare and expenses...the experience should have been a bit nicer. Glad we went. Wouldn't choose NCL again. Not classy or elegant. Will save up next go round and choose something a bit higher end.

MTV Spring Break with 4200 of your closest friends.....

Norwegian Escape Cruise Review by HappyJack3011

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2017
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
So....where to begin. We were so looking forward to this cruise, having been on just two cruises previously, we we excited about the prospects of a big, state of the art ship and beautiful tropical beaches. Our only reference point was Princess Cruise Lines in Alaska and a Western Carribean cruise on NCL close to 20 years ago. After several weeks of pondering this review, I still cannot determine the target demographic for the theme of this boat. The ship is just entirely too big with a curious design. There were many features we looked forward too looking at the deck plans....the water slides, ropes course, pools. in reality, if there is anything more than a breeze, they shut down the ropes course. The water slides are packed, but the pool is the main tragedy. No one swims. The main pool is right up next to a big stage where "cruise director Tyler" emcees hypersexualized show after show to a hot, intoxicated audience. It is all so loud and unnecessary.

The other areas of the ship were confusing. There is one small gift shop, surrounded by a high end camera store and jewelry/ watch store. Is a cruise ship really where you want to purchase a $3000 watch? The casino was nice, but a bit smoky, played a few hand of blackjack. The chandelier was pretty. They have the art auction rip off thing like other cruise ships. Did that once before. A small painting gets very expensive after framing and shipping.

Next comes dining and entertainment. So a word to the wise.....book everything you can before you get onboard, or at minimum by day one. Apparently, there is no penalty for not showing up; but we were a bit miffed, learning that literally every show was booked by day 2 or beyond. Since you ships card isn't scanned until showtime, people just reserved everything. We saw one neat show the first night....then we were out of luck. We ate at the freestyle restaurants, but it doesn't matter which one you choose, because they all share the same menu. We didn't eat at any specialty restaurants because we couldn't get a table. We also miss a "formal" night, or a captain's dinner. Maybe something else NCL did away with. This morning buffet is a bit of a mess at prime time trying to compete for a place to sit.

Cabin was fine. Unless you go all out for the captains suite, the rooms looked about the same. Storage is cramped and we were sleeping four. Can't expect much from 350 square feet. Nice "device" friendly room, but no drawers for clothes, just shelves.

NCL really went downhill with service, primarily because you pay a flat fee - thus no incentive for staff to go the extra mile to assist. I don't know if other ships are doing this, but we adored the staff on Princess and NCL from years ago. I didn't even meet our steward.

The ports / beaches were beautiful and the highlight of the cruise. Pay a cabbie to take you to a pretty beach and save hundreds avoiding the excursions. Word to the wise, bring your snorkeling gear - availability is variable from beach to beach. Also, if you chose an excursion....try doing it on your own. Booking it through the ship costs an extra $25 to $50 per person. Beware of some of the stoned locals on the USVI. One guy came up to me accusing me (an American) of stealing his land. Keep an eye on your belongings.

Embarking and disembarking went smoothly. Despite the comments above, we had a great time as a family. As we we traveled with our teenage son and daughter and parents in their mid seventies.

Perhaps this an overly harsh criticism, but between airfare and expenses...the experience should have been a bit nicer.

Glad we went. Wouldn't choose NCL again. Not classy or elegant. Will save up next go round and choose something a bit higher end.
HappyJack3011’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Ages 13 to 15
Ages 16+
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Mid-ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MC
Mini suite w/ tiny balcony.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins