Sail Date: April 2018
We went on the NCL Escape April 7-14 2018. We were disappointed that our itinerary was changed due to the hurricanes of 2017, especially because other ships were able to go that week. The ship is stunning and we had no bad experiences, it ... Read More
We went on the NCL Escape April 7-14 2018. We were disappointed that our itinerary was changed due to the hurricanes of 2017, especially because other ships were able to go that week. The ship is stunning and we had no bad experiences, it was just our first time on one of the larger ships and we felt it was very crowded. The ropes course was an unexpected highlight of the trip. I was also able to get on the slides one day after coming back to the ship early and those were pretty fun as well. The shows (especially Brat Pack, as I’m a huge fan of the breakfast club) were the best I’ve ever seen on a cruise ship. The service in the restaurants was not the best, but we had a group of 8 people so we mostly understood. We ate in the main dining room for breakfast once and did not do it again, as it took over an hour to get our food. Overall, a fun experience and we feel the pros outweighed the cons, although we may stick to the smaller ships in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
To attend a wedding. I rated some categories low, mostly because of constant loud music, smokey atmosphere on a non-smoking ship, and many rude foul-mouthed passengers. Children behaved better than many of the adults. Our cabin ... Read More
To attend a wedding. I rated some categories low, mostly because of constant loud music, smokey atmosphere on a non-smoking ship, and many rude foul-mouthed passengers. Children behaved better than many of the adults. Our cabin steward, Alex, was terrific keeping our room pristine. Food in the specialty restaurants was wonderful and the dueling pianos were fun. Service was attentive but not annoying. We wanted to see the show, "After Midnight" but it was up only the first two nights and we did not know that. Fun playing trivia and swimming in the very back pool with grown ups. The yoga teacher did a great job and I worked out some kinks from the insane Dunn's Falls trek up the rocks. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Let me start by saying that we absolutely love Norwegian and the Escape has always been our ship of choice. This past cruise however was a bit disappointing. There were a few things that really stuck out to us and really prompted me to ... Read More
Let me start by saying that we absolutely love Norwegian and the Escape has always been our ship of choice. This past cruise however was a bit disappointing. There were a few things that really stuck out to us and really prompted me to write this review. I'll start with the good. Embarkation and Debarkation were a breeze. We arrived at the port at 11am and were on board by 11:15. At the end of the cruise we left our room at 9:00 and were in a taxi by 9:15.Our balcony cabin was beautiful and we had great service from our room steward. We did specialty dining at Teppanyaki, Cagneys and La Cucina and they were fabulous as always. No complaints there. The buffets were good and we ate at Taste and the Manhattan Room as well. All positive experiences. We saw some great comedy on the ship as well. Keith was absolutely hilarious and I would highly recommend checking out his show. We checked out Beau Tehana at the District a few nights and he was great. Very interactive and he played great music. Definitely check him out if you get a chance. Now to the not so great. We have always loved NCL for the entertainment. This cruise was the worst we've seen. Our Cruise Director Scott was boring and awkward. Not much of a personality. He wasn't visible and was always very odd He didn't host the main pool game or a lot of the other games in the Atrium. We only saw him once getting off/on at port which I found odd. He never engaged the audience and without King or Terry nobody would have participated in anything. We've cruised with several really great CD's and he didn't even compare. Tyler Gray was always our favorite and seems that ever since he left the Escape the entertainment has suffered. This cruise also didn't do a lot of the normal Norwegian games that everyone loves. There was no "Miss Norwegian" and the sexy legs was also underwhelming. We typically love sitting and watching Karaoke as well and both nights that we went there were no singers so we left within 10 minutes. Another issue we saw was the DJ. He really only played Latin music that nobody knew so the dance floor was always open. We only heard the Cupid Shuffle once and we didn't hear The Wobble the entire week. These two have always seemed to by main stays but they were definitely missing on this one. Even at the Glow Party when everyone was up and ready to party they played about 5 songs that everyone knew and then switched to Latin music and everyone cleared out, really disappointing. The 80's party was pretty average and Norwegians Night out as well. Nothing super memorable. Another thing to note if you plan on cruising the Escape is the pool chair situation. We had to get up to get chairs WELL before 8am or they were all gone. We did have an older crowd on this ship and they were up super early taking up all the good seats. NCL is also now tagging chairs with times and removing your belongings within 60mins. A little annoying when breakfast can easily take longer than this and then you're without a chair for the entire day. Overall we didn't have a horrible cruise but we definitely didn't have a memorable one. The Entertainment has definitely changed on this ship and it was well below our expectations of a NCL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Went on a family vacay with 19 other family members. Cruise itself was just average, nothing really to write home about. However, was promised a $100 onboard credit from our cruise rep, never came thru. Neither did any of the other credits ... Read More
Went on a family vacay with 19 other family members. Cruise itself was just average, nothing really to write home about. However, was promised a $100 onboard credit from our cruise rep, never came thru. Neither did any of the other credits for the rest of our group *over $1200. Family member who arranged our cruise actually called from the cruise ship to try and get it taken care of, was told by the rep he was helping another customer, she would need to call him back. She let him know she was calling from the cruise ship, he said she would still need to call him back. Even the guest service person could not believe it! Other than that for such a large ship, could not believe there was only one adult pool. Staff got kind of tired at the end, but that is kind of to be expected. Nothing really to write home about. Recommend you buy the all you can drink package if you're going to take this Cruise. Drinks can get expensive after a while. Bar staff at the pool was incredible, always polite, always got everything right. Actually caught one waiter at our dinner table rolling his eyes at us one night when we kept asking for our water to be refilled (last night of the cruise), but most of the staff was over all friendly and went out of their way to help us, as one family member has mobility and hearing issues Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
I cannot compliment the staff service enough on this cruise. They were extremely attentive and friendly and it was the saving grace for the cruise. We appreciated the staff giving out wet towels, flavored water, jello and ices at the ... Read More
I cannot compliment the staff service enough on this cruise. They were extremely attentive and friendly and it was the saving grace for the cruise. We appreciated the staff giving out wet towels, flavored water, jello and ices at the various ports of call during embarkation. it was a nice cooling touch! the itinerary was good, we had the $50 per port credit. the shore excursions were good, however, I did think they were a little pricey. activities-there is ONE SMALL pool. forget about even getting your feet wet. the rope course is closed a lot due to windy weather (replace it with a pool!); mini golf ok, H2o deck underused except for dancing at night, can't rate the slide as couldn't get on it. a lot of the entertainment is held in the atrium, they need to rethink this. it's way too small for the more popular shows/games. the movies (again held in the atrium) are older. the musicians are fair, the comedians are good, the after midnight show is good, brat pack is all over the place, supper club entertainment is good and escape from the big top is challenging. there are only 3 non related ship channels on your in room tv. there is a lot of gaming on the ship, every time you turn around they are selling raffle tickets, bingo cards, deal or no deal cards, lotto tickets in the casino - you get the idea. Food - good variety, selection changed daily. dining rooms nice. However, if you have a gluten allergy, plan on ONLY eating in the dining room and ordering 24 hours in advance for your meals (good luck getting a supervisor to take your order in under 40 minutes). not their fault-it's just they are busy. Buffet should have a station having a few different allergy offers. Elevators were very slow and out of a bank of 8, I think we got on the same 2 the whole week. A decent ship with a nice itinerary, good food and an excellent staff. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
