Norwegian Escape Cruise Review by Scallywags22
- Sail Date: August 2019
- Destination: Bermuda
- Cabin Type: Mid-ship Balcony Stateroom
I have to say I was getting a little worried when I started reading recent reviews, but then I reminded myself to be open minded. I am a true believer that every vacation is what you make it!
The embarkation was so easy and very efficient, this time they split the embarkation/ check in into two groups depending on cabin floor, which created shorter lines to get room key and then to get onto the ship.
The ship was beautiful, with some areas that maybe can use some retouching, but thats to be expected with the amount of passengers that come through weekly. But I found it easy to navigate and plenty of signs to guide passengers. Don't get me wrong, it's a huge ship, so sometimes it gets confusing, but there is a diagram by the elevators that show each floor, especially for the dining rooms and bars.
Cabin was a balcony cabin midship, level 11. Loved my cabin it was clean and as roomy as you can expect for a ship cabin, you walk in the bathroom is right there, then the bed with a closet next to it, and then couch before the balcony door, on opposite side was a small vanity with small shelves, the mini bar and TV on wall. The closet has decent space for clothing, and what I did was use my suitcase as a draw and slid under bed. Our room steward Veeraj was awesome and very attentive.
So, I was a little worried here because of all the reviews/ complaints about reservations and such. I am not sure what people complain about because I had NO trouble with obtaining reservations at ANY of the dining rooms. I made 3 reservations prior to boarding the ship, but the rest were made once on ship, and they never gave us an issue, and that is with a large party! Every restaurant was accommodating, my recommendation is that if you like to eat during prime time 7-730 make reservations early on, Personally I like eating early and the 5-545 reservations were perfect. The staff at all the restaurants were on point. Polite, and went out of their way to make our meals perfect.
Moderno- Great salad bar and the meats were great quality, and not heavy on salt. the cheesy bread is amazing
La Cucina - Way too much food,( I had meal plan, included 5 courses) the pizza is great to share with a few people. The pasta carbonara was divine.
Cagneys- What can I say , my favorite meal, I had the surf and turf, and the filet was cooked perfectly. The apple crisp for desert was my favorite
Taste/ Savor- ate at both restaurants and the food was good, smaller portions but filing. The deserts there were not my favorites.
O'sheehans- So we decided to skip the buffet this trip and the majority of my group ate breakfast here every morning, The staff was exceptional, especially the maitre'D , Leandra. She went out of her way to make us feel welcome and personally greeted us every morning. The younger adults in my group also raved about the late night snacks/ wings/ and . ice cream served there
Margaritaville: Food was excellent and the charge was cheapt at $15 pp. The Nachos are delish.
My one complaint about the dining, is I wish the specialty Restaurants were open for lunch, but thats a personal opinion.
I love my drinks, and I had many over the course of the week, all of them were tasty and well made, I will say that the bar staff does seem overwhelmed, and could use some more help, especially the first couple of days, maybe even having more servers around the pool for drinks would alleviate the mob around the bars. A few times I would have bartenders who were borderline snotty, but most of them were fantastic. My favorite drinks are the painkiller, mudslide, Bahama mama, margaritas. I did try a few drinks from margaritaville, I cant recall the name of them.
Okay, big downside here, there are 2 small pools one for adults/ one for kids. the adult pool was very packed, which it were bigger, especially with size of ship!
My husband and I purchased the spa package, unfortunately the first time we tried to use it people were reserving the heated loungers while they were not there, this was very annoying! I did get to enjoy it once or twice, and the thermal pool was wonderful. Don't think I would spend the $200 again, unless it was a winter cruise. PS. Do Not Recommend this for handicapped people. My in laws tried to use it, as they are both wheel chair bound, and it was challanging for them because of the height of the loung chairs, and the tiles were very slippery, they did not feel safe moving in the room, thankfully NCL refunded them since they couldn't use it .
The choir of men show was great, the comedians also were a hit, howl at the moon, the piano dueling was also fun. The after midnight show was horrible in my opinion, while the performers were definitely talented, there was no storyline, I wasn't a fan, but a few people in my group did enjoy that. There ware some fun events throughout the week that were fun and many passengers participated in, the theme night parties in H20 were great , although they got packed out quick.
Overall the service was great, we went to customer service about a small mistake and they were very sweet, and made every effort to get to the bottom of it. Never had long wait there. We also dealt with the Cruise Next staff, and they also were fantastic with the questions I had. Highly recommend purchasing this if you plan to cruise in next few years. this is my second time using the cruise next vouchers.
The elevators are a bit slow, I prefer the stairs,,but with wheelchair family, we had to rely on them.
Tons of opportunity for pictures, I just hated picking a few. I wish they would offer all the pictures digitally for one price! Just my opinion.
Port: Went to Bermuda, was beautiful as always. This is my third trip there. People in my party went to horseshoe bay/ tobacco bay and said the beaches were wonderful, with a ton of fish swimming alongside. There is a wave-runner vendor right outside the ship that a few of us went on, and it was a blast. the shops around the dockyard are also cute , overall Bermuda is pricey when it comes to shopping. There are ferries cheap ($5) to take to Hamilton or St.George for more shopping. I preferred to hang on the ship for 2/3 days at port, which was lovely because the pool was basically empty! and plenty of lounge chairs available.
WOW is all I can say, last time I was on the ship with a group was 3 years ago and it was a complete hot mess with disembarkation. I was so nervous, but the system they set up to get the passengers off the boat in a safe manner without tons of lines is incredible. We were off an hour earlier than we thought, and our luggage retrieval went off without a hitch, and even customs was a breeze, I was completely shocked! Way to go NCL, obviously they listened to the complaints from the past cruisers!
Overall I am so happy with the entire trip, we had a blast, and we are already booked on another cruise, the Encore 01/2021! Cant wait!
For the future Escape Cruisers keep an open mind and you will have fun.
If you have questions feel free to ask me
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