Sail Date: December 2010
The ship was beautiful. However, I was extremely disappointed with the customer service on the Escape. If you had to call guest services you would have to put the phone on speaker to let it ring for ten minutes before they would answer the ... Read More
The ship was beautiful. However, I was extremely disappointed with the customer service on the Escape. If you had to call guest services you would have to put the phone on speaker to let it ring for ten minutes before they would answer the phone. Other than going to the bar poolside there were no one walking around providing you service. To eat at Margaritaville would be a 1-2 1/2 hour wait. We were giving ever excuse from the pager device wasn't working properly to the kitchen couldn't accomondate the crowd. The bars were under staffed and under stocked. The employees were unfriendly and overwhelmed. They ran out of certain liquor with 2 days left or so we were told. The dueling piano bar was a great show. NCL should have better trained their employees or pulled more experienced staff to accomondate their guest. The ATM's wouldn't work half the time and there were only 2 on board. The Escape was a disappointment. Being a new ship it was beautiful and clean. We went on the Epic last year and it over the top in customer service. If they're going to build larger ships than you should be able to accomondate guest Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
This was my 23rd cruise so I consider myself somewhat a seasoned cruiser. The ship is nice in its own way. If you like modern and dark. The theater is the most underused venue in the whole ship. perhaps because of its pure dark ... Read More
This was my 23rd cruise so I consider myself somewhat a seasoned cruiser. The ship is nice in its own way. If you like modern and dark. The theater is the most underused venue in the whole ship. perhaps because of its pure dark grey walls with no decoration at all. A very depressing room. instead most of the shows were done in the atrium which is bright and lively, however if it is a popular event such as a port talk there is extreamly limited seating even though they try to bring out folding seats. One huge dissapointment was the fact that Guy Harvey ( who designed the beautiful hull ) had several presentations as did the group ( sorry I forgot their name ) who had educational shows on coral reef restorations. These shows were not even mentioned in the daily planner, but shows such as hot dog eating and balloon blowing were. Shame on you Norweigian! Things we especially liked were the fact that there were plenty of loungers on deck for everyone. Also the Wave Restaurent ( lido buffet ) had plently of tables and good offerings at the buffet. One of the stupidest things I have ever seen on any cruise ship is a jogging tract that goes right through main traffic . Theirs ran between a bar and Jimmy Buffets. What were they thinking ?? I would like to give guest relations high marks, I had several fix its on my new room, and they got to it quickiy and checked back with me to make sure all was done to our satisfaction. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Just returned off the first full 7 day cruise on the Escape and sad to say not very impressed OVERALL. The mostly good stuff - Getting on board and getting off was far and away the easiest I have ever experienced. Great job in ... Read More
Just returned off the first full 7 day cruise on the Escape and sad to say not very impressed OVERALL. The mostly good stuff - Getting on board and getting off was far and away the easiest I have ever experienced. Great job in getting that right. Food was really pretty good throughout the cruise, service on the other hand was very inconsistent if a server was involved (will critique below). Savor restaurant: Food very good, food server very good, so good she replaced the drink server as he was really slow and not available the first night. Gardens: The cafeteria style place to eat was very good to excellent in the layout and the food selection. Moderna: Brazilian restaurant, Very good as all the server needed to do was get the water and order drinks. With the self serve salad bar, which was excellent, all you had to do was sit at the table and the rest of the dinner came to you. Teriyaki Japanese steak House: Very entertaining, typical food selection and good. Pricey though if not part of the dinner package deal. Cagney's Steak house, food was excellent but boy was the kitchen slow. Waiter wanted to take our food order before he asked if we would like a drink. Got the drinks first, and very quickly by the way. However waited over 20 minutes between the appetizer and the entree. Now what could be classified on the BAD side: Margaritaville was the biggest disappointment of the trip. A food and beverage place that lacked any atmosphere at all. Not a good thing if the name is Margaritaville. Not only was there no music but when open ,weather permitting and it rained two days at sea, only 11-4pm I might add, unless you were first in line there was a 1.5 to 2 hour wait and that was when half the seats in the place were EMPTY. Bar Tenders: With few exceptions they were very slow AT BEST, did not recognize you until they were ready for you. No HI, BE right with you, nothing. This was the case in most bars and was the same for others we talked to during the cruise. Entertainment Nightime: Not really much to do on the cruise. Sure they had a few "shows" (3). One was "The Brat Pack" $30 included dinner, sold out each night Did not hear any reviews pro or con from any fellow passengers (120 of us in a group) about the show. Would like to have seen the "Million Dollar Quartet" (a show about Carl Perkins, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and a fourth recording all at the same time at atlantic records) however cancelled after first night due to sickness. Due to time at sea no replacement was around till the last two night on the way back. Entertainment Daytime: While the pool stuff was pretty normal and fun, the area is small for 4200 people on board. Bingo was $69 each time and then the 'special' for the last game another $20. If they returned a good amount to the winners that may have offset the following: "RIPOFF", as they only paid $100 - $300 for each game. In all fairness last day's game pd big money $300, $400 & $800. Should as at least 200 people were playing. Do the math. Casino: That would have been at lot of typical fun, win/loss/draw if it wasn't so damn SMOKEY. Even the non-smoking area was filled with the smell of tobacco. Shopping On Board: Per the wife: Very poor. Cruise store lacked enough of the sizes that we needed, selection of goods was limited, shared space with duty free store. Other specialty shops were high end and not the greatest value. When they were selling the junk for $10 you could not through the hallway however. Final comment: All the service issues were attributed to ( by a cruise professional that had 800 travels agents on board) staffing the ship with 25% experienced service people leaving a whopping 75% rookies. Who knew.. Wait to book on this ship would be my advise right now Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2010
This was our third cruise with NCL and we have never had any problems. We are now "silver" latitude members but after this trip we may be finding a new favorite. To begin with we had a great time and do not regret that we chose ... Read More
This was our third cruise with NCL and we have never had any problems. We are now "silver" latitude members but after this trip we may be finding a new favorite. To begin with we had a great time and do not regret that we chose this ship on its first route through the Caribbean. Lets just start from the beginning...Embarkation. Why do they assign group numbers if they have no interest in following through with the order? Example we were in group 3 as were many people around us. We started noticing that there was many people walking right on with higher group numbers (example 8,9,10). The port employee never turned any of them away and just let them all through. As they turned a gave us all waiting our turn a nice big 'HA HA" smile all we could do was the right thing and wait our turn. RUDE! Next was the groups booked on this cruise. If I had known this bit of information I may have rebooked for another date. There was as many a three (just from people we talked too and there may have been more) LARGE groups of mostly some kind of travel agents doing their annual conventions on the trip. One we spoke too had 800+ people and the other two that we found out both had 300 or more. This was a huge problem if you did not belong to one of these groups. A lot of rooms were reserved for private functions. The back deck H20 (which was our favorite spot to go on the Epic every night after dinner) was almost every night closed to some kind of party for them many of the restaurants were taken every evening. That brings me to the special packages that were offered when booking. Food, drinks and excursion credit is what we were offered/talked into. Since we pay our excursions ahead of time and we don't drink much we chose the dining option. once we got on the ship and realized the amount of groups that were there we tried to book some reservation for dinners. NOTHING!! all 7 days of this trip there was not one reservation to be had in anything except one at 9:30 at night. We found out from a very rude reservation person at customer service that we should have booked before the cruise (which have NEVER had to do before) and that most of the times were held by the groups on board. we talked to a manager and asked to be switch to the drink package since we were going to get no use of the dinning at all. they sent a message to corporate and told us it could be up to week to get an answer from them. Really? oh do please tell them the we are on a 7 day cruise and I would like to find out if we could do this BEFORE we disembark in Saturday. We did get switched but did not get much use of this bonus because once again we don't drink much. The gift shop was a joke. there was maybe 3-4 racks of t-shirts (that only came in med and small because they sold out of everything) and one of my biggest pet peeves NOTHING had prices on them. you had to ask someone, (if you could find anyone) how much everything was. The shop was very small and I'm disappointed that we did not get many souvenirs because we didn't have time to wait in line and ask. The smoke from the casino was horrible. I'm very sensitive to smell and you could almost not walk through the atrium and not get a face full of stench. We start going the long way around to avoid this area at all cost. We had a good time just disappointed in some things that were unforeseen. The shows that we did get to see and were not canceled due to the groups moving in were good. I prefer the EPIC over Esacpe any day. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2010
First, let me say that we were part of those 800 Travel Agents on board. While I can't speak for the more influential members of the groups (Owners, upper Management, etc.) we did not get any preferential treatment in terms of ... Read More
First, let me say that we were part of those 800 Travel Agents on board. While I can't speak for the more influential members of the groups (Owners, upper Management, etc.) we did not get any preferential treatment in terms of available reservations for shows or specialty restaurants. Any venue we used during the day would have been closed anyway. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale on Friday night and too a shuttle to the Embassy Suites in Miami near the airport. The next morning we took a cab to the port rather than the shuttle provided by the hotel because the cab was much less expensive ($28 plus tip rather than $12 per person X 5). First, yes, embarkation started late for some reason. Possibly up to an hour which did not help the temperament of approx. 4,000 waiting in the terminals. This ship is so big it need two terminals (B and C) to embark. Once on the ship, it was up to level 16 and the buffet. The food was average to above average depending on the item, but finding a table was a challenge. The ship left two hours late due to a downpour which prevented supplies from being loaded, but this is in no way NCL's fault. The service and food in the specialty restaurants were above average with La Cuchina and Bayamo, and Tapenyaki being excellent. The service and food in Manhatten was above average. We found the service Taste, Savor, and O'Sheehans to be some form of slow, unfriendly, at times incompetent, and in two cases downright rude. Our son is a developmentally disabled adult and his taste is food is very plain and simple compared to what is served in the MDRs. We had no trouble getting him an alternative (Chicken Tenders, Cheeseburger, etc. ) in the specialty dining restaurants, but it was a challenge in Taste and Savoy. Unless you are one of the Haven customers special requests are not this staff's strong point. We had the ultimate soft drink package which requires you to go to a bar and get a bartenders attention just to get a soda. During the day it was manageable, but jockeying for attention in the evening with everyone wanting to get the most of their ultimate beverage package was ridiculous. There were never enough bartenders to handle the customer load, especially near the casino. My family did like the various trivia contests held on board and won several as well as winning twice at Bingo. The family enjoyed the John Hughes' supper club show. We found the three piano players in Howl at the Moon entertaining for about 30 minutes, but after that it became repetitive. Million Dollar Quartet was cancelled for the entire cruise due to an illness in the cast. I guess NCL has never heard of understudies. I'm sure NCL will get a lot of complaints. The internet was horribly slow, inconsistent and expensive. I understand it's a ship at sea, but if your going to provide and service and charge 2 months of land rate for 75, it really should work. Disembarkation and Embarkation at the three ports (St. Thomas, Tortolla and Nassau was uneventful. While Julie is probably and excellent Cruise Director, it struck me as odd that she would be on the dock at 8:30 in the morning in a shimmering silver dress and red heels. She is outgoing, friendly remembers faces well and he staff runs some very nice events during the day on board. We went to Paradise Point and Megan's Bay on St. Thomas and enjoyed both very much. The next day on Tortolla it rained on and off, but part of the family was still able to enjoy a nice beach while others went Zip-lining in the canopy and had a great time. The last stop, Nassau was a disaster due to a constant daylong rain, so we did not get make full use of the waterpark at Atlantis. A word of caution, if you need to get back to your ship around 4-5 in the afternoon, the traffic over the bridge from Atlantis is horrible. Disembarkation for us was uneventful. Walked right off the ship at the assigned time, found our luggage and were through customs in about 30 minutes. In summary, it's a nice new ship with lots of amenities. I would not consider this a family ship in any sense of the word nor would I suggest taking children on this line. There are many other cruise lines that appear to do a better job. It's big enough where it doesn't seem too crowded most of the time. The specialty restaurants are worth every cent we paid for them. Other than Manhatten, the complementary restaurants were average to below average in food and service, in our opinion. Others may find them perfectly acceptable. As it is a new ship perhaps the service will improve with time and the menus may get adjusted. We will be trying at least two other lines in the future and depending on what we find, we may or may not be back to NCL. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Saturday, September 5th We arrived from the Miami Airport via an Uber cab ride that was free for us because we had a $20 off coupon. We were dropped at the NCL pier terminal B where our baggage was collected and promptly processed ... Read More
Saturday, September 5th We arrived from the Miami Airport via an Uber cab ride that was free for us because we had a $20 off coupon. We were dropped at the NCL pier terminal B where our baggage was collected and promptly processed through the ship's Latitude Members line. The other couple we were meeting aboard said the line was a lot longer and much more "toasty" at noon when they arrived. We were a bit later than them as earlier that day we drove in from our Sanibel Island pre-cruise vacation and had to drop off our rental car at the airport. Fashionably late seemed to work in this case. Our cabins were not ready yet so we met our friends at Sugarcane Mojito Bar where we discovered the ladies' favorite drink of the trip: Pineapple Coconut Mojitos. We had to toast the Getaway with something fruity in our hands!! It was a lovely sendoff even though it was pretty humid and cloudy leaving Miami. We went to our rooms to unpack after we finished our drinks. Both of us were feeling hungry and we knew it was going to be a late dinner, so we decided to try some of O'sheehans wings. The place was super busy but the only server in sight, Mykesh, seemed to be handling it well. He gave us excellent service. They were about average for wings, and I would definitely get the hot flavor if you like any heat at all. The wing sauce seemed to be tomato based and was unlike a traditional buffalo wing sauce. I ate them three times so I definitely liked them! Hubs enjoyed their fish and chips. As we were eating, we realized it was 5:00 and that I was supposed to meet my girlfriend at the spa for the raffle. I dashed up to the spa and caught the tail end of it, but didn't win anything for my efforts. The spa area is amazing with views of the ocean. I did get there in time to check out the debarkation special they were running which they called a "Head to Toe" for $149. It included a 75 minute full body massage, foot & scalp massage, and a facial. I had some birthday money and didn't get a massage before I came, so I justified signing up for one at 6:30 that evening. I am so glad I did! My masseuse, Summer, had a heavenly touch. She used Elemis products. It was an incredible way to unwind before the trip began and my skin was absolutely glowing. Hubs enjoyed the first of many naps while I was gone. When I got back to the cabin I was in a mad dash to get my hair and make-up done before the Illusionarium Dinner and Show @ 8:30. The Illusionarium was a must-see! It was an additional charge of $39/pp but well worth it. Hubs said it was by far the best show he saw on the ship. Upon walking into the place you want to take your time because it is interestingly decorated a la Steampunk. It was an entertaining show and an above average surf and turf meal with salad and dessert. There were several magicians and an amazing mentalist performing. We talked to some of the audience members afterwards that the mentalist picked, and they had no idea how he was able to guess the words and phrases that they appeared to have chosen on their own at random. The performers engaged the audience and it was a well run show. The only complaint amongst our group was that the seating in the rows is a bit tight from person to person and there was a good deal of elbow jostling during the dinner portion of the evening. Sunday, September 6th For breakfast we went to the Garden Cafe buffet, which is the ship’s main buffet area. Personally I enjoy the omelet station where they cook one to order for you. It was crowded and sometimes finding a seat is difficult as it is a popular destination for people on the ship. At 10:45 we went down to Cagney's to get ready for the Meet n Greet for our Cruise Critic roll call. I helped to organize the meet and greet and gave some brief comments about the forum activity. It was a very active roll call as over 120 people signed up online to attend. There was a pretty good turnout with 67 singing in on the sheet. Many of the officers and crew showed up and introduced themselves, and even Sponge Bob came and welcomed us aboard. Afterwards, another cruise critic member led us on a Cabin Crawl where we got to see the different types of cabins and what we could expect if to find if we up- or down-graded in the future. We saw about 8 different types of cabins, including the Haven, and it took a couple of hours. He also put poker hands into the mix for each cabin with a payout at the end, which added more fun to the crawl. I fell in love with the Haven spa suite on deck 14. The cabin was not actually in the Haven but you get the haven amenities when you book it in addition to full spa amenities. At 3:00 another cruise critic member organized a slot pull. If you are reading this, make sure to sign up for the roll call for your cruise on cruise critic to join in the fun and get to know people on your next cruise! For lunch we went to the Flamingo Grill for their Puerto Rican food. I had chicken, pork, rice, beans, cilantro sauce, sweet potatoes and caramel flan. Hubs had the rice pudding. This turned out to be one of my favorite and less publically frequented places to eat breakfast and lunch on the rear of the ship behind the water slides. After lunch, Hubs took a nap and I checked out the Spice H2O club with some newly made friends from the meet n greet. It is an adult’s only area with wading, seating, waterfalls and hot tubs. There is a big screen TV and of course a bar area, and it is a nice place to relax and hang out. During the day it is quiet and tranquil but at night it gets hopping with various party events. Next we had a mixer at the Grammy Experience, where we toured the grammy memorabilia on deck 8 forward. For dinner that evening we booked a couples night at Cagney's steak house for $30/pp. Hubs said it was the best steak on the ship. He also picked the best appetizer - the lump crab - whereas I picked the shrimp cocktail. Don't you just love that NCL will bring you another if you ask (and I did), so they gave me a lump crab appetizer as well! I enjoyed my lobster but it wasn't as good as the one I had the next night at Ocean Blue. Next time at Cagney's I will stick with what they do best, grilling a slab of beef over a flame. It was very good, mind you, but the Ocean Blue lobster was exquisite. The atmosphere, food, and the service made for a wonderful evening. We had originally planned to watch Burn the Floor but I was too tired and we chose to take our dessert to our extra large balcony. I used my UBP this night and hadn't been taking naps so it was all catching up to me. We chose the UBP as our free perk as opposed to the UDP because the Illusionarium and Ocean Blue are not included in the UDP and the only other two places we planned on eating at during the cruise with cover charges were Cagney's and Teppenyaki. Monday, September 7th This morning we had breakfast at the Flamingo Grill and tried their Key Lime SIN-ammon rolls! These cinnamon rolls alone are why I gained 5 pounds on the trip. They are so delicious. I also had a bagel w/smoked salmon, cream cheese and capers. While attempting to walk off the cinnamon rolls afterwards, we ran across the Carlos Bakery where we had to try some cupcakes. So much for the “healthy exercise” – you can’t walk 100 feet on the ship without running into a distribution center for sugar, trans-fats, or liquor! Hubs got the carrot cake and I saved my peanut butter chocolate for later because I was still full. By now we had a refrigerator full of desserts in our cabin mini fridge. We played a little in the Casino until it was time for me to meet up with my girlfriend for "Wine Lovers the Musical - Wine Tasting Luncheon", which was another hit show. I was surprised how many men were there as it was a musical, but then again it was also a wine tasting. It was held in the Illusionarium so there was much to see. There was an additional charge of $25 for the show, but it was very worth it. The host/narrator was excellent and we ended up seeing the actors in other shows later such as Legally Blonde. They really work these people! The lunch was peking duck salad, sirloin steak with breaded shrimp, lovely potatoes and mochaccino cheesecake. It lasted about two hours and we tasted five different glasses of wine, one of which was a special NCL blend. There was education and entertainment rolled into the mix. The guys were back in the casino gambling away their 401k funds - somehow we did end up cash flow positive for the gambling portion of the trip. Us girls did a little shopping and then met them at Sugarcane on the outside deck where we were served by our favorite bartender, "Clarence the Chocolate Cowboy" as he calls himself. We tasted more mojitos and the Cucumber Jalapeno comes in at #2 for my tastes. Dinner reservations that night were at Ocean Blue for $40/pp at 7:00, and for all involved it was the favorite meal of the cruise. We were seated by the window to view the ocean. The white tablecloth and formal upscale atmosphere were perfect for celebrating our friends' anniversary. The service was excellent, with wine suggestions and a good attention to detail. I started with clams in broth for an appetizer and us girls had the lobster. It was the best I've ever had. It was split and cooked to absolute perfection just ready to dip in the velvety clarified butter. For dessert I had the lemon meringue tart. Hubs had the lobster risotto and a huge slice of apple strudel that was the size of a brick. In addition, the NCL waiters served us champagne and chocolate cake to celebrate their anniversary. We of course ended up with more dessert added to our mini-fridge of dieting doom. Tuesday, September 8th This day we were at port in St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands). The four of us met in the auditorium and took the NCL sponsored B.O.S.S. excursion, which stands for Breathing Observation Submersible Scooter. It was a unique experience for those who aren't certified divers to get the chance to go underwater and see fish and corals. It starts with a 45 minute scenic boat trip to the spot where we went snorkeling while waiting for our turns on the motorized water scooters. There were reefs and a shipwreck to see. An underwater camera is a must for this excursion, and the crew will even take your camera and photograph you and your group with it underwater. I got some kind of bites in the water while snorkeling that we are still are unsure about. I was a good distance from the main group and may have encountered some baby jellyfish or fire coral. When we got back we attempted to get something to eat shipside at Senor Frogs, but they had extremely slow service so we decided to get back on the ship and eat. We found out later that another cruise ship had caught fire and evacuated, so many restaurants were overrun and some were even out of food. I was itching and uncomfortable from the snorkeling bites, so I just wanted a shower and some benadryl. While I did that, Hubs ordered room service. We ordered a cobb salad because I was feeling the need for some vegetables to counteract the previous day's meals, as well as a turkey club sandwich and a hamburger and fries for the Hubs. There is a $7.95 charge for room service now but I was glad we did it! It was great to just relax in the room and have the food delivered to us. The cobb salad had four whole pieces of bacon and an entire avocado in a gigantic bowl. We took it out on our balcony to eat but almost as soon as we sat down water a waterfall from the deck above us poured onto our table. You never saw anyone move so fast to save their salad. I didn't read the daily where they clean the decks on port days and water showers are to be expected on the balconies! I ended up eating most of my gargantuan salad and half the turkey sandwich. Those water sports make a gal hungry! This day, I too took a nap as I was worn out. Then we toured the ship some more and played the 9 hole miniature golf, which Hubs beat me at. Dinner was Prime Rib night at O'sheehans. It was average and a bit chewy. Hubs said that it needed a spice rub and to be slow cooked overnight, but I guess feeding that many people you don't have the time. I had wings again as an appetizer and some yummy mozzarella sticks. We arrived back at our room to more cute towel animals and turn down service by our wonderful room steward, Claudia! Wednesday, September 9th This day we docked in Tortolla (British Virgin Islands). We left the ship and began our mini-excursion hunt for dock C. The entire area was under construction and poorly marked, so we had to rely on information from the locals on which way to go, and it ended up being a good 20 minute walk to the dock by the time we finally found it. Here we boarded the catamaran Lionheart for a beautiful day of snorkeling hosted by Captain Steve. We visited three different sites including Norman Island and the Indians, and took many fantastic underwater pictures of fish, jelly fish and corals. We were served assorted beer, sodas and rum punch. First Mate Darrell put together a buffet of luncheon meats, cheeses, 3 or 4 different salads, deviled eggs, breads and hot dogs. It was a great day and I would most definitely do it again! We arranged the trip through our cruise critic forum and met up with some of them. Altogether there were 12-15 of us which fit comfortably on the Cat. Upon arriving back at the ship, the four of us had a 5:30 Reservation for Teppenyaki at 30$/pp. This dining experience is one of our favorite venues from our previous cruise, especially when traveling with friends. It is a Japanese hibachi restaurant that is loud and entertaining in addition to its merits as a good meal. The chef slices, dices and juggles your dinner as he grills. I had the seafood combination. The scallops were nice, lobster was overdone but the calamari was perfectly tender. Hubs had the steak and chicken which was excellent. I'm not sure what they marinate their chicken in but it is good. At 7:30 we saw the Legally Blonde Musical. There was no extra charge but you do need reservations for seating. There were enough sparkles and pink in the show to fuel an entire beauty pageant. It’s worth seeing! Thursday, September 10th For breakfast we went to Savor. We got lucky and scooped a window seat so that we had a nice view. I had a mimosa and their eggs benedict. Hubs had pancakes, hash browns and sausages. On this day the service was slow. Afterwards we did a little souvenir shopping, where I finally hunted down an NCL ship magnet after being told earlier in the week that they were not to be found on the ship anywhere. With the postcards and scrapbook materials I also picked up, I am all set for my Smashbook creation when we get home. The previous day we had received a bingo card in our NCL daily, so we went at 11:00 to check that out. We bought a few more cards for the excitement of high-stakes bingo, and of course we ended up not winning anything. At noon we were invited to an event at the Svedka/Inniskillin Ice Bar where we donned fur lined capes and gloves. We were escorted into the area where we toured the bar with all of its ice sculptures. There were two vodka drinks being served in ice chalices. The drinks were mango and lemon and both were tasty. I was glad to have prepared by wearing jeans and tennis shoes because it is literally a freezer with a bar inside of it. Hubs had a great photo opportunity sitting in the ice chair holding up his chalice. This was worth seeing once, but a little underwhelming. This being our last at sea day, I wanted to finally try the waterslides. None of my party was willing so I went off while the three of them went to the arcade. My first slide was the orange one which turned out to be my favorite. It was the right combination of turns with just the right amount of speed. The blue/green Free Fall Slides were not open until later but I DID IT, once, and I got my free neti pot. That's all I have to say. I laid in the chairs on the deck, got some sun, and had the bartender bring me drinks. It was nice until the trio found me. We ate lunch nearby at the Flamingo Grill, and finished it up with lovely coconut pastries. For dinner we went to the Tropicana where we had reservations for the Burn the Floor show. We had a table right by the floor so the view was amazing. For an appetizer I had a tasty ceviche and hubs had gnocchi. For dinner, I chose their evening special which was billed as a "whole turkey dinner". Much to my Hubs disappointment, they didn’t roll out an entire 20 lb turkey for me on a serving cart. Instead, what they gave me was both white and dark meat smothered in delicious brown gravy. On the side were brussel sprouts that were undercooked, dressing and cranberry sauce. The service was outstanding and the show was wonderful. The dancers were amazing! Some of the dances showcased were swing, salsa, and pasodoble. For desert we had Opera cake while a band played after the dance show. They were accompanied by an enterprising young toddler who owned the dance floor by herself for a good 15 minutes. We later joined the Glow Party at the Spice H2O club. There was quite a turn out for the party, so I was glad that we got there early to claim a table for ourselves. All in all it was a very nice evening indeed. Friday, September, 11th In port at Nassau (The Bahamas) , we ate breakfast again at Flamingo Grill. I couldn't get enough of those addictive Key Lime cinnamon rolls, plus it is a less crowded breakfast option and we were running late for our dolphin adventure excursion. We left the ship and walked to the ferry line for the Blue Lagoon. Our friends signed up for the excursion through NCL, but we went ahead and bought our tickets the day of directly from the tour agency. We saved a bit of money as it was $185 for the Dolphin Swim for me and $30 for Hubs to observe (the NCL price for the swim was roughly $250 a person). The ferry ride is about 40 minutes long and on the way you see many lush waterfront celebrity homes. Upon arrival at the lagoon, eight of us had about an hour and a half of interaction with a pair of dolphins. We got to touch them, hug them, kiss them and take a ride through the water as they pushed on our feet. I was disappointed that there was not enough time to do anything but the dolphin swim, take quick shower and grab an expensive snack. I would advise bringing something to eat with you because there is not much at their snack bar except chips, cookies and ice cream. It looks like there is a lot more to do on the Island but our ship didn't get us to port early enough to do anything more. I still feel like the dolphin swim was a once in a lifetime opportunity and was completely worth it. As hubs didn't participate we got some great pictures and video for free! After our excursion the enthusiastic crew greeted us outside the ship with water spritzers, icees, and cool towels. It was so refreshing and welcoming! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
We, a group of seven, spent a week on the Norwegian sister ship, Getaway. The Escape can handle 55 less tons than the Escape, can carry 279 more guests, has 11 more crew members, is 2 feet shorter than the Getaway, and is a year ... Read More
We, a group of seven, spent a week on the Norwegian sister ship, Getaway. The Escape can handle 55 less tons than the Escape, can carry 279 more guests, has 11 more crew members, is 2 feet shorter than the Getaway, and is a year younger than the Getaway. We came in very happy, looking for a real happy, great adventure. Here is what we found: We booked 4 cabins with balconies for all of us, since I would not cruise on anything less. When we entered the cabin and saw the balcony, my heart sank. The 2 chairs were positioned sideways, with a postage-stamp-sized table between them. Turning the chairs sideways, to face the water, left no room for my knees. Needless to say, the enjoyment of sitting out, enjoying the view and dining out on the balcony were out. Half of my expected enjoyment, and the reason to pay for a balcony, was out the door. Trying to take a shower was anything but. No pressure in any pipe. If my knees and my shoulder didn't touch the shower wall, I couldn't get wet. Still in the bathroom, after the shower, I couldn't comb my hair as the mirror, and the ceiling, were just a tab uncomfortable to stand straight. When I was younger I stood taller than 6 feet, but I have since shrunk below. Obviously, the balcony size (what size?), the ceiling height (what height?), allow for a few more cabins for the cruise line, a little less comfort for me. The ship had wonderful entertainment. But unlike any cruise line I have ever traveled with before, we had to pay dearly for it. The entertainment that was included in the price (not cheap), trust me, you want to avoid. The noise level anywhere on the ship, restaurants, entertainment venues, was maddening. If you are over 40 years old, don't even bother. The food even lost its taste with that noise. If you are younger than 30, it is designed for you. They assume that your ear drums are gone already. All decorations are made of plastic, so the noise reverberate without stop. No fabric, nothing soft to absorb the sound. We went to watch an event called "Dueling Pianos", looking forward for a bit of respite and culture, but had to leave after a few minutes. The noise was unbearable. And we were not alone. We did enjoy each others' company, but suffered from everything else. If it was a hotel on land, we would have checked out on the second day. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
***Always felt bad cruising/missing mass, but husb found Stella Maris Catholic Center a 2 min cab ride from taxi area! It's right across from the ships in a trailer like building. Google to read about its history/awesome man! ... Read More
***Always felt bad cruising/missing mass, but husb found Stella Maris Catholic Center a 2 min cab ride from taxi area! It's right across from the ships in a trailer like building. Google to read about its history/awesome man! History: 20 plus cruises, 3rd NCL, 2nd Haven. Inaugural Cruise! You think it might be a bit chaotic.. In Haven, smooth sailing. We did notice lengthy wait times in main dining. Main show cancelled due to flu! Food: We were pleased everywhere we ate. Tappas place was super fun and tasty. Bar food at Irish pub was great every nt. Specialty restaurants didn't disappoint. Cuddos to Japanese place. Had plenty of gluten free options/adjustments so I was pretty much eating the same entrées as the rest at table. Haven food spectac both in taste and appearance/ate there every other nt. Unlimited lobster soo tender, soo perfectly cooked/rivals your fave steakhouse. There was one dessert that must have had 15 components/layers/... Some type of nut featured. Drink: 5 O'clock Somewhere has best bartender on ship. Goes by the name of Chocolate Cowboy. His mojitos were better than mojito bar's. Aft Penthouse: Loved the extra room/separate living rm. Sound off aft balcony was like a waterfall/propellers. Soot from stacks caused required a daily wipe down of Everything, including floor so as not to track soot inside/we're decent. We chose to handle rather than call room steward/threw filthy pool towels in guest shower. We made FULL use of having meals from around ship brought to our dining rm and balcony/specialty restaurants, dining rooms, Haven restaurant... It's was THE BEST PART of our cruise. Husb and I never eat together at home due to work schedules, so we reveled in this time together. LOVED the daily cheese plate with olive tapenade and daily desert plate. We ate Everything steward left for us/delish, esp the choco strawberries! Wish tub was jetted, but no. Husband thought shower too tiny. For these reasons alone, we booked a spa room for next cruise. Activities: This ship had so much to do we never turned on either of our 2 TVs, and never made it to spa, a first! Some nut pulled the string soo hard on the ropes course plank walk he tore down the camera and it fell into the sea in port! Shows were top notch/Really enjoyed. Excursions: The Baths. Path to Devils Bay had a million white butterflies/felt like walking in a dream! The giant stones and clear water was Super picturesque. Would return. Spa: Used the nail salon twice. Paid for ultra mani and pedi experiences and was totally underwhelmed. Pedi appt was 20 mins late, and they still had me out on time/shortened the massage part/my fave part. Also, when I said I couldn't do scented products, tech made a big deal outta having to go get some plain oil. Mani was fine, but the Fire/Ice luxe part just weak. Just seemed like these ladies were tired, not very happy and lack of effort. My $30 local experience blows away the ship's $140 or whatever I paid. Pix: Ooof, they are losing big $ here. The camera guys Never fix a stray hair or crooked jacket... Least amt of pix ever purchased. Embark/Debark: Haven guests are escorted. It's AWESOME. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
We have cruised with Norwegian several times in Alaska, Caribbean, and Europe. All of them as a Haven guest. We are fun loving people who like to dance, explore, and enjoy the people around us. We had high expectations as our ... Read More
We have cruised with Norwegian several times in Alaska, Caribbean, and Europe. All of them as a Haven guest. We are fun loving people who like to dance, explore, and enjoy the people around us. We had high expectations as our experiences aboard the Epic was excellent. However, this we very disappointing. The boarding, the shows, the dancing, the food, and the haven experience are fully reviewed below. Bottom line - This feels more like a floating mall with food quality falling purposely to push the customers to all the additional paid restaurants. The service is suffering because it is obviously understaffed. Everything is focused on shutting down the night life after 11:00. 1. The Haven boarding experience was disastrous. Typically they greet you, you have refreshments and they walk you to your cabin. There was nobody to greet us to explain the process, then we stood in line in the haven area with no refreshments for over an hour, they did not have our keys ready, the guests in the haven waiting area were all extremely upset, some people who waited over 2 hours, people checking in through the regular lines got on much faster. While this is a new ship, the process is the same for the Norwegian cruise lines. 2. The Shows: Boring. Our reviews below. "After Midnight" It was a documentary of an evening at the Harlem Cotton Club back in the 20'/30's in its hay day. They had talented people but it was not entertaining. I was as choreographer and dancer in my hay day. It is a shame to waste all the costumes and talent on something that is not entertaining. If feel asleep after the first hour. The only saving grace was one routine by a single women "Don't advertise your man". My wife thought it would of been ok, if the show was only 50 mins long. 1 and half hours was too long. "Million Dollar Quartet" It was a documentary of Sun records with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, ????. The people who impersonated the stars were very talented. This again was not entertaining. If it wasn't for the Jerry Lee Lewis character, I would of went to sleep. This was another show which would of benefited from a 50 minute length instead of 1 and half hours. "Brat Pack" We canceled after the first 2 disappointing shows. The shows aboard the Nowegian Epic are entertaining and great "Blue Man Group" & "Cirque du Soleil" 3. Dancing - My favorite activity - Disappointing. I dance to everything Disco, Swing, Caribbean, Country, big Band, Latin, even house music. There was no dance club at all. "The Manhattan room" This is an elegant room which is used for drop-in dining. It has a great dance floor with an beautiful dance floor. Unfortunately 2/3 of the dance floor is covered with tables. The 3 person band was not playing dance music. They are excellent musicians who were into playing their own music. The varied the speed of the music which makes it difficult to dance. They play for 45 mins and take 15 to 30 mins breaks. Not appropriate for a night of dancing. "Outside by the pool" - Daytime - this was ok, but the pool area was packed. The area was too small for this size ship. Great dance music on the first day. "Atrium" - They would 2 or 3 piece bands playing music but they occupied the entire dance floor. The said you could dance up there with them but please be careful of the cables which run to the speakers at the front the dance floor. Dismal. "H2O Spice" Back of the ship outside. At night they would have a rave like party with music. However, it was house music which they focus on putting your hand in the air and jumping. The music switches constantly like a person with ADHD who can't decide which song to choose. It was hot and sweaty. This is great if you are a teen or 20 something. When the ship was underway on the second day, the exhaust from the ship was terrible. 4. The food - The standard food was ok and uninspired. It suffered from sitting around. The food was much better during the old days of giving you an set dining time with multiple choices of great; Appetizers, Soup, Salad, Entrees, dessert. It seems like they purposely push you to: "If you want a good meal, you now have to pay additional to go to one of their specialty restaurants.". Cagney - Took too long between courses - Slow service but food was good. Teppanyaki was excellent and the cooks were entertaining. The Manhattan room - free but the meal was ok but they offered several up charges for your entre:i.e. Prime rib at a cost of $20. 5. The Haven - This is really disappointing. The changes were disappointing for all returning haven guests. We paid for a haven experience but received much less. a. Boarding experience was disastrous as explained previously b. They would not serve you food on the private pool deck. c. The haven staff was gone by 11:00 pm. The bar closed at 11:00, the concierge closed at 8:00 PM, the dining closed 9:30. This upset many of the haven guests. d. The private dining room was always overbooked and you had to wait 30-45 mins. this never happened on the Epic. e. We had a haven room but it was not in the haven. We were on deck 12 at the front of the ship. The have was on deck 17 and 18. It took 128 steps from our room to the elevator then we had to go up 5 floors. We did not expect this. I would not book the haven unless it was in the haven area. f. There was never staff around to help with towels and drinks. Previously they had all kinds of snacks, candy, water, and service. g. The outside haven area is boring. It was great on the Epic. You could overlook the pool and see what was going on. You had private elevators down to the pool area. h. The have obviously over extended the haven service to other rooms in the ship. This has negatively affected the service level of the haven experience. 6. The late night dining experience is dismal and a complete failure. Everything is shutdown except for O'Shehans and room service. O'Shehans has several food items and a couple of desserts. However it seems purposely understaffed. The tables are always filled with dirty dishes. The servers will tell you it will take 30 mins for soda and get your order taken and another hour for food. After dancing late night you would like to get something to eat with your friends. They make this a terrible experience. They need to have an open bar and grill with burgers, fries, hot dogs, pizza, and ice cream. They should have several areas with easy access ice cream machines. There seems to be an increase of pay as you go items, restaurant, video arcade, candle pins, ski ball, and casino machines. On a lighter note - If you are first time cruise person, you may enjoy this boat with water slides, a nice ropes course, buffet dining, drop in dining and beautiful ship. Experienced Haven guests will not like this. Several of the Haven guests all felt the same way. one was embarrassed because they brought their extended family to try the new ship. There was one incident which was also a black eye for Norwegian. A young man was sitting at a bar with a friend on the ship. Another man approached him and punched him in the face. The young man had to get stitches. The good news: they threw the other man off the ship at the next port. The bad news: they gave the young man a doctors bill for $1,800 and told him he could not get off the ship unless he paid the bill. He obviously could not pay this bill. Any other business in the US would of been glad to take care of this bill since it happened on their property. They even had video footage of the whole incident which showed the young man was minding his own business when this happened. Shame on Norwegian!!! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
I've cruised 6x prior to this cruise, all on Disney. We were hesitant to try another line since we enjoy DCL so much (and we don't even have kids!), but when I saw this quick little 3-night sailing on Norwegian's new ship, I ... Read More
I've cruised 6x prior to this cruise, all on Disney. We were hesitant to try another line since we enjoy DCL so much (and we don't even have kids!), but when I saw this quick little 3-night sailing on Norwegian's new ship, I thought it would be a good way to try out a new line. Let me tell you, even 3 nights was too long on this ship. Service was just abhorrent. I get it, it's a new ship, there will be kinks to work out. I can understand that. I expected it. But this was just too much. Since everybody has the ultimate beverage package, the bars were always mobbed. We'd wait 15+ minutes to be served as the bartender served others who arrived after us and didn't even acknowledge our presence. All the free dining venues were slow, drinks would arrive after the food, our server completely disappeared at O'Sheehan's, etc. I felt a lot of the staff did not speak English very well. I know most of them are not native English speakers, but it seemed like they weren't even trying. The only good service we got was at Moderno, which, surprise surprise! was an upcharge. Which brings me to my next point... The nickel and diming: I'm happy to pay a cover charge for a premium experience onboard a ship if it's the exception to the norm. But on this ship, the upcharges were everywhere. Want to see a show? Get a cupcake? Have prime rib at dinner? None of this is free on the Escape. More restaurants cost extra on this ship than are free. When I go on a cruise, I assume my meals are included. On the Escape, you were basically strong armed into paying extra if you wanted edible food in a reasonable amount of time. The ship itself: The Escape was only a couple weeks old when we sailed and still had that "new ship smell". It was beautiful. However, NCL did not really compensate for all the extra staterooms they added to this ship. The public areas are basically a copy of its smaller sister ships, the Breakaway and Getaway, just with hundreds more people added. So basically, there were people EVERYWHERE and nowhere to escape. Two tiny pools that were always crowded - no adults only pool or quiet area. No quick food near the pool either - had to go to Margaritaville or the buffet. Basically, we spent most of this cruise on our balcony because it was the only place to get away from people (and even then, it wasn't quiet, as our neighbors were very loud). Combined with all the extra charges, I don't see us going on another NCL cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
EMBARKATION: What a nightmare that is. The ship spans two terminals, which is why you need to check you e-docs again right before you board. We spanned in Miami, Terminal B & C. Keep in mind parking is at Terminal C. Knowing ... Read More
EMBARKATION: What a nightmare that is. The ship spans two terminals, which is why you need to check you e-docs again right before you board. We spanned in Miami, Terminal B & C. Keep in mind parking is at Terminal C. Knowing which terminal to go to wasn’t clear to everyone, the lines were long (noon) and the heat was beating down. While there was a desk with a NCL rep, he said nothing. The baggage handlers were directing traffic, and it took me a while to actually find a handler who would take my bag and I was waving a $5 bill to get someone’s attention just to place it on the cart I was standing right next to. Once we make it into the terminal, another long, long line. There is a priority room, I guess for NCL Elite and another line for Latitude members. But all lines were moving extremely slow. MUSTER: no one had to stand outside and we did not need to listen to multiple languages, although we did wait a long time for everyone to show up. This specific cruise had a very high urban composition. SHIP: Of course it is shiny and new but there was clearly a lack of air conditioner, especially in the elevators. There are two sets of elevators but they are the smallest elevators I’ve ever seen on ship, so I would give the elevators a D. Very hard to get an empty one going in your directions. NCL seems to include a free package of your choice for a while now for balconies and above. So it seems like the entire ship had the Ultimate Beverage Package that the bartenders could not keep up with. Getting a drink was extremely difficult. The multiple lines streaming out of each bar seemed to be 5 to 10 deep. It was horrible, but they didn’t seem to mind giving you multiple drinks at once. The price fix for a UBP Drink is now $15.00. Don’t forget if you start ordering drinks as soon as you board you pay the tax until you on your way out to sea. For simple questions, the staff never seemed to know the answers. ROOM: We booked a mini-suite spa a long time ago, included was the ultimate beverage package and the thermal spa. The mini suite was way smaller than I expected, the photo makes it look way bigger. The bathroom however, was huge, double faucet sink, walk in double door spa shower (numerous jets including overhead shower). Great water pressure and hot, hot, hot water. Shower gel and a combo shampoo conditioner in on wall dispenser. Lotion and more shampoo on sink counter. We had three in the room, they separated the bed into two singles and the couch was made into a bed at the beginning of the cruise. It was a very hard couch, so we requested and received the second night a thin egg crate, which helped. The refrigerator was filled up with mini bar items. The flat screen TV had few stations and although you would assume the remote was new, it was very difficult to change the channels. Press, press, press and nothing would happen, then all of a sudden it would skip 5 channels. What I really liked, they had the push button for make up the room or do not disturb. These must be connected to the stateroom attendants, because you do not see them lingering in the hallways at all. POOL: None of the hot tubs are hot. Those using seemed to enjoy the slides. Some hottubs were clearly marked Adults, but children were in them and the staff standing right there, did not ask them to leave. We even asked that deckhand where the adult hot tubs were and he didn’t know to tell us about h20 spice, the adult only exclusive area. FITNESS & SPA: The fitness center was nice, smaller than I’ve seen on other ships, you must walk through to get to the salon and spa. Thermal spa was included with our suite (or you can pay $40 per day). The warm tile lounges lined a large window, so passengers were treating them like regular lounges and “hogging” them with towels/shoes, etc. These lounges are part of the spa treatment, and “were” to be used by passengers only if you were lying on them. Because they were mostly being used by a pair of shoes, or magazine, I found that extremely annoying. The staff kept telling us, that there was a sign, stating these rules, plus you were to limit use to 30 minutes. I never found that sign, nor did I see “housekeeping, removing left items as the staff said they were expected to do. So good luck on that one. Also we were in the spa women’s locker room, also ceiling to floor windows and sure enough, along comes a window washer (MALE) on his slider. Two women were completely naked drying off. Someone reports it to the front check in, and the staff come running in to pull the shade down. FOOD : I would say the food is better on NCL than RCI. I really do like the concept of separate complimentary dining venues (even though I thought it odd they all have the same menu). We always went around 5:30 and got a window seat. It sort of felt like you were in a specialty restaurant atmosphere. The typical MDR experience on other ships I find to be so loud and chaotic so I did like this. Sometimes we had to rush to get to a 7 pm show and just returned later for our dessert. The Garden Café buffet was nice as well, many choices and the food was decent. I didn’t care for their breakfast, so would opt for the Taste or Savor where there were cooked to order options. We wanted to try and book the Italian specialty but it was sold out the whole time. Of course we saw plenty of empty seats whenever we passed by. ENTERTAINMENT: DH-68; Me 60, DD 32. Before even leaving I was leery of the entertainment onboard. And mind you, my DD and I go to Broadway plays on a regular basis and love the theater. We wished one of the shows, had more currently music and themes. Both complimentary shows were set in the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. And if you want something more recent like the 80s you can pay for the Brat Pack. UGH. With such high caliber shows on Royal, we were disappointment with the selection on NCL. Let me say, these folks were very talented and some of the best singing I’ve ever heard from cruise singers and dancers. But the music just wasn’t our type. There are so many musicals to choose from, I have no idea why NCL chose these three shows with old decades old music to have on the same ship. We did purchase and really enjoy the Wine Lovers Musical in the Supper Club. Again, very talented singers, fun, upbeat, and you get to drink wine. We saw two African American comedians plus the host in the comedy theater, BOOK THESE quickly as they sell out and the venue is small. The host was my favorite Gina Brillon as she wasn't raunchy as the two headliners. ATTRIUM: I felt the need to point out that the atrium was the center for much entertainment. Trivia and other cruise director games and such; dancing, music and of all things this is where they played their daily MOVIE. It was nice having the trivia questions up on the screen in case you didn’t understand the accent of the staff asking the questions. The down side of this location, was this is also the location of guest services (by the way this line never let up and was lengthy always), but the noise level was crazy and you couldn’t even be heard by guest services when speaking with them due to the activity. DISEMBARKATION: Aside from it being pouring in Miami when we disembarked, it went way better than embarkation. As odd as I thought that the attendant did not distribute luggage tags the last day, I now realized how great it was that we went to select our own luggage tags from guest services. I want to choose what time I disembark, I hate most lines, select that for you. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
My husband and I were on the 3-day sailing of the Escape on November 11th, which was the U.S. public inaugural sailing. We booked in February 2015 when the sailing was supposed to go to GSC and have one sea day. In July, NCL changed the ... Read More
My husband and I were on the 3-day sailing of the Escape on November 11th, which was the U.S. public inaugural sailing. We booked in February 2015 when the sailing was supposed to go to GSC and have one sea day. In July, NCL changed the itinerary to Nassau + one sea day. I seriously considered canceling, because we've gone to Nassau plenty, but my husband convinced me not to and I'm glad he did. Going in, we knew that this was the second sailing after the TA so there would be kinks and not everything would be perfect. I think that helped our view of the Escape and the trip itself. Embarkation: Really easy! We arrived at the port at 11:30 a.m. and were on the ship by noon. We are Silver Latitudes members, but were put in the Gold/Platinum checkin line, which may explain the fast checkin. Overall, we were very impressed with the ship. We've sailed the Epic and the Sky (as well as other lines), and knew the Escape was an improvement on the Breakaway and Getaway, which were improvements on the Epic. Layout: We very much liked the layout of the Escape. There were some similarities to the Epic, so we found it easy enough to navigate. I'm still glad those fish on the carpet point forward, though! Stateroom: We were in a balcony on deck 12 aft. Enjoyed the location and the room was spacious for two of us (but held four people). We have not sailed the Breakaway/Getaway, but have read the balconies on those ships are quite small. Our balcony (angled) was quite comfortable, and it looked like a lounge chair could have also fit, along with the two chairs/table. Would have been tight, but it looks like one would have fit. Margaritaville: Was complimentary when we sailed, but we waited 1 1/2 hours one day and 2 hours another day to eat there, so I can see why the have changed it to an a la carte menu. The food was good, and once we were seated, service was good as well. But the wait...you had definitely had to plan if you wanted to eat there! And perhaps grab a snack while you waited. MDRs: We've found the food on our NCL cruises good to very good, so dine in the complimentary venues. We have yet to dine in a specialty venue because the complimentary food has met our needs. Therefore, we dined in each of the MDRs (a different one each night) as well as O'Sheehan's, Margaritaville and the Garden Cafe. Food is subjective, but we found it to be very good in all venues, despite menu changes and fewer menu choices in the MDR. Spice H20/the Grotto: Favorite part of the ship, particularly the grotto. So happy it's adults only. That policy was not enforced on our Epic cruise earlier this year, but we were glad to see it enforced on the Escape. The Waterfront: This was our second favorite area on the ship. We enjoyed walking around pretty much the entire ship and loved the views from the aft. Running track: My husband is a runner and ran on the ship each day. He didn't like the placement of this track (around the slides) in comparison to the placement of the track on the Epic (in a more out-of-the-way area). Also, the track "closed" around 8 a.m. each day, as deck chairs would be placed around it, but he got up to run early. Service: This was a 3-day cruise with a large group of about 900 on our sailing. Nearly everyone seemed to have the UBP, so on our sea day, the pool bars in particular were out of many of the popular mixes - Baileys, pina colada mix, mango mix. Also, bars were very, very busy, so bartenders rarely acknowledged who arrived first, second, third and so on. Instead, people just shouted out orders at random, therefore making bar waits 15-20 minutes at times. We saw one or two people walking the decks taking orders, but they would be stopped by the same groups each time and never would get to others. That is the only place service lacked on that cruise. Million Dollar Quartet: Thoroughly enjoyed it, even my husband! We did not see After Midnight or the Supper Club, since we only had three days. Disembarkation: As fast as embarkation. Perhaps it helped that it was a short cruise, but we walked off the ship at 8:45 and were through customs by 9:05. We sail again in January on a 7 day and are looking forward to checking out all the places we missed on this cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
So much expectation and such a bad experience! Everything badly overcrowded, not enough common areas for this number of passengers. We had ultimate food package but in 1 hour after getting to the ship, we couldn't make restaurant ... Read More
So much expectation and such a bad experience! Everything badly overcrowded, not enough common areas for this number of passengers. We had ultimate food package but in 1 hour after getting to the ship, we couldn't make restaurant reservations, everything was booked! As a result, we couldn't have dinner on 2nd night, on 1st and 3rd nights we had dinners in restaurants we didn't want and on time we didn't like. Except buffet nothing was available even for lunch. Even on deck restaurant we were offered 1.5 hr wait. Pool size is a joke for this ship; elevators you have to wait forever; even getting a drink was a challenge. We cruised on NCL Sky and Pearl several times before and used to love this cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
My husband and I love cruising but haven't been able to go in the past 5 years because our kids were too little and our oldest daughter, who is now 6 years old, has cerebral palsy and we were too scared to bring her on a ship. We got ... Read More
My husband and I love cruising but haven't been able to go in the past 5 years because our kids were too little and our oldest daughter, who is now 6 years old, has cerebral palsy and we were too scared to bring her on a ship. We got to go on our last cruise with Royal when she was 1, but we left her at home with my parents. We were tired of seeing our friends get to go on cruises without us so we finally bit the bullet and booked the Escape for our family of 5. We also traveled with two other groups of friends. We were excited to say the least! Unfortunately NCL fell flat on just about everything. We were expecting there to be a few growing pains since the ship was brand new, but there was no reason for the awfulness that we encountered. Overall this huge ship just feels small. There isn't anything grand about it. Nothing feels "big". The decor was nice but nothing to write home about. CHILDCARE: The Escape boasts that they have child care for 1 year olds, "the first in their fleet!" What they don't tell you is that it costs an additional $20 per session, and the sessions only last 1hr & 50min. Not even a full 2hrs! There were only a couple sessions per day. This information was never relayed to us at any point until we were signing her up for the child care on the ship. I couldn't find it anywhere on their website either. The only reason we booked this ship at all was because they had child care for that age group so I didn't mind paying a full ticket for a baby who wouldn't even be eating any food. They also limit the number of babies in the 1 year olds room to 10, so you have to book the times you would like the babysitting in advance to insure they have availability. I had no freakin' clue what we were going to be doing that night, let alone two days later. They said they limit the number of babies to keep the ratio of babies to caretakers at 2 to 1. Which is nice in theory, but entirely unnecessary. 3 to 1, or even 4 to 1, would have been perfectly manageable. Paying for the childcare pissed me off to no end and set the tone for the whole cruise. The child care for our 3 year old was okay, he loved it while he was there! the problem is that it only lasts 3 hours and then you need to pick them up for a 2 hour break! So as soon as you are getting settled in somewhere it's time to go pick up the kids again! The real kicker came when we had the baby and our older kids in the child care at the "same" time. We had to pick up our 2 older kids at 12:00pm for their 2 hour break, but the babies child care went till 12:20. So we either had to pick the baby up early and lose out on 20 minutes of child care that we had payed for, or walk around for 20 minutes with our other 2 kids which defeats the whole purpose of having the baby in the child care to begin with. At the very least they should make all the child care hours the same. The staggered times were just stupid, whoever came up with that did not think it through at all. Child care for our 6 year old daughter who has cerebral palsy, is wheelchair bound, and is completely non-verbal was way below the standard that I would expect from such a huge company. We've been spoiled by Disney I guess who will bend over backwards to accommodate for any special need. The childcare at my local Gym is better than what NCL provided for her. They offered her zero accommodations and told us that they did mostly high energy games, and played loud music so she wouldn't be able to participate since they offer absolutely no one on one help, no acceptations. I asked if she could be put in the same class as her younger brother since he at least would play with her and help push her around, but I was denied. When I dropped her off and pushed her through the gate that goes into the kids section they just left her there until I pointed out that they will at the very least need to push her chair into the kids room. The girl who I was talking to was not happy that she would need to assist my daughter even in this minor way, we were an obvious inconvenience to her. I would never recommend NCL to anyone with a child with any disability. FOOD & DINNING: The buffet was average cruise food. The one thing that was absolutely awful was the scrambled eggs for breakfast. They were the consistency of soggy oatmeal and tasted even worse than they looked. We dinned at the Churrascaria restaurant which was pretty good and we were fine with paying the additional $25/head. Just make sure you make reservations! All of the other pay restaurants were booked so we didn't get to try them. We went to TASTE for breakfast one morning and wish we had stuck to the buffet with the soggy eggs! We waited over an hour to get our food. The server brought us only one set of silverware for both my husband and I, I couldn't get anyones attention so I got up and went to the server station myself to get what I needed. No one even noticed. We were never offered any water and our server wasn't anywhere to be found to ask for some, so we had to choke down our breakfast that took an hour to get to us. I guess the food was hiding in a hot box in the back because the mint garnish on my waffles had shriveled up to a crisp and had turned black. On our last night we went to FOOD REPUBLIC. It's a shame we didn't find it earlier! It was amazing! The service was great & the food was fantastic. If you decide to give the Escape a go, this restaurant is a must. We would have gone here for every single meal and gladly paid the extra $$. The whole ship seemed understaffed, but none as much as the bars on the ship. My average wait time for a drink was around 20-30 min. This was the resounding experience from everyone I talked to on the ship as well. They ran out of tequila by day two. SHOWS: We saw the million dollar quartet. It was okay but I fell asleep half way though. The acoustics in the theatre were pretty awful, that or the sound guy needs to find a different job. We had reservations to see after midnight but had heard such horrible things about it from every single person that had seen it that we opted to go to the comedy club instead. The comedy club at Headliners was great. We didn't make reservations but were able to get in by waiting in the standby line. The show was hilarious! I was in tears I was laughing so hard. Landry, the headlining act single handedly saved this cruise for me and is the only reason I'm not giving a one star rating. The ropes corse would have been cooler if 2 out of the three zip lines hadn't been closed. I have much more to say but i think you get the gist, everyone we talked to, young and old, with and without kids, were all saying the same thing. That they will never go on NCL after this trip. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
This was the 3-night US inaugural cruise on the Escape out of Miami. Glitches and growing pains were expected. Overall, it was a great cruise. We had a lot of fun, and saw a lot of old friends (crew) on this ship. We had some issues ... Read More
This was the 3-night US inaugural cruise on the Escape out of Miami. Glitches and growing pains were expected. Overall, it was a great cruise. We had a lot of fun, and saw a lot of old friends (crew) on this ship. We had some issues that we never had before on NCL ... crazy wait times, lack of service both in the MDR and O'Sheehans ... and just overall the staff did not seem happy. I'm not used to that, and I hope it was just because it is a new ship, and people are not used to working together yet. We arrived at the port at 10:45am. We parked and walked right over to the terminal, where a baggage handler immediately took our bag from us. We went into Terminal C - no lines for security! We walked in, and went to the main room where we filled out our health questionnaire. There was a line for check in at that point, but since we were priority, we bypassed that line and became first in line. Check in was painless. We sat and waited a short time to board. We were in cabin 11134. This is a category BC balcony, port side. The balcony is much larger than those tiny postage-stamp ones on the Getaway and Breakaway. Kudos to NCL for listening to their customers! The cabin itself appeared to be narrower than those on the 'away ships, but perhaps that was just my perception. We enjoyed our cabin, and had no issues at all. We went to the Supper Club on night one of our cruise. This was a dinner show that we paid extra for ($70.78 for 2). The show was good. The food left a lot to be desired. I really enjoyed the appetizer, but the meal itself ... I couldn't eat it. I'm not a picky eater ... it was just ... yucky. Sorry to say. Dessert was good though. The show itself is long, it ran about an hour and a half. Just be aware of that if you are one that doesn't like to sit that long. We had seats in the front row right by the stage. Really could not have asked for better seats, and all of the actors were outstanding. Night two, we saw Million Dollar Quartet. I highly recommend this show. It was just amazing ... and while all of the actors did an outstanding job, Jerry Lee Lewis was just ... AMAZING. That actor is truly talented. Kudos to NCL for such a fabulous show! Night three we saw After Midnight. It was ok. My husband thought it was fantastic. All of the tap dancers were phenomenal though. I wouldn't see it again, but I'm glad I did have a chance to see the show. Other than the meal at the Supper Club, we had no issues with food. Everything was good. I did get the lobster one night in