I have always cruised with Norwegian and have never had any major issues. This time there was a lot of unfortunate incidents. I think I will stick with the smaller ships like the Jewel and Pearl. There is just too many people on these big ... Read More
I have always cruised with Norwegian and have never had any major issues. This time there was a lot of unfortunate incidents. I think I will stick with the smaller ships like the Jewel and Pearl. There is just too many people on these big ships to be able to enjoy yourself. If you do not reserve the specialty dining long before the cruise, you will not bet a reservation. You also have to reserve any shows that you want to see or your waiting on standby to see if you might just be able to get in. This is hard when your traveling in a group of 13 people. Some of the people in my group were told that the fee's for the gratuities were not paid which each of the 3 cabins had paid when the cruise was booked. The staff seemed overwhelmed as this was happening to a lot of people. The embarkation and disembarkation did go smooth which was nice. Waiting for an elevator on one of these big ships was unreal. People would run to get in front on you on the elevator. There was a lot of rude people on this cruise which I understand is no fault of yours. I will continue using Norwegian as I have never tried any other cruise line but do enjoy the smaller ships. I worked hard to become a gold member but I sure did not feel like a gold member on this cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
First vacation in a few years with the family. We have parents which are mid 50’s and 2 young adults, 23 and 25. Embarkation was easy but they separate you by terminal even if traveling together in a family. Parents were in the haven and ... Read More
First vacation in a few years with the family. We have parents which are mid 50’s and 2 young adults, 23 and 25. Embarkation was easy but they separate you by terminal even if traveling together in a family. Parents were in the haven and had expedited check in while I and my sister took about 25 mins to get onboard. No big deal. Ship was beautiful always clean and staff was friendly. We stayed in a mini-suite and enjoyed the double sink and nice shower. Room was big, sat on the balcony a few times and beds were soft. Saw our house keeper maybe 3 times during the whole cruise but always made the bed and gave us towels when needed. Haven for the parents was incredible. Amazing service, always a friendly smile and the staff always tries to help with accommodations. If you are on the fence if you should upgrade to it or not, do it. Bed was big and comfortable, has own tanning area, pool always had kids but hot tubs were nice. Food was tasty but we did feel they were trying to nickel and dime you over everything. We got sick of buffet by the 4th day. We did have the food package which gave us 3 meals in specialty. Le Bistro was good and tasty. Moderno was unreal. Amazing best meal on the ship during the week. We used the last for the dinner show. AVOID AT ALL COSTS. NOT WORTH THE PRICE/TIME. We were disappointed by the entertainment. After Midnight had no structure or story at all. If I didn’t know the background before and went in blind, would have never knew it was supposed to be acts that were performed at the Cotton Club-4/10. Brat Pack were amazing, great movie references, great soundtrack and actors were good at their job-9/10. Howl at the moon were good every night we went. Saw the comedians once in the big show room but nothing too extraordinary that we haven’t seen before. Other than that there wasn’t much more to do on the ship at night besides the late night staples of karaoke, DJ party (not in a club but a lounge turned into a club area) or gambling. Ports were Okay. Jamaica we stayed on the boat. We’ve all done Dunns river falls and if we wanted to do it again, it was a 1.5 hour bus ride each way. Grand Cayman we did snorkeling and Sting Ray excursion. Don’t do it through the ship, save yourself 50% by booking it right as you walk off. Mexico we did Beach Excursion which was an all inclusive with pool, drinks, beach and chairs. Nice day but be away there are vendors trying to sell you everything and anything even while relaxing. Bahamas we did Blue Lagoon which was wonderful. Whole clear beach with decent food and pricy drinks. Floats and tubes are free. We got there after Carnival did so at the end of the day all of the carnival people went back and we had the beach area 50% less full for about 1.5 hours. Overall I would give the whole experience 3.5 out of 5. Not the best cruise but not the worst. Would sail with NCL again but more likely in the Haven only if so. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose the cruise at the suggestion of our travel agent for Norwegian's reputation as a family friendly cruise line. The food was quite good, the staff was friendly and service oriented, and the ship offered an array of amenities. ... Read More
We chose the cruise at the suggestion of our travel agent for Norwegian's reputation as a family friendly cruise line. The food was quite good, the staff was friendly and service oriented, and the ship offered an array of amenities. The one experience that negatively colored the trip was a bad haircut at the spa and guest service's unwillingness to do anything to correct it. When the spa itself refused to refund the haircut, guest services looked at me blankly and indicated that they couldn't do anything about it because the spa was run separately. This lack of ownership for the overall experience was aggravating. This was my only experience with guest services. Nonetheless, this experience was set against a good context for family bonding, good excursions (particularly in Jamaica - the blue water hole), and good entertainment (i.e., The Company Men, Escape Room, Bingo, etc.). Room and restaurant staff were highly accommodating and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
Well, we choose this cruise because someone recommended it to us, we never cruised before, spend thousands of dollars on hotels, so we decided to try something different. The staff was very polite and friendly, but you can tell that ... Read More
Well, we choose this cruise because someone recommended it to us, we never cruised before, spend thousands of dollars on hotels, so we decided to try something different. The staff was very polite and friendly, but you can tell that they aren’t happy at what they do. You can tell by their demeanor ( my opinion) The food was good, the ship was clean and well kept, communication was great, our problem was, the cost was not clearly stated, so that a person working with a budget can actually be satisfied. The bar is expensive, water is expensive, they charge, a per person per day for cleaning fees, although two or more people share one! Room. Getting on and off the ship for port stops was relatively smooth, but we didn’t part take in the activities, as we were working with a budget, We settled our onboard account with the little cash we had, and the most distasteful part was the disembarkment, we we singled out by the ship security, to undergo extra search by customs and border control, so by this you guess it, we are ( African Americans) yes, not a cruise for blacks, you don’t know what card can play, it was embarrassing for me and my wife , having dogs sniffing through our bags and been patted down. Still trying to wrap my head around why us. But I will never sail with Norwegian Again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
We just got back from our 7-day Carribean cruise on the Escape. We brought a large group (21 in all) of family - myself, my wife, two kids, her brother, parents and two aunts, and some cousins. Our son is moderately autistic - calm and ... Read More
We just got back from our 7-day Carribean cruise on the Escape. We brought a large group (21 in all) of family - myself, my wife, two kids, her brother, parents and two aunts, and some cousins. Our son is moderately autistic - calm and sweet, but has trouble paying attention or following group instruction. One of the first things we did when we got on board was check into the kids club, where we had a short talk with the directors there about our son and what they could expect. He's self-sufficient and will absorb himself in an individual activity when one is available, and we were told that was fine. That lasted exactly one trip to the club, after which we were told that his disinterest in group activities made it a problem for him to be in the club and that "they can't provide one-on-one care." Since we weren't asking for that and he doesn't need it, this was a bit of a shock. What they had really told us was that they couldn't keep an eye on the whole of their club, since for our son's safety that's all they'd need to do. The issue wasn't one of age groups leaving the club to do ship-walks - we avoid those anyway (he does elope sometimes and needs to be in an enclosed space, which the club is.) This was an issue of the club being understaffed to the point that there were areas that would go unsupervised for stretches of time. While the cruise was Spring Break and there were as a result a LOT of kids on board (we were told between 1700 and 2500 total) this does not fly as an excuse. Spring Break cruises are substantially more expensive - if more staff is needed to properly handle the kids' club that week, more money has been collected. It should be staffed. And the kids' club is the same size, and maxes out at 190 kids, no matter how many are on board. We were extremely disappointed to be told that because there were so many kids, they couldn't give a sideward glance to ours, and singled him out for his special needs, which in an entertainment-packed, enclosed space, drop to zero in any case. This is a shame, because other aspects of the ship are fantastic. There's so much to do on Lido and above that, in spite of the truckload of minors, wait lines for everything were astonishingly short. We never waited more than 5 minutes to ride a slide, get on the mini golf course or use the ropes course. My (not special needs) daughter, I'm sure, would give the cruise all 5 stars. The food is exceptional at all the specialty restaurants we tried, and their one minor mistake (bringing me a well-done steak when I ordered medium rare) was corrected in less than 2 minutes. I'd highly recommend the drink package, if it's included or reasonably priced - not having to sign for every cocktail is an underappreciated joy, and most of them are included. The cabin we had was on the small side, but if you do a little pre-cruise research like my wife did, you can jam all your travel gear into it for 2 adults and 2 kids and not have any in the walkways. Good service abounds pretty much everywhere you go, whether it's getting on or off the ship, dining, or at the bars and lounges, where we were approached several times and asked by cruise directors how everything was going. (I didn't raise my concerns about the kids' club to them at the time, and kind of regret missing that opportunity). The only shore excursion we were able to do through the ship was the Jamaican bobsled and Dunn's River Falls in Ocho Rios, and it was seamless and an eyeful. Norwegian is doing passengers a disservice by docking in Falmouth - Ocho Rios is maybe the most beautiful port I've seen anywhere in the Caribbean, and you can see it from the top of the mountain where the bobsled runs. (To be fair, our itinerary was changed due to damage from Irma and Maria last year, and Falmouth may have been a fallback from Ocho Rios due to port space). We were also supposed to tender at Great Stirrup Cay, but seas were too rough to run the tenders, and based on conversations we've had, it's a common enough occurrence that this should only be considered half a port; there's a very good chance you won't go at all. We steamed to Nassau early instead. Overall I really want to give a high rating to this ship, and if you're traveling alone or with neurotypical kids you'll probably love it. If one of your tykes is on the spectrum or needs anything resembling personal attention from the kids' club staff, though, expect to have them with you for pretty much the whole cruise. We didn't (and shouldn't have), and it put a pretty sizable dent in what was otherwise an excellent sailing. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
This was our first time on such a large ship. It will also be our very last time. The size of this ship caused it to beToo noisy, too busy and too chaotic. The pluses were the anytime dining which was well done. The negatives include ... Read More
This was our first time on such a large ship. It will also be our very last time. The size of this ship caused it to beToo noisy, too busy and too chaotic. The pluses were the anytime dining which was well done. The negatives include the cigarette smoking policy e which permeated throughout the atrium and some of the specialty restaurants, art exhibits, the small size of the rooms (shoe box) --and we had a mini suite and no place for outside dining in the buffet., We are LONG time cruisers on many lines and this was the first time we felt nickeled and dimed to death such as $7.95 charge for room service, not to mention the exorbitant charge if you wanted to watch a movie in your room. Did we have fun? --yes. Was there a lot to do? --yes. However one pool and about 1/2 of the lounge chairs needed for 4200 guests precluded joining in many activities. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
BOOKING: This was a group trip planned almost a year ago. We were a group of 7 of various ages. I booked directly through NCL and booked a studio (solo) cabin to myself. We didn't give a thought to the fact that this might be during ... Read More
BOOKING: This was a group trip planned almost a year ago. We were a group of 7 of various ages. I booked directly through NCL and booked a studio (solo) cabin to myself. We didn't give a thought to the fact that this might be during spring break. I like the fact that you can pay towards your balance, so I split my bill by the months I had and paid a little each month. Then I paid my gratuities (and air fare). That really took the sting out of paying for vacation! Also, I got the UBP booze package included as well as $75 in OB credit. Prior to leaving, we all downloaded the iConcierge app. BACKGROUND: I'm 41, but look much younger (which I'll allude to later). I usually get along with anyone and like talking to new people, but I really dislike crowds and foolishness. This was my 4th cruise and 2nd on NCL. Others were RCCL and Princess. We're from New England where snow was still on the ground. ARRIVAL: We went down a day early mostly to avoid any issues with flights and weather. We pub crawled around FLL and had a great time. I (traveling alone at this point) took the Port shuttle the next day from FLL to the docks for $20. There's some bad reviews on google, but the experience was great. I even called an hour and a half early and asked for a pickup which they did. That means I was THE FIRST PERSON IN LINE to board the ship. First. Period. I didn't notice no one was collecting bags. I had to stand at the entrance until it opened (9:30a). Then I sat waiting for the xray (10a) which is when I realized no one else had their luggage. But I threw it into the machine and no one batted an eye. I went to get my room card. I didn't notice a seperate line for rewards members, but whatever- I was first. And then we waited again for boarding (11:15ish). I made friends with a few people including the person who happened to be staying in the cabin next to me! Some were trying to get on the ship asap to get the Vibe pass. I had no interest, so I let them go ahead of me. When I got on, they say the rooms aren't open until 2pm. I went immediately to my room with my luggage and it was ready, so I settled in. Great job steward!!! THE CROWD: I read reviews about the ship being very crowded. I also read some that said it was fine. Being a person who appreciates some quiet, I decided at last minute, days before the cruise, to get the Thermal Spa package (more on that later). But overall, with the exception of a few events, I didn't feel the ship was all that packed. I didn't have issues finding seats or tables. I had no interest in lounge chairs, but that didn't appear to be an issue, either. There were a lot of college kids aboard. Thankfully, most of them seemed fairly responsible and in control. The guys didn't seem all that D-Baggy. There was at least one sorority. And I, as a single male cruiser, was happy for the eye candy. My friends and I were asked which college we attended (remember, I'm 41) and I even spent an evening with a 28 year old- enough said, but thank goodness for that single cabin. THE APP: I hear the iConcierge app is being replaced soon. We all bought the $9.99 unlimited onboard texting package to communicate between our 7 people. It was worth it. Though the app bites- you have to continually reload it and it was question as to if and when your messages were delivered. But, again, it was still worth it. You don't need to pay for that feature but instead use it for checking your account and the day's events. not to mention reserving tenders and other events. THE SHIP EXPERIENCE: Our first stop was O'Sheehans. I expected this place to be a corner pub that was largely ignored. In reality, it's the heart of the ship and second only to the main pool- if even that. This is the bar that never closes and has food which any other place doesn't. Being St Paddy's- my first drink was a Guiness. PRO TIP: While in Miami or another US port, you will get taxed on your drinks! You'll see a charge on your NCL app- this is NOT gratuities, but tax! After we left port, those charges disappeared. I never went in the main pool. I did go into the spice h2o hot tub once. But I prefered the spa, mentioned later. All in all, I spent more time on decks 6-8 than up top. I didn't attend any shows or most of the events. Most were poorly, if at all, described. So why bother going if I didn't know what it was? The first night, we went to Irish trivia in the brew house and won, easily. Speaking of trivia, we also played World Beer trivia which we should have won (especially being brewers and beer judges) except for the fact that someone got them ALL right... but only because they've been on the ship for weeks and already knew all the answers according to the quiz master. So to the morbidly obese couple in the rascals- I hope you get a lot of use from your (MY!) frisbee. You'll probably use it as a plate. You're cheaters and the worst people I encountered on the cruise. So, speaking of the brew house... 