Norwegian Escape Cruise Review by Kroosin
- Sail Date: January 2019
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom
We got an e-mail from Norwegian to please arrive to board between 12:30 and 1:00 PM. We got to the pier at 12:25 and had to line up outside the terminal for 45 minutes just to check our luggage. We then had a one hour line inside the terminal to check in. There was a separate line for the Haven people who were checked in the moment they came inside. Once we finally got to the desk we were told that our medical form had been filled out in red ink (the only pen the girl behind me had to lend ) had to be in blue. When we were finally cleared to board we got to the door that would lead to the elevators but we were turned away from that door -- it was reserved for the Haven people. We finally got to our floor but it was closed our room wasn't quite ready. Even though they had sent us that e-mail to please report two hours before.
The Escape is very crowded. The passage ways are very narrow, it's hard for two people to pass we were constantly ducking in to doorways to let others go by or they did that for us. If the stewards carts' were in the hallways we had to squeeze by sideways. We went to the Atrium several times but were never able to get a seat, even with the extra seating on the floor above. Everything in the Atrium was too loud you could hear the games or the music all the way down the ship.
We had a great balcony cabin 12-132 and a terrific room steward, Ronaldo.
Debarkation was worse than the embarkation. We chose the last departure time and expected a more relaxed exit. We were due to leave at 9:00 but they were very late. Were weren't called to line up until 10:00. We went to the 7th floor and waited an hour to get off the ship. We then waited outside in the rain until for twenty minutes before entering the terminal collecting our bags and heading out.
This cruise had several problems that were not the fault of Norwegian. Noro Virus hit our ship hard taking a toll on a number of crew members as well as passengers, but NCL didn't handle it very well. There was nothing anyone could do about the undertow that blocked us from the Bahamas. The government shut down may have contributed to the slow debarkation. There were only five people at the passport checking stations but adjustments could have been made rather than lining up all those people to stand around waiting to leave.
The dining room was very slow, particularly on the last 5 or 6 days. I don't want to criticize the staff they really tried their best. It seemed like NCL was requiring them to do double and triple duty. The staff had to make up for the sick members of their teams and did the work of maintenance workers sanitizing tables and chairs after passengers finished eating.
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