the MDR for the $19.99 charge (plus 18% gratuity - gratuity for what?!). If you enjoy lobster, skip this. The lobster was previously frozen, and you can tell. It was slightly mushy and lacked flavor. I wouldn't waste money on this again. I had the steak frites twice - very good both times. My husband had the Salmon twice (he likes salmon) and said it was delicious. We also went to Food Republic and had three sushi rolls, plus the sliders ... all were excellent! Margaritaville was excellent, and the BEST service on the entire ship was here. Seriously. The wait times were expected, but the staff was on the ball and did everything right. We ate here twice, and it was worth the wait. Now for the issues. On Day Two of the cruise, we went to the MDR for breakfast. I ordered the lox and bagel, bacon, and home fries. My husband ordered an omelet, home fries, and orange juice. The only thing ever delivered to our table was my lox and bagel. We sat there for 30 minutes after my lox and bagel arrived (half of a frozen lender's bagel with lox on it. Don't bother!). The rest of the meal and drinks never came. At that point, we walked out and went to O'Sheehans. We waited for a few minutes and were seated fairly quickly. Unfortunately from there, it was just downhill. Placed our order, and 55 minutes later we were served. It was just bad. People were walking out left and right. Those who were never served, and those who waited a long time for their food only to get the wrong order. People were not happy! We went to the pool deck after that, and all you heard was people complaining and grumbling about the service. No one staffed at the bars - no waiters walking around the pool deck - food taking too long to be served, etc., etc. It was a common theme, unfortunately. It seemed to me like the ship was short-staffed. Of course, I do not know if they were or not ... but it appeared that way ... and this crew did not seem happy. Not at all what I am used to from NCL. The menus in the MDR have changed. There are not as many options to choose from (but they did add surcharge items to the menu, go figure), and no soups at all on the dinner menu. As we were disembarking, I noticed there are two charges on my bill on 11/13/15 for $5.40 each for "Onboard Entertainment - Tickets". I have no idea what that is for. The only show we saw on 11/13 was After Midnight, and that was complimentary. We did not have any drinks in the show, so I really am clueless what those charges are for. I sent an email to NCL regarding the charges. If I do not hear back from them, I will have American Express remove the two charges. We are sailing again in March on the Escape. The trip was booked over a year ago. We are bringing 8 other cabins of people with us, many that are new to NCL. I really hope the glitches are worked out by then. It's embarrassing to basically talk people into spending over $3,000 on a cruise on a line they wouldn't normally sail, and then have bad service. I'm really nervous about that, but hopefully, they will get it together by then. If not for the included UBP, I would have a hard time not suggesting to everyone that we try a different cruise line. I hope NCL takes that seriously ... we cruise with them a lot, and that speaks volumes coming from me! Oh - several times we talked about going to a specialty restaurant ,,, but since they made them a la carte, we said "no" each time. Paying a flat fee was one thing ... spending $100 on a meal on a cruise ship that caters to 4,000 people is just ... foolish. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
As a disclaimer, I have been on 6 cruises all on Royal Caribbean, and this was my first time on another line. My wife has cruised on Royal and Carnival. I'm not sure if it is NCL or just them working the bugs out of a brand new ... Read More
As a disclaimer, I have been on 6 cruises all on Royal Caribbean, and this was my first time on another line. My wife has cruised on Royal and Carnival. I'm not sure if it is NCL or just them working the bugs out of a brand new ship, but the whole cruise was just a bit "off." The only high point of the cruise was the food. We ate at Cagneys, Le Bistro, and Teppenyaki. I had lunch at the Garden Café and in the main dining room, Taste. I food the food at each venue to be excellent. It was my first experience with "Freestyle" or whatever you wish to call it, dining. I can see the upside in being able to go when you want, but I missed having table mates to share the experience with. Also, many menus were ala carte. I absolutely hated seeing prices on a cruise ship menu. Part of what I love about cruise vacations is NOT seeing prices on a menu :). Now I've done specialty venues on RCI, and I understand the "cover charge." I'm fine with that, pay it or not. But this cruise seemed to have almost everything with an "extra" charge. Dinner show? Extra charge. Room service? Extra charge. Adult pool? Extra charge. Let me tell you about the service. Terrible. The worst, period. They were understaffed and those that were there were not helpful. Embarkation was annoying. We arrived early and found the line to be short. However, with only about 5 parties in front of us, we waited almost 30 minutes. Once at the desk, it was apparent that this was our agent's first day ever. And maybe the first time ever using a computer. Each step in the process required her to walk over to another agent to ask how to do it. It took forever and was frustrating. Once on board, we went up to Margaritiaville. 1.5 hour wait. But tables were empty? We found this theme throughout. Eventually we were told that they did not have enough staff to open them all. So I walked up to the pool bar instead. There were maybe 5 people seated, and one bartender. I sat there 10 minutes as he brushed passed me making orders for the waitresses. Now I get it that it's busy and understaffed, but a polite, "I'll be with you in just a minute, Sir" or something would have been nice. So after 10 minutes, I left. Continuing on service, I was often given conflicting (and wrong) answers to basic questions. I get it, the ship is new, but I was also never given a "I don't know, but let me find out." Our first night at Cagney's Steakhouse, we arrived for our 5:30 reservation at 5:25 (I know, early, but everything else was "full" even though it was half empty throughout). The staff was having a meeting in plain sight at the end of the restaurant. No one came to greet us, or the others waiting. Again, not a big deal on it's own, but it was just the theme of everything being "off." After the dinner, we saw that there was no line for gratuity included on the check (most other bills we saw had a gratuity included and then a line for additional tip), so we asked the manager if there was a tip included. He responded with, "You can leave an additional tip for outstanding service." Yes, but was the tip already included. "That is up to you sir." No, I get that but was the tip included already? "I think so." Wait, you think so, or it is? We don't want to stiff the server. "Yes, the tip is already included." So we asked the server as well. The server tells us she overheard what the manager was telling us, but the tip is most definitely not included. The ship was pretty, and had a new car smell, but it lacked large public gathering areas. Everything was broken up. To me it felt the smallest of any ship I have cruised on, but some may prefer that. The pool was small, the premier water slides were broken, (or as my wife kept saying, if it's brand new, it's not broken; it's just not finished). There was no true adult or quiet pool (just a grotto). 2 of the 3 zip lines were not functioning. 2 of the rooms at the spa were broken. The speakers in our cabin didn't work. Far, far, far to little elevator space. I could go on. The cabin was nice; we had a standard balcony. We enjoyed the dueling pianos. Disembarking was pretty smooth. My kids loved the kids program, but this was their first cruise. Overall, I don't think I'll ever come back to NCL. I felt nickeled and dimed and underwhelmed. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
The Norwegian Escape is Norwegian's newest and biggest ship. With over 20 different dining areas, a giant casino, five water slides and the first ever 'Margaritaville' at sea. Overall, I think the Escape is a great ship. ... Read More
The Norwegian Escape is Norwegian's newest and biggest ship. With over 20 different dining areas, a giant casino, five water slides and the first ever 'Margaritaville' at sea. Overall, I think the Escape is a great ship. Well laid out and well thought out for both the passenger and the cruise line. You will find your time on the ship spent mostly on decks 6, 7 and 8, where most all the activities are. The cabins are good size and I was surprised to find the balconies larger than the other "Breakaway" class ships. Quick Ratings - Food - I was only able to eat in the Buffett and at Osheehan's, however, I found a good selection in the Garden Cafe Buffett and Osheehan's had a larger menu than it does on the Epic. The food was well prepared and piping hot, which was nice, considering on the Epic it was often luke warm. Bars/lounges - I guess the night club activities have moved up to Spice H2O on deck 16. I have mixed feelings about this, considering it is away from EVERYTHING else on the ship during late night, but maybe it will be fun. However, what will Norwegian do for a night club when it is raining or very windy? The skyline bar in the casino doesn't have a great nightclub feel even though I know that is what they will do. Staff - I recognized a lot of staff from other ships I have been on and many recognized me! I was really impressed and happy with all the crew. Activities - Slides, ropes course, basketball, bowling at Osheehans. Its fun! Take part! Walk the plank!! Tips - 1. Bring your sneakers and a pair of socks for the ropes course. Give yourself about an hour to do the course. 2. Reservations, reservations and more reservations. Make sure you make reservations for dinner. I found a lot of the specialty dining venues were full. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Being my first time I was very impressed with all the activities on board and since I am so new at this cruising is a very enjoyable and fun experience. This vacation was I feel one of the best I have had in a long time and was really a ... Read More
Being my first time I was very impressed with all the activities on board and since I am so new at this cruising is a very enjoyable and fun experience. This vacation was I feel one of the best I have had in a long time and was really a luxury for me. I usually go on fishing and hunting trips so I did not have to do anything except be pampered and spoiled by you, relax, rest and really just enjoy and experience luxurious living and vacation like the "rich and famous." The staff and all employees were always so pleasant, kind and professional oh and helpful. The cruise Director and others kept us informed and were given a sheet daily with all activities. Thank you again for the best vacation and my retirement celebration is actually what it was for me a time to cherish and remember for the rest of my life. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
We did the 3-night inaugural cruise from Miami to the Bahamas on November 11, 2015. We had a standard BC balcony cabin. All in all this was a great cruise. Both embarkation and disembarkation were perhaps the easiest I have ever had. ... Read More