8 port forward in a corner by the stairs... this seemed to be the hidden gem of the ship. Nice place and never too crowded. Adults only! But this as well as many other places had weird operating hours, even when the ship wasn't in port. Sometimes the only place to get a drink (or food) was at O'Sheehans. There was one afternoon while in jamaica that I was the ONLY person on deck 8. 4pm and no one was around and nothing was open. I found that to be annoying. MUSIC: The bands on board were decent and floating around venues. There were a few, but not very many, bands at the pool deck. The DJs Suuuuuuucked!!!! And it's not that they didn't play the music I like. I was happy and actually looking forward to some booty shaking garbage music the kids listen to. I went to the first dance party at Spice around 10:30p and had an amazing time dancing (which I never do, being a middle-aged hetero male) and then went to skyline after that an danced some more- and received compliments and a companion back to my room. BUT THEN came the glow party (white party, neon party). Same situation- Spice H2O 10:30p. What a HORRIBLE time! They played remastered versions of popular songs for about 15 seconds each followed by the DJ saying ok.. 3, 2, 1, jump! So, basically it was a bunch of mismatched people (kids and the elderly there despite there being a family glow party at 8:30) jumping up and down and not being able to dance because as soon as a song came on and you started to get into a groove- it was changed to something else. This was probably the most disappointing event on the ship. I hear the 80's night was much better as was the one I attended. Avoid the glow party at all cost!! FOOD & DRINK- I love food. I grow it, cook it, eat it. I like food from every country and eat anything from taco bell to fine french cuisine. I also like booze and am a brewer as mentioned. The food overall on the ship was okay. The closest anything came to standing out was some indian food in the buffet one night. The desserts, with exception of the rum balls, were spongy and disappointing. And the food, whether buffet, MDR (we did the manhattan room many times), or even in the a'la carte restaurants was just good. Not great. Not memorable. Having that $75 credit and nothing to really spend it on (minus the texting plan). I brought some dishes at food republic. Same story- good but not great. Especially considering you have to pay extra for it. I also tried some bites of other peoples' items and was still unimpressed. On the last day, I still had $35 in credit, so I bought a friend that expensive $50 glass of wine. -$15 for UBP discount +$7 service charge. I'm not a wine person, though I've been to many wineries and have even made my own wine (pinot noir and riesling). While this $250 bottle of wine was indeed smooth and tasty, I've had $20 bottles that I'd vastly prefer over this Mondavi thing. The brew house had a decent lineup of taps and bottles. Nothing too great, but still impressive for a cruise line. I appreciated trying the floridian brews including Funky Buddah, Cigar City, and others. Though, I mostly kept to hard alcohol drinks as beer is too filling and sometimes doesn't do the trick. Most of the drinks were okay though your overall choices are sugary or sour. So it's not long before you're sick of the acidic mixed drinks and start getting creative. Bombay and tonic. Rum and ginger beer. In most cases, the bartenders were great. I had one or two bad experiences and received drinks that were way off. STAFF seems like a good segue now. Other than the drink blunders above, I found the staff to be very friendly and attentive. Some of my friends would disagree, but I didn't have an major issues. Kudos to them and their hard work. SPA - So, again, I got the thermal spa package ($200 a week or $50ish a day) and I consider it money well spent. If you're contemplating getting a massage, just get the spa pass! It's a far better value and you'll enjoy it more. I'm not a rich man by any means and I like to watch my budget, but I have no regrets about buying the week pass. I went every day and maybe even twice on one of the days. It's quiet and relaxing. I'd go into the steam room and sweat out the booze then hit the jet pool for a massage better than what I've gotten from many humans including professionals. The saunas were also nice and then I'd finish in the salt room which did clear up my nose. For obvious reasons, I never stepped foot in the snow room- I can just open my door at home. OVERALL - There were times I was too bored, too hungry, and too sober. Not from lack of opportunities, but lack of interest in the available opportunities. The experience was okay, but I'm not looking forward to a cruise anytime soon. But if there's a next time, it'll probably be on RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
The cruise was average, great ship, staff. There was no welcome onboard libation as there was with other cruise lines we have sailed with on 14 previous occasions (Holland American and Celebrity). the evening meeting with the captain was ... Read More
The cruise was average, great ship, staff. There was no welcome onboard libation as there was with other cruise lines we have sailed with on 14 previous occasions (Holland American and Celebrity). the evening meeting with the captain was no eventful, no conversation with him, just introduced himself and no further conversations. The dinner at the Savors dining room was sent back (steak and frites - too salty, could not eat it). The issue was passed unto guest services - nothing further was heard. Our wine package was confused as the wrong cabin number had been written on the tag by the waiter, that issue took 2 days to be cleared up. The dining in the Manhattan dining room was good and memorable with the exception of the last dinner (Friday, 23 March 18), the waiter was not friendly at all. The Bistro speciality restaurant was fantastic, great food, staff made it a vey pleasurable experience. Our cabin was meticulous, I personally rewarded our cabin Stewart with a generous gratuity. Several of the ports-of-call we had already been too, but it is always a pleasure to return to see the changes (if any). The staff in the general self-serve dining area were courteous, helpful. The variety in this location is somewhat lacking, no smoked salmon. In the dining room there was no steak and lobster, in fact no lobster at all on the menue. There were no “going off-shore” canvass bags distributed to the passengers with the NCL logo on them. Generally it was a good experience, however, there were some downfalls. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
My last two cruises were with Carnival, and while we liked it, my husband and I (early 30s, no kids) were looking to try a different cruise line. I had been on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean as a kid, but all my friends kept raving about ... Read More
My last two cruises were with Carnival, and while we liked it, my husband and I (early 30s, no kids) were looking to try a different cruise line. I had been on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean as a kid, but all my friends kept raving about NCL so we went for it. The ship itself is huge and beautifully decorated. Our balcony room was very nice, and while the balcony is nothing extraordinary, we both loved spending time on it in the early AM or before dinner. We enjoyed the water slides on the ship, tried out the ropes course (which turned out to be more intimidating than I thought!), and LOVED taking late night walks around the Waterfront. The casino slots were pretty tight (no surprise there) but it's a huge casino area if that's your thing. What I didn't love was being nickel-and-dimed all week. Want room service? There's a surcharge. Want to enjoy a yoga class at the gym? Upcharge. Want a cappuccino at breakfast? Charge. I even booked a $300 body treatment at the spa, and later came to find out it didn't include use of the steam room/sauna/thermal suite, which they were asking $250 per person for the week. Ridiculous. Not to mention that a lot of the entertainment required an extra fee...I understand paying for something like Bingo, but the comedy shows?? Insane. The biggest disappointment was the food. Everyone raved about how NCL is a foodie's dream...not quite. Maybe if you compare it to something like Olive Garden or Outback, but if you think that's fine dining we're on very different levels. We tried Cagney's, Le Bistro, and Moderno, all of which were good but nothing great considering the upcharge. Bayamo was slightly better. The service at all of those restaurants, including the main dining rooms, was always PAINFULLY slow. A dinner for 2 should not take 2-3 hours unless we are sitting there chatting/drinking. O'Sheehans was decent for lunch. The one shining star was Pincho Tapas Bar which we wound up going to 3 times because we loved it so much. High quality ingredients presented beautifully...THAT'S gourmet dining. As for the staff on board, the majority just seemed very unhappy and like they didn't want to be there. I'm sure they were exhausted and burnt out from the seemingly understaffed ship. Finally, keep the kids out of the adult areas!! This is definitely not a ship for a relaxing couple's vacation. A group of ridiculously loud and obnoxious 6-7 year olds should not be allowed to takeover a hot tub on the sun deck for HOURS. My husband heard one of the kids tell his mom he peed in the hot tub, and the mom told the kid to shh and not tell anyone. Disgusting. Not to mention everyone coughing and sneezing all over without covering their mouths. No wonder I got a cold by the last day. Maybe we just picked a bad week with an especially awful group on board, but it just seemed like too many rude, classless people ruining the experience. And NCL has the gall to snark about Carnival all week? It was literally the same experience except Carnival's a lot cheaper and their specialty restaurants are worth the price. This was not a luxury experience, nor a gourmet experience. We loved having a week in the warm weather and spending time on the beaches, but I wouldn't recommend this ship to other couples. It's definitely a party boat for parents who don't want to watch their obnoxious kids. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
This was our second cruise on Norwegian and although we love the "freestyle" feel of the cruise, it is difficult to feel free when you have to make reservations every night for the specialty dining places or eat at 9 pm, if then. ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Norwegian and although we love the "freestyle" feel of the cruise, it is difficult to feel free when you have to make reservations every night for the specialty dining places or eat at 9 pm, if then. Part of the draw to Norwegian is to not be on a schedule! This ship is so large and there just simply isn't enough Sun/pool deck space for this many people. If you don't go out and reserve your deck chair by 7 am, you might not get one till 1-2 pm in the afternoon. They are supposed to watch chairs and pull items when left unattended for over an hour, well I saw that happen once! Cigars are only to be smoked in the Cigar room, and people were lighting up in all the smoking areas. On the front Sun Deck guests were puffing on their vape pens in the deck chairs and non-smoking area's, when we informed the staff, they said they'd take care of it...never did. Our bed was so hard, we didn't get one good night of sleep. Found that most of the food was either very salty or no flavor at all! We wanted a nice juicy burger and the only place you could get that was Margaritiville and you had to pay an additional service charge for that! Seems like everything is starting to have additional fees associated with it. Too play ping pong you have to rent the paddles. Bottled water is $5.00 and you can't reflll your own water bottle in the cafe. The themed party nights are great, but why does it have to be all techno music. The 80's night would have been great, but they ruined it with adding techno to all of it. The adult only parties were filled with kids! We were very disappointed! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
Ship is very big, with that you will bump into people everywhere you go. Forget the elevators, anless you will use them only in early morning hours or late at night. You will wit forever for an elevetor (with a lot of other people) and ... Read More
Ship is very big, with that you will bump into people everywhere you go. Forget the elevators, anless you will use them only in early morning hours or late at night. You will wit forever for an elevetor (with a lot of other people) and when it finally arrives it will be packed with one or two people getting out), if you get in - it will stop at each deck going up or down. On board entertainment reservations from your state room are useless and noone checks - so get to the show you want 10-15 minutes early or you will be standing. Dinner reservations made prior to sailing are NOT honored; you will stay in line with everyone else. I purchased premium unlimited internet, worked fine when in port, unstable connection while at sea, this is understandable. What is not understandable is why internet IT rep is taking breaks when half of the people on the ship have questions. Overall entertainment was culturally and thematically on sided. Apart back street boys, be gees and one madona song it was predominantly hip hop, rap themed dance parties. The 90’s, as I remember, had many more other performers and styles besides what was presented by DJ. This is not the “Escape” issue – this is our experience with all Norwegian cruises we took. Overall entertainment was not diverse. One good thing I can say is that comedians did not cross the line with politics. I look forward for Nowegian to address and correct this oversite and on our future cruises to experience a healthy mix of trending music songs from variety of genres as well as bringing techno and electronic dance music to the dance floor mix. Pool - too many people on the ship - on a day at sea, pool looked like a can of sardenes. You are better off booking a spa session and enjoy tranquility of thermal room, visit steam room or sauna and a snow room, relax in a aqua jet and caskade masage pool. If you like beer, The District Brew House is the place to visit on board. This time we traveled without kids, but there were a lot of kids on board, with many activities for them, but long lines for activities by the pool. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
Speciality dinning is good, staff is superb as usual. However, shore excursions need a lot more work - limited choices and chaotic at times. Entertainment needs improvement as well. The two broadway shows didn’t live up to hype, kind of ... Read More
Speciality dinning is good, staff is superb as usual. However, shore excursions need a lot more work - limited choices and chaotic at times. Entertainment needs improvement as well. The two broadway shows didn’t live up to hype, kind of disappointed. Adult pool areas - kids and teenagers are allowed???? Didn’t even get a chance to try out the hot tub although there were so many. When we were on Epic, we learnt to use the IConcierge App to get hold of each other on the ship, book our activities, shows, dinning needs etc. We know exactly what we plan to do from the app. However, on escape, the app is not working as well. You can view what you book and reserved. Even on TV, the planner didn’t work. I have to go get my plans printed to keep track of my reservations. That need to be fixed! Best part of the ship - the waterfront! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I traveled solo for this trip and I stayed in Miami 3 days before this cruise. I had more fun in Miami those 3 days than I did the entire week of the cruise. Now my review is about my experience on this ship. This has nothing to do ... Read More
I traveled solo for this trip and I stayed in Miami 3 days before this cruise. I had more fun in Miami those 3 days than I did the entire week of the cruise. Now my review is about my experience on this ship. This has nothing to do with NCL as a whole or their brand. I think they have completely reinvented cruising and what it means to be a cruiser. I have even booked my next cruise before I even stepped foot on this ship. Embarkation day 2/24/18 was probably the fastest and smoothest I have ever experienced. it was probably a half hour from the time I was dropped off until I was on the ship. The Ship is huge. It is beautiful inside and out. We were immediately directed to go to the buffet. I had just eaten so I opted to go to the top deck (Spice H2O) and wait for my room the be ready. The weather was beautiful and the view was incredible. It went down hill from there. First off there is over 4000 people on this ship, I believe there needs to be more elevators. The lines and the wait for the elevators was insane. This was an issue for me all day everyday. Also while I think it is amazing that so many people traveled from Europe to go on this trip, manners must not be taught in those countries. I have never been ran into and nearly knocked over by so many people trying to get on the elevator while I am trying to get off, the biggest culprits were the plentiful very unruly children. They need to learn to let people get off before you get on. So after the very long wait at the elevator and once I was able to get to my room I was happy. My room steward was amazing the whole trip. I tipped him a couple extra times for his great service. once I unpacked I went back to Spice H2O and had a couple of more drinks, until the muster drill. That was the easiest muster I have ever been too. even taking my time to get to my station I was still the first to arrive so yet again I waited and waited and waited for the other people to arrive. Apparently they can't be bothered to show up in a reasonable amount of time. After muster I went back to the Spice H2O deck and enjoyed the rest of the night. It was beautiful. Day 2 (sea day) i was hung over and I spent 90% of the day in my cabin watching movies and TV shows and I had enough of the crowds from the day before I wasn't dealing with it at any level on day 2. I ordered room service. Day 3 Jamaica. I was not thrilled with this stop, I had never wanted to go to Jamaica and I can now say I have been I never have to go back. I spent about an hour in the port. I did a little shopping and ended up at Margaritaville. The service was horrible at the bar. I sat their for 10 minutes while the bartender played on his phone and wiped down the bar even before he served me the 1 drink. I immediatley returned to the ship. I took this opportunity to explore the ship a little and go up to Spice H2O. This is where I witnessed the meltdown by the bartender on duty. I have never seen this kind of behavior from a staff memebr of any cruise, in my life. He made sure that we all knew he was not happy. I refused to let him wait on me anymore after that. Day 4 Grand Cayman, I had been here before I didnt want to go again so I stayed on the ship. By this time I had been to the buffet several times and I have to say the food is horrible. This was the first time I tried O'Sheehans. The food was not all that great either and the service was terrible and man they could be rude as hell. I was scolded on 2 different occasions in the place. This was the place I was looking most forward to enjoying as well. My only advice is CHECK IN WITH THE HOSTESS .... I learned that real quick and very rudely, the second being, guys wear shirts with sleeves in this irish pub after 5pm or you will get told off again. I knew the 2nd was a thing in all the upscale pay restaraunts but not in the free ones. Day 5 Great stirrup Cay. I did not get off the ship this day either as the tender was unreasonable long and I didnt want to wait. I stayed on the ship and enjoyed some of limited open area's on this ship. It needs more and bigger adults only pools. I did get to use the hot tub for a while by myself this day and it was fantastic. By this time I was sick of this ship and was counting down the seconds till i could get home. Day 6 sea day. I didnt leave my room. I knew the ship was going to be packed and over crowded everywhere I went on the ship I opted to stay in my cabin. I was going stir crazy by this day. My neighbors on either side of me were horrible. On one side they slammed their door whenever they entered and left the room. This went on 24/7. The neighbors on the other side were constantly banging on something. I swear they never left their room because I listened to that for 7 days, they also liked to get drunk and scream from their balcony at all hours of the night. This made it hard to enjoy my balcony by leaving the door open at night to get in that amazing sea air. Day 7 Nassau. Well This was the stop I wanted to see the most and probably spent the least time in. There were 3 or 4 ships also in port that day so when I got off the ship the port and streets were so crowded. Not fun to see the sights when you are being touched by more strangers at once than in your entire life, I did very little shopping here. I was proabbly in port 45 minutes. I hate crowds. I hate being touched by strangers. I went back to the ship and started packing because I knew I would be free in 24 hours. Overall, of all the cruises I have been on this was my least favorite ,Maybe it was because I went solo, maybe because It was not the original cruise I had booked. I hated this cruise. I hated this ship. The first few days I found the staff beyond rude and not friendly at all, they did warm up after a couple of days. I would still say it is way to big and way to over crowded. I will never sail a mega ship again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
This cruise was chosen by my sister in law in celebration of her 60th birthday. We have cruised before - Princess, Celebrity, NCL, RC, Princess and now NCL again. There were 8 of us from Canada, meeting 2 more in Miami for the cruise. ... Read More
This cruise was chosen by my sister in law in celebration of her 60th birthday. We have cruised before - Princess, Celebrity, NCL, RC, Princess and now NCL again. There were 8 of us from Canada, meeting 2 more in Miami for the cruise. Our transfer from Ft. Lauderdale airport to Miami cruise port was not a good start for us. We waited over an hour for the bus to pick us up and take us to Miami. Unacceptable. Strike One. Then the week of feeling like cattle - lining up for everything - started. We were processed pretty quickly, and were on board. As this was about 3:00-3:30 at this point, we went to our rooms. Dinners: As we are a group of 10 now, we tried to make some reservations for dinner. None of us were interested in the extra pay restaurants as we find the included restaurants usually have great food. (and for us Canadians, paying another 30%+ for extras didn't entice us). We were successful in getting 2 nights reserved for the times we wanted - supposedly full for the other nights. We found we had better luck going to The Haven or Taste and Savor, putting our name & # in and getting in right away or with a 10-15 minute wait. Food was good - not the selections you might normally have though and no Lobster night. Buffet was like all buffets. Good selection - but also same selection. The main event for dinner was what was served at the sit down restaurants. As usual, the busiest place at the breakfast buffet was the egg man. (omelets, fried eggs etc) They really should put in two stations per side. Staff was quick to remove dishes from tables (sometimes too quick - picking up food that you hadn't finished yet!) We did go to O'Sheehan's Bar & Grill one day for lunch - fish and chips were good - although a small portion. Wait staff was not very attentive. Tenders: You meet in the Theater to get in your group to get off the ship. You exit the elevators at the front of the ship, instead of going to the quick left or right to get into the Theater, you go around the atrium, through a bar area, past the bowling alley, past the hall that leads to the elevators, and then into the theater. If you miss your time, you might be waiting until 2pm to get on the island. NCL has got to have the slowest, on and off, for tenders we have ever been on . They have boats that will hold 300-400 people and will wait until it is completely full before they leave. The day we were on Stirrup Cay, going back to the ship, we were on the boat for 1 hour - it's a 10-15 minute trip back to the ship. There were so many people on the boat, they were standing. (where it was clearly marked - no standing permitted.) Other people were on for a total of 2 hours before they got back to the ship. People up top were getting sunstroke. These tenders should be going back and forth every 15 minutes. UNACCEPTABLE - Strike Two. PORTS: Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Great Stirrup Cay, Nassau, Bahamas. We didn't do any shore excursions as we have been to all these islands before. Jamaica, walked around the secured shopping area. Grand Cayman took a taxi (that held the 10 of us 2.00 each, each way) to Seven Mile Beach for swimming and snorkeling (we brought our own masks). Nassau, walked around the shopping area. IMPORTANT NOTE: We have always been told to have copies of passport, drivers lic etc to bring on island for photo ID. This does not work in Nassau anymore. You need to bring a real photo ID with you - Drivers Lic will do for this. If you don't have real photo ID - you are sent to the security office and have to wait for them to take you back to the ship. NCL should let people know about this, so you can avoid this lengthy trouble. On the plus side - we told everyone " We had our own personal security personnel take us safely back to the ship after visiting Nassau, Bahamas." Now, for Stirrup Cay. This is NCL's private island. You would think it would be nice and relaxing right? Not when there are four ships on the island. Think of 4000-5000 people per ship, times 4 ships, all trying to get a good spot on the beach, or in the shade. Not to mention cooling off in the water. Snorkeling wasn't that great here as there are so many people trying to swim in the same area - all you see is coral. And they have a lot of coral. This is a beach area where water shoes are a necessity. (at least the area we swam in). There are definitely not enough life guards for the swimming area either. We stayed on island for a few hours, then went back on ship for some quiet. Personnel: Budi our room steward was very nice, did a great job, and didn't suck up to you for extra tips. (which we did give him) Buffet people were friendly. Servers in the evening were okay - some more attentive than others. Believe it or not - Photographers were hard to find. Saw them a few times during the week - but were not in your face all the time. Didn't have a lot of bar staff around the pool areas, in fact not one asked if we wanted a drink the whole time we were there. Customer Service was okay. Room was booked and paid for in my name. Letter was sent to husband stating they had frozen our on board account (I said yay - we wouldn't be charged for any more tips etc). We told them we would pay cash for on board charges, wasn't good enough - wanted a charge card number on file. Gave them a credit card to use - said they couldn't use the card as was in husbands name. Really? I pointed out to her that every daily charge (tips) were put on my husbands account and the letter was addressed to him. Ya, they took his card. But, discovered when we got home they had charged us almost double on our credit card for charges we might have made the last evening. This took 5 business days to clear off our credit card. Beware.. Drink Packages: None of us purchased any of these. The prices are ridiculous for one week. The pop package is $7.50 pp per day, plus 18% tip, plus our exchange of 30%. No thanks. Even the wine drinkers in our group didn't buy. Cannot possibly drink enough of anything to make this pay per day. Some of the girls thought it might be cheaper to buy a bottle of wine -went to the bar outside O'Sheehans - told to go to the bakery right beside it and could buy bottles of wine. Believe they paid $88.00 for 4 bottles of wine (or coupons) Could get wine as you needed/wanted it, and would bring it to you at the table for dinner. This worked out really well for them, and was much cheaper. We tried to get cans of pop this way, but it would cost us $24.00 for 6 cans of pop. (really?) We did have pop/soda for dinner at Savor and Haven with no charge. Pools/activities etc. Not nearly enough pools for a ship this size. You're lucky to get into the adult pool to swim, and don't even think of going for a swim in the evening as it's emptied. The water tubes etc are a lot of fun, but can be hard to get on as line ups can be long. If you think the rope climb would be fun to do - don't get your hopes up. It is closed (due to high winds) more than open. The week that we were there - it was open twice - and those were days we were in port. A useless waste of space. Take it down and put in something more practical. Mini putt is closed too early in the evening. Entertainment: Howl at the Moon (dueling pianos) was probably our favorite entertainment of the week - great show - watched/listened multiple times. Steven Scott (comedian) was hilarious. Overall, NCL never again for us, just not worth the money charged. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this ship because it looked like a lot of things for kids, since we had a 3 year old, 2, six year old, and a nine year old. It was a "cyber Monday special", only to find out it was $100 less later on in the month. We ... Read More
We chose this ship because it looked like a lot of things for kids, since we had a 3 year old, 2, six year old, and a nine year old. It was a "cyber Monday special", only to find out it was $100 less later on in the month. We called and they would only credit $50 on our room bill, and could not be used toward gratuities. So we were forced to find something at the gift shop. We also got the unlimited drink package, because it was "free"; well not really, because you have to pay for the tipping on the original price of $800 plus. So my husband and I ended up paying $125 each and my husband doesn't even drink alcohol. They said they had to charge each adult in cabin. I think they had jammers on at Miami port. You couldn't text or post anything. Then we bought the package just for texting people on board at sea. $9.99, not bad if it was reliable. Smoking in casino traveled to floors 6 and 8 because of the open Atrium. Stupid layout! You had to shout at the Guest Service line because they had entertainment in the open Atrium. Not enough garbage cans. Bring ear plugs, EVERYTHING was loud, not enjoyable to listen to any of the music anywhere because it was SO LOUD ALL THE TIME, no matter who was singing or playing. Walked out of 3 shows because you couldn't understand what they were singing. Jogging track was a JOKE! Its in the middle of walkway and chairs. Couldn't reserve shows but two on line, so had to standby for many. Not a bad cruise if you didn't have anything else to compare to, but NCL should take some tips from RC. I will say the food was great in the Garden Cafe, dining room needed more staff, poor service and just an OK variety. Also it looked like everybody had the free drink package, therefore, getting a drink was super frustrating because they sometimes only had one bartender and no order of service, unless you spoke up and said "IM NEXT" Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
chose this cruise as a family vacation for spouse and teens/young adults. embarkation - seemed to be a bit disorganized. Have cruised several times before and have not experienced the lack of staff at embarkation. No one working seemed ... Read More
chose this cruise as a family vacation for spouse and teens/young adults. embarkation - seemed to be a bit disorganized. Have cruised several times before and have not experienced the lack of staff at embarkation. No one working seemed like they wanted to be there. Cabin - clean and basic. Poor cabin service -- Usually made up in morning make up and tidy was after 2pm. Not sure if staff were overworked or neglectful. Only had turn down service 2 nights (out of 7) as we settled to bed at 1130-12 and did not want to wait any longer. Had to request the first night to have bunk pulled down at 11pm. And were treated like we were odd for requesting this so "early" (11pm). Bathrooms were the largest we have ever had on a cruise. that was a bonus. Pillows were poor and beds were ok in comfort level. Dining - Food was good to fair. Only ate in the main dining areas and in Irish Pub. Nothing spectacular. Only one great server and that was the last night. Was hard to get anyone to engage in a conversation or even exchange some friendly banter. I found it odd that servers rarely introduced themselves to us. And on several occasions I asked their name and they did not respond. Entertainment - For the Record was awesome. The Dueling Pianos was excellent. BUT it was a struggle to get to see any entertainment as everything books up early. This had never been an issue with our cruises with Princess or Celebrity or Carnival. Slides were fun and rope course was interesting. Pool area small and we found the ship very crowded. For a large ship there is very little room. Word to the wise, if you are looking for a quiet relaxing cruise this one should be avoided - It is loud Everywhere in public locations. Deck 8 boardwalk was my favourite place!!! Disembarkation - as expected no surprises here. Summary - overall it was a wonderful week because I was with my family but will not rush to book NCL Escape again. Not sure if it was because the size was bigger than we usually cruise on or if they are significantly understaffed (my guess that this may be the issue). I hate to sound picky but really did not meet expectations. I really do not have high standards. A few clean towels and a nice spot to read a book, some friend banter with the staff and a good meal is not high expectations and it was at times a struggle to meet these expectations. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
This was my fifth NCL cruise and probably my last. I found the service in the dining rooms and lounges to be indifferent with no regards to details. I felt like I was being upsold during the entire cruise, from photos Cruisenext ... Read More
This was my fifth NCL cruise and probably my last. I found the service in the dining rooms and lounges to be indifferent with no regards to details. I felt like I was being upsold during the entire cruise, from photos Cruisenext certificates to mandatory tips on drinks. The shore excursions were terrible and NCL didn't own up to it. Crowded, dirty, and not as billed. Their advise to me was to write a bad review on TripAdvisor! Talk about passing the buck. The itinerary was altered due to the hurricanes and then again due to a medical emergency which had us returning to Miami the first night. They substituted Cozumel for Nassau. It was not their fault, but going to Costa Maya and Cozumel was a little much. It's tough to feed 4000 people at one time, however, I've been on ships this size (NCL Breakaway) and the service and food temperature was sub-par. Would have love a hot cup of coffee! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We, a party of 6, just got off ncl escape this past sunday saying "we had a good time, but ncl is definitely not for us anymore"... The ship is nice, huge, clean, have great food. But also have way too many venues where one need ... Read More
We, a party of 6, just got off ncl escape this past sunday saying "we had a good time, but ncl is definitely not for us anymore"... The ship is nice, huge, clean, have great food. But also have way too many venues where one need to pay extra. No more free sauna at the gym. Want a free coffee, make your way to the buffet on deck 16, or you are out of luck. They advertise so many eateries and choices... But you have to pay in all of them, and the "surcharge" nowadays at ncl is no longer a surcharge, it's a real charge, sometimes even higher than what one would pay on land (and don't forget, we all paid our fare, which included all inclusive meals). On this cruise in particular we ran into two huge problems: 1) too many drunks. Ncl is offering promotions or building in the "all you can drink" in their packages, and then you get stuck with obnoxious adults screaming and misbehaving all over the ship (elevators, open decks, theater, and unfortunately, 3 times, while having dinner at savor and taste).; in 2 occasions we needed to get up during dinner and request management to ask the screaming drunks to shut up or leave... And management does not seem to be prepared. They are all nervous and afraid, and take too long to react, making our meals less than perfect, even though the food was very good; 2) we never had to many problems with bad service as we had in this ship. We had 3 cabins being served by 2 different cabin crews, and they were both inattentive. There were days they skipped service, and we had to repeatedly ask for things like ice or a change of towels. But the worse was in the restaurant, at savor and taste. We had the feeling that ncl is trying a new program called "hiring wait staff without any practice". We had all of our meals (breakfast and dinners) at either savor and taste, and each experience, with the exception of two, were either bad, or lousy. The waiters would get our orders wrong, they would take forever. While one of us drank tea (instead of coffee), they would never get the tea until we were either done with desert or with breakfast. One time we needed to call the matre d, when we were waiting over 35 minutes for the tea, even after reminding the waiter twice. This was our 22nd cruise, 5th of it on ncl, and we have never, on ncl or any other line, had such a poor service onboard. One can truly see what the industry, and ncl in particular is going for... Get thousands of people onboard and sell the hell to them... And if they don't buy, give them bad customer service. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Myself, wife and 2 kids (6 and 8) booked a family suite room (9194) for an Eastern Caribbean itinerary - changed to Western due to the hurricane - back in June. This was our 8th cruise with NCL, first on the Escape. We stayed at the ... Read More
