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I have cruised 15 times prior to this cruise on 3 other lines so I have lots to compare my experience to. There are only a couple of areas that I thought were better than past cruises. PROS: * Selection of food at the Garden Café buffet. They have all types of hot, cold, international, grilled, soups, salads, sandwiches, etc. The staff there was also exceptional where they will bring you beverages or help carry your plate to your table. * Our O/V family stateroom had double sinks and a tub! (See more below in my cabin review) * Howl at the Moon piano bar was fantastic. * Bermuda, although very expensive, was absolutely gorgeous and would go back! * Heritage Wharf, where we docked, is a great little area if you want to some light shopping, eat and drink outside the ship without taking a cab. There's even a free trolley that makes stops along the way if you have difficulty walking. Also, Snorkel Park is a man made beach about a 5-7 min walk from the ship where they have chair and watersports rentals, food and drinks for $5 admission. The only bad thing is that it is VERY rocky to go in and out of the water, BRING WATER SHOES!! CONS: (This may take a while) 1) The embarkation process could have been so much faster had NCL had you set up your onboard account online. 2) Big issue with wine I put in my luggage. NCL policy on the site reads as follows "Guests may bring bottles of wine and champagne on board. When bottles are brought on board and served or consumed in any restaurant, public room area or in their stateroom, a corkage fee will be charged according to bottle sizes" When I opened my luggage I was greeted with a paper saying I violated the policy and my bottle was confiscated and will not be returned until I pay the fee or they will hold it until the end of the trip. WHAT VIOLATION??? You said I could bring it on board!!!! I spoke with management and they apologized and opened it free of charge. 3) No straws on board. In an effort to clean up the environment, NCL has stopped using plastic straws. This is a great thing but there should be a metal or paper replacement for those with medical conditions who need them and at least wooden stirrers to stir the drinks. 4) WiFi is horrific! My roommate got the Social Media package and paid $88 for a week of almost unusable service. 5) If you are not near the pool area, no one will come around to take a drink order. I was a deck over and a bit forward from the main pool for about 3 hours and not one person came by. 6) There is only 1 main pool which is about the size of my neighbor's pool. Try fitting 4,000 ppl around there. Aside from that, kids take over that pool and the hot tubs when they have their own water park and same size pool. 7) The design of the ship is absolutely horrible and it’s too just too big yet it was designed for a lot less people. a)There are only elevators at the front and back of the ship. I went with someone who uses a cane and has trouble walking a lot or using stairs. When she had to go from the middle of the ship on one deck to the middle on another deck, she would have to walk back to one of the elevator banks and walk back across. b) The buffet is set up only in the back of the ship whereas other ships have buffets spread out across the middle and back so you don't have to walk a mile for food and drinks. c) There is only 1 towel stand to get your pool towels from. d) THE JOGGING TRACK! My biggest pet peeve. How do you have a track going around a regular deck, just over the main pool, where there are lounge chairs, a restaurant, bar and even service bins being moved??!!! To avoid this I got up at 5:30AM only to find they had just hosed it down making it impossible to run without slipping because it's just a wooden deck (not a rubber track) UNREAL!!! e) The sliding doors do not open automatically, you had to tap a button on the door or wall. If you were carrying drinks or food, it was very inconvenient. f) We were lucky enough to have a cabin on the same deck as the kids clubs. They were running around top speed at all hours and even chose to start knocking the cabin doors at midnight. When we opened the door and yelled at them, they called the cabin and hung up. WHY WOULD YOU PUT KIDS ACTIVITIES ON THE SAME DECK AS CABINS???!!!! 8) They nickel and dime you for everything!! a) Subpar food in all dining rooms and service, while pleasant is EXTREMELY SLOOOOOOW! Breakfast, in less than half empty dining room, took more than 30 mins on 3 occasions; Waited 25 mins for drinks one night that came after the meal was served and on the last sea day I went to Food Republic for lunch to go as soon as they opened and ordered 3 items on the same ticket yet each one was brought to me 10 mins apart and they somehow seemed very confused. However, when we chose to pony up to go the a la carte Italian restaurant, the food was very good but the portions were on the small side. EX. My friend ordered the gnocchi app ($8) and there were 5, yes FIVE, regular sized gnocchi on the plate. I got the entree sized portion Linguini Cioppino ($15) and was rewarded with 1 clam, 1 mussel, and cut up pieces of shrimp and fish and about 4 forkfuls of pasta. b) Want to go to a show on board? You can catch a free one at 12:30PM or 6PM. Oh, what's that? You're out exploring the island, poolside or having dinner? No worries, you can pay us $20 to come at 9PM. c) Rip off shore excursions. $45 for a 4 hour trip to the popular beach about 30 mins away. No thanks, I went outside to the government regulated mini buses (Prices are posted and they cannot rip you off) and paid $7 each way and stayed the entire day. Bermuda island tour $109 PER PERSON for 5 hours through NCL...went the next day to the same stand and got a 6 hour tour for $60. BOOM! 9) The freestyle thing is not for us. We like going to the same dining room (with the exception of maybe another special meal), at the same time and having the same waiters that know your name and preferences. I like getting dressed up for dinner and going for "a night out" and I just didn't feel it on this ship. I've heard this is pretty much the way they operate all their ships so needless to say, we will not be back on NCL. Despite the mixed reviews, we gave it shot and were highly disappointed.

Bigger is not always better!

Norwegian Escape Cruise Review by merce426

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2018
  • Destination: Bermuda
  • Cabin Type: Family Oceanview Stateroom with Large Picture Window
I have cruised 15 times prior to this cruise on 3 other lines so I have lots to compare my experience to. There are only a couple of areas that I thought were better than past cruises.