We did the 3-night inaugural cruise from Miami to the Bahamas on November 11, 2015. We had a standard BC balcony cabin. All in all this was a great cruise. Both embarkation and disembarkation were perhaps the easiest I have ever had. We arrived at the port around 11am. The lines for check in were long, but since we are Platinum, we were able to bypass them. We quickly check in and were given boarding group number 4. Once on board, we headed to Margaritaville for lunch. I have been to several land based Margaritaville restaurants. The food is always so-so, but this was much better. service was outstanding, and the food was piled high and tasted good! We had breakfast mostly in O'Sheehan's, and it was good as usual. There were some service issues, both here and in the MDRs. I'm not sure if the ship was short staffed .... but I have bene on many, man NCL's cruises, and never had the wait times that we had here. Not just waiting for food, but also service issues - like someone taking your drink order, or your food order. Hopefully, those issues have been resolved by now. We didn't get off the ship in Nassau. Been there too many times, and really just wanted to enjoy the ship. We are returning to the ship with family in the spring, and this was our "check out" time. The pool deck is laid out much better than the 'away ships. While I was really looking forward to the Grotto, it was just way too crowded in there. We saw all three shows. Million Dollar Quartet was simply amazing. Incredible! do not miss it! After Midnight was a little slow for me, but my husband really enjoy it. I thought the tap dancers were phenomenal. The Supper Club show was very good, but the food left a lot to be desired. I'm not a picky eater, but left most of my meal. It was just ... bad. All in all, a great cruise. I am hopeful that the service issues have been worked out. The crew did not seem happy, but that could also be the stress of a new ship showing. I am looking forward to our spring cruise, and will do another review when we return. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
The food was excellent in the complimentary restaurants. I dined at the buffet, main dining room Taste, O'Sheehan's and Margaritaville. The only food I paid for was in the "supper club" and it was average there. ... Read More
The food was excellent in the complimentary restaurants. I dined at the buffet, main dining room Taste, O'Sheehan's and Margaritaville. The only food I paid for was in the "supper club" and it was average there. Entertainment was excellent. After Midnight, the Cotton Club musical had an amazing cast of singers and dancers. Maybe 20 minutes too long, but great just the same. The Million Dollar Quartet was beyond great. The "Brat Pack" in the supper club was good fun and the cast was very talented. That's all I could get to in 3 days. There is also comedy, karaoke, dueling pianos. The room (balcony) is a little tight and storage not great. Our cabin steward did a great job of keeping the room spotless and stocked with towels and turned twice a day. The area I must give them low marks on is bar and dining waitstaff which is too bad. Be prepared to wait a long time to be served at bars. I did not see any waitstaff walking around to alleviate the lines at the bars. The time spent waiting for the food at O'Sheehans (breakfast) was excessive. They were overwhelmed at Margaritaville. Our drinks came about the same time as the food...and that took a long time. So, either they need a new system of doing things or more people. The buffet was well maintained and kept clean with tables at the ready. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
We sailed on the NCL Escape for our 15th anniversary. All was as expected from NCL. New ship met some expectations, exceeded others. The crew is still finding it's 'sea-legs' on the Escape. Bar service was very slow. ... Read More
We sailed on the NCL Escape for our 15th anniversary. All was as expected from NCL. New ship met some expectations, exceeded others. The crew is still finding it's 'sea-legs' on the Escape. Bar service was very slow. Waiters hard to locate around pool decks. Million Dollar Quarter, After Midnight and the Supper Club all OUTSTANDING shows! Be sure to make reservations early as the theatre is smaller than expected. Disappointed that the vegetarian offering in the Supper Club was the same tasteless offering as the main dining. For the pricing we expected a menu offering exclusive to the Supper Club. We had enjoyed an out of this world eggplant parm in the Illusionarium on the Getaway last year and had hoped for a similar offering. NOT available, but hope that will change. Margaritaville has veggie burger options and several fish offerings. Other dining locations have substandard vegetarian and lackluster fish options. Please/please improve fish and vegetarian menu options! LeBistro was a disappointment for our anniversary dinner. It used to have an outstanding swordfish offered. The sea bass and sole were disappointments. Will not waste time or money next time. The rope course with two operational zip lines were awesome! Two of the water slides (tubes) were never open. Hopefully that will change. We will be sailing again in January on the Escape. Hope to find that the crew hits it's stride. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
This was my third Cruise and my girlfriends first cruise, we were in the haven. I love the haven amenities, the courtyard was beautiful and the spa suite was awesome. We attended the Brat Pack show and the Million Dollar Quartet show, ... Read More
This was my third Cruise and my girlfriends first cruise, we were in the haven. I love the haven amenities, the courtyard was beautiful and the spa suite was awesome. We attended the Brat Pack show and the Million Dollar Quartet show, both were great we have no complaints but definitely prefer the Brat Pack show. It was a unique experience because everybody got along well on the ship, you could say hi and talk to a random stranger and have a great conversation. There was a lot of drinking but that added to the fun lol. Every night there was a party at h2o definitely more of an adult type thing. I didn't do a lot of free venues but I love the Italian and steak house places. No complaints about the food whatsoever, the drinks were great and the staff as always is top notch. I read the negative reviews before the cruise, but you gotta read between the lines when you read those. Most are nitpicky type reviews. If you're open minded and willing to have a great time then you will love the Norwegian escape. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
First of all far to many private event blocking assess to many restaurants and area of the ship, cabins are not designed for 3 people had aft facing cabin with a very small balcony. Embarkation very slow and disorganized probably due to ... Read More
First of all far to many private event blocking assess to many restaurants and area of the ship, cabins are not designed for 3 people had aft facing cabin with a very small balcony. Embarkation very slow and disorganized probably due to all the 800 plus travel agents on board that were given priority treatment. Even with all drink package given out drink were easily obtained service was very good. Margaritaville was a joke could never get lunch without a 2 hour wait even there were numerous empty tables with a jogging track running right thru the line waiting to get in. Garden cafe was very good except not once got warm french fries always cold, bar in the buffet need more than one bartender. Manhattan room was very good great service, the Taste restaurant was service was terrible wait forever for anything even water. O'sheehan's restaurant very good again french fries very cold. Vibe beach well worth the money online said $79 on ship $99 staff very very good. On board entertainment very very good. Cabin steward excellent name Grace room service for coffee in morning very good always on time. Hallway leading to cabins very narrow. As big as the ship is not a smooth riding, I always get an aft cabin so it it not because of that. After reading the reviews about the H2o noise I moved my cabin from the 13th deck to the 10th deck no problem but my elder sisters were stuck on the 13th deck Norwegian would not move them unless they paid $1000 even tho it was a downgrade to the 10th deck. I have been cruising with Norwegian since 2006 but, I thinking this will be my last cruise with them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
The highly anticipated maiden voyage on the Norwegian Escape was a disappointment to say the least. Approximately 800 travel agents were "invited" on the cruise and received all the special treatment. Paying customers, such as ... Read More
The highly anticipated maiden voyage on the Norwegian Escape was a disappointment to say the least. Approximately 800 travel agents were "invited" on the cruise and received all the special treatment. Paying customers, such as ourselves, were treated more like we booked in steerage. Anniversary dinner with my husband at Le Bistro was not memorable. Waited almost 10 minutes for water to be refilled during our meal while the travel agents were getting their food salt and peppered. Was bumped off an excision that was booked and paid for online and put on a waiting list so travel agents could get the first option. Too many private functions being held in many areas of the ship which were off limits to paying customers. Booked a spa balcony with thermal suite access. Was told our stateroom was being re-categorized and our stateroom would either be changed or would still be given spa access. Our stateroom was never changed and once onboard we were not on the list for spa access. Spent my first day on the ship running between guest services and the spa to get the pass that we already paid for. Many issues in the thermal suites. Snow room and steam room periodically working. Whirlpool tubs lukewarm. Tile loungers were barely warm. The only good points on the ship was the ease of getting around the ship. The elevator banks were positioned well so you were able to walk all the way through the ship on each floor. We did enjoy the free style dining and the food quality was much better than we have experienced on Carnival. I don't think we will ever book another maiden voyage and give the cruise line time to work through all the bugs. The travel agents should have been "invited" when they set out on the sea trail to the Bahamas a week before the maiden voyage. Not sure we will be booking on NCL anytime in the future. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Waited for a year to take our first cruise - what a major let down. Embarkation - waited at check-in counter over 1/2 hour while they tried to get key card to work. Ship delayed at port 2 hours due to weather - had to pay port tax on ... Read More
Waited for a year to take our first cruise - what a major let down. Embarkation - waited at check-in counter over 1/2 hour while they tried to get key card to work. Ship delayed at port 2 hours due to weather - had to pay port tax on every drink during that time despite having the Ultimate Beverage Package. Booked Million Dollar Quartet and complimentary dining rooms 3 weeks prior to embarkation. Million Dollar Quartet cancelled on Tuesday and rescheduled for following night but for 6:15 instead of 7:30. Cancelled dinner reservation at 5:30 in Taste in order to attend. Went to room to change for dinner at 4:30 only to find a message advising cancellation for rest of week. This was the one show we were really looking forward to seeing. Have they not heard of "understudies or replacement singers" who could have filled in that night? Tried to get into the 5 O'clock Somewhere bar 3 times and Margaritaville 2 times - not available due to "Private Function". Everywhere you looked, there were signs "Private Function". There were several large groups (I heard one group of travel agents was more than 800 people) who were given priority at restaurants, theatre, etc. over all the other passengers. Line-up at Margaritaville was always a minimum of 1 to 2 hours to get a seat despite many empty tables. Pools were very small and unless you could swim and/or climb up and down a ladder, you were out of luck. Shallow end was over 5 feet deep. Music and announcer at pool was so loud, I had to cover my ears. Room was nice (Mini-Suite Balcony, mid-ship) and room attendant did a very good job. The final insult was on the last night. I had booked the Savor Restaurant 3 weeks prior to boarding. I went to the reservation desk at 4:00 pm and asked if everything was still o.k. with my reservation at 5:30. I was told yes, your reservation is there. We arrived at the restaurant and what was outside the entrance door - a sign stating "Private Function". I told the girl we had confirmed reservations. She waved her hand and said, "You'll have to go over there" indicating the Taste Dining room across the hall. I informed her that if I had wanted to go to "Taste" I would have booked it. She then called over the manager. I asked why this group was more important than us - and that the reservation had been confirmed not more than 1 1/2 hours prior. After a few minutes, he said "Well, I guess we could "fit you in somewhere". Really! Really! Fit us in! I told him not to do us any favors and left. I then went to Customer