Myself, wife and 2 kids (6 and 8) booked a family suite room (9194) for an Eastern Caribbean itinerary - changed to Western due to the hurricane - back in June. This was our 8th cruise with NCL, first on the Escape. We stayed at the Doubletree in Miami the night prior and arrived at the port around 10am. Emarkation was pretty standard (aside from a small technical glitch that caused about a 20 minute delay). We were onboard around 11:30. First impressions were very good. We had sailed on the Breakaway before and this ship has a similar vibe and layout. Our first priority was to register kids in Splash Academy, which went very smoothly and quickly. We then headed up to the pool deck to check out the area. The kid's Aquapark was very cool (probably suited for kids a little younger than mine) and they played for a bit. The one issue (and this is consistent with most NCL ships) is that there is nowhere for parents to sit in the sun. We were all crowded on a bench or on loungers out of the sun. I have never understood that. We went in the very crowded family pool for a while and then headed to our stateroom which was ready around 1pm. Our room was fine. We had a family mini-suite with a bunk bed. The bathroom was huge with a double sink and tub/shower. Bed was a king and very comfortable. I also found there to be more storage space than on other ships. Overall we were very happy with our stateroom. The best part of the ship was, without question, Splash Academy. The counselors were very fun, super engaging and very professional. They had a theme night every night (Pirate night, Glow night, Survivor Island night, PJ night) and the kids LOVED being there. They went every night and a couple of times during the day. We also enjoyed the family activities they hosted on Great Stirrup Cay. Lots of fun!! Dining: This was probably the worst thing about the ship. We have noticed over our last few cruises (we’ve been on about 15 cruises since 2002) that overall quality in food in non-a la carte restaurants has suffered. Not a surprise to anyone, I’m sure. But this was shockingly bad. In the entire week we had 1 good meal. Full disclosure –we did not try any of the ALC restaurants because we’ve done them before and didn’t think there was much value. The Garden buffet was ok. That’s it. Breakfast was ok. Lunch was ok. Dinner was ok. Late-night was ok. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t close to good. We did Taste and Savor 4 nights. Overall the quality was poor. We had 1 good meal (my wife had pallela and I had a NY Strip), otherwise the food was cold or underseasoned. The service in the 2 main dining rooms was below average, at best. We also ate lunch and dinner at O’Sheehan’s. This was confusing to me. People rave about the Prime Rib…it was not good. It was a big piece of meat, that’s for sure, but it came with a baked potato that had no butter and a tiny dollop of sour cream (asked for both and they never came). The Fish and chips were tiny and flavorless. The wings were hot but had an odd flavor (tried buffalo and thai chili). We did have lunch, which was ok. The hot dog my son got was actually really good. Aside from that it was below-average pub food. A note on the service…you can definitely tell that the waitstaff is not motivated at all while serving food at no charge. Entertainment: We saw 2 shows. Both were excellent. The Company Men are not to be missed. A quick show but highly entertaining and they had a great sound. For The Record was awesome. Granted – my wife and I grew up on John Hughes movies so we knew every word to every song and got the plot. Note: heed the warning of not bringing kids. DEFINTELY not appropriate! We also watched the Not-So-Newlywed Game with Dave, the CD, who was really great. Public Areas: Despite being a massive ship, it feels very crowded. All public areas always felt crowded at all times of the day. The only time we didn’t feel that way was when we walked outside on the Waterfront in the evening, which we very much enjoyed. Activities: The Aquaracer (Blue) water slide was a lot of fun for everyone. The yellow slide was good for the kids. We did the Ropes Course on the final day, which was awesome. A couple of notes on the ropes course: I am not sure why they continue to put these on ships. They are almost never open due to the wind…it’s always windy. Second – if your child just sneaks over the 48” mark they have to do the regular course and can’t do the kids’ course. Luckily both of my kids are fairly athletic and got through it, but they did get stuck a couple of times. Finally – there is a HUGE difference doing it in port before sunset and at sea in the dark. The former was very fun. The latter was difficult and cold. Overall, though it was a ton of fun! The other activities (basketball, mini golf, movies, etc) were all pretty standard and fun. Ports: Our first port was Grand Cayman. It was cancelled due to the waves being too high for tenders. It was disappointing because we had an excursion to the Turtle Farm planned. We had an extra sea day, which was windy. Falmouth was next. We had never been there and didn’t plan on getting off the ship. But we did hop off for a couple of hours and wandered around the shopping area (see: tourist area) for a couple of hours. We didn’t get outside of that area so I can’t really comment on the port. GSC was next. We had good weather, which is always a hit or miss. It made for our best port day. We did the family activities with the ship staff and had lots of fun (water balloons, dodge ball, etc). We got chairs on the left (east?) side of the island and swam and had a very enjoyable beach day. It didn’t feel crowded at any point. Tendering to and from was smooth. Last stop was Nassau. We had a disappointing experience with the company we rented a 4x4 jeep from as they did not have a vehicle available for us. (I’ll spare you the details – but we did get a refund). We have been there several times so we just sort of walked around, did a horse and buggy ride (meh) and bought a few souvenirs before getting back on board. So unfortunately our 2 excursions didn’t happen so it was definitely a let-down. So I would say that overall the trip was very good – not great. I would recommend the Escape to families as there is plenty to do and a great children’s program. One thing we ALWAYS do is take advantage of the Cruise NEXT credits, but I think we may be giving other cruise lines (RCCL, Disney) a chance the next couple of times around. The NCL experience is getting a little stale for us. Thanks for reading and I hope this review helps! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Regular cruisers so were aware of what we had booked. What was unexpected was just how crowded things were. Atrium generally packed, buffet full so seating always a problem. On the plus side bars excellent and quality of shows if you can ... Read More
Regular cruisers so were aware of what we had booked. What was unexpected was just how crowded things were. Atrium generally packed, buffet full so seating always a problem. On the plus side bars excellent and quality of shows if you can get in good. Cabins very good, balconies small. Found booking shows difficult on board as always fully booked so missed some shows we wanted to see. Entertainment Manager and his assistant very good other entertainment staff mediocre. Main dining rooms crowded and we always felt rushed with our meals.Speciality restaurants excellent. Had the most amazing steak in Cagneys. Bar staff a mixed bunch often felt ignored and some were so slow. Amazing bar called Brewhouse with a wonderful range of beers. Pool area always crowded and impossible to get a sun bed.Deck 8 had lovely seating and generally very quiet. Would not choose this ship again not up to standard of previous cruises we have taken. Service charges a complete rip off. Read Less
Norwegian Escape Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Service 3.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

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