PROS:

* Selection of food at the Garden Café buffet. They have all types of hot, cold, international, grilled, soups, salads, sandwiches, etc. The staff there was also exceptional where they will bring you beverages or help carry your plate to your table.

* Our O/V family stateroom had double sinks and a tub! (See more below in my cabin review)

* Howl at the Moon piano bar was fantastic.

* Bermuda, although very expensive, was absolutely gorgeous and would go back!

* Heritage Wharf, where we docked, is a great little area if you want to some light shopping, eat and drink outside the ship without taking a cab. There's even a free trolley that makes stops along the way if you have difficulty walking.

Also, Snorkel Park is a man made beach about a 5-7 min walk from the ship where they have chair and watersports rentals, food and drinks for $5 admission. The only bad thing is that it is VERY rocky to go in and out of the water, BRING WATER SHOES!!



CONS: (This may take a while)

1) The embarkation process could have been so much faster had NCL had you set up your onboard account online.

2) Big issue with wine I put in my luggage. NCL policy on the site reads as follows "Guests may bring bottles of wine and champagne on board. When bottles are brought on board and served or consumed in any restaurant, public room area or in their stateroom, a corkage fee will be charged according to bottle sizes" When I opened my luggage I was greeted with a paper saying I violated the policy and my bottle was confiscated and will not be returned until I pay the fee or they will hold it until the end of the trip. WHAT VIOLATION??? You said I could bring it on board!!!! I spoke with management and they apologized and opened it free of charge.

3) No straws on board. In an effort to clean up the environment, NCL has stopped using plastic straws. This is a great thing but there should be a metal or paper replacement for those with medical conditions who need them and at least wooden stirrers to stir the drinks.

4) WiFi is horrific! My roommate got the Social Media package and paid $88 for a week of almost unusable service.

5) If you are not near the pool area, no one will come around to take a drink order. I was a deck over and a bit forward from the main pool for about 3 hours and not one person came by.

6) There is only 1 main pool which is about the size of my neighbor's pool. Try fitting 4,000 ppl around there. Aside from that, kids take over that pool and the hot tubs when they have their own water park and same size pool.

7) The design of the ship is absolutely horrible and it’s too just too big yet it was designed for a lot less people.

a)There are only elevators at the front and back of the ship. I went with someone who uses a cane and has trouble walking a lot or using stairs. When she had to go from the middle of the ship on one deck to the middle on another deck, she would have to walk back to one of the elevator banks and walk back across.

b) The buffet is set up only in the back of the ship whereas other ships have buffets spread out across the middle and back so you don't have to walk a mile for food and drinks.

c) There is only 1 towel stand to get your pool towels from.

d) THE JOGGING TRACK! My biggest pet peeve. How do you have a track going around a regular deck, just over the main pool, where there are lounge chairs, a restaurant, bar and even service bins being moved??!!! To avoid this I got up at 5:30AM only to find they had just hosed it down making it impossible to run without slipping because it's just a wooden deck (not a rubber track) UNREAL!!!

e) The sliding doors do not open automatically, you had to tap a button on the door or wall. If you were carrying drinks or food, it was very inconvenient.

f) We were lucky enough to have a cabin on the same deck as the kids clubs. They were running around top speed at all hours and even chose to start knocking the cabin doors at midnight. When we opened the door and yelled at them, they called the cabin and hung up. WHY WOULD YOU PUT KIDS ACTIVITIES ON THE SAME DECK AS CABINS???!!!!

8) They nickel and dime you for everything!!

a) Subpar food in all dining rooms and service, while pleasant is EXTREMELY SLOOOOOOW! Breakfast, in less than half empty dining room, took more than 30 mins on 3 occasions; Waited 25 mins for drinks one night that came after the meal was served and on the last sea day I went to Food Republic for lunch to go as soon as they opened and ordered 3 items on the same ticket yet each one was brought to me 10 mins apart and they somehow seemed very confused. However, when we chose to pony up to go the a la carte Italian restaurant, the food was very good but the portions were on the small side. EX. My friend ordered the gnocchi app ($8) and there were 5, yes FIVE, regular sized gnocchi on the plate. I got the entree sized portion Linguini Cioppino ($15) and was rewarded with 1 clam, 1 mussel, and cut up pieces of shrimp and fish and about 4 forkfuls of pasta.

b) Want to go to a show on board? You can catch a free one at 12:30PM or 6PM. Oh, what's that? You're out exploring the island, poolside or having dinner? No worries, you can pay us $20 to come at 9PM.

c) Rip off shore excursions. $45 for a 4 hour trip to the popular beach about 30 mins away. No thanks, I went outside to the government regulated mini buses (Prices are posted and they cannot rip you off) and paid $7 each way and stayed the entire day. Bermuda island tour $109 PER PERSON for 5 hours through NCL...went the next day to the same stand and got a 6 hour tour for $60. BOOM!

9) The freestyle thing is not for us. We like going to the same dining room (with the exception of maybe another special meal), at the same time and having the same waiters that know your name and preferences. I like getting dressed up for dinner and going for "a night out" and I just didn't feel it on this ship.

I've heard this is pretty much the way they operate all their ships so needless to say, we will not be back on NCL. Despite the mixed reviews, we gave it shot and were highly disappointed.
merce426’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Family Oceanview Stateroom with Large Picture Window
Cabin O1 5746
Size was great for 3 people, 4 would be pushing it even though they said it could fit 5. There were 2 twin beds,a pullout sofa and a bunk bed that can come down from the ceiling. The bathroom was amazing! Double sinks and a full tub. It was however one of the cabins right over the disembarkation ramp to the island and being that we were there for 2 overnights, there was noise of people coming and going at all hours. The elevators, stairs and kids clubs were also close by so there was also that traffic.
Deck 5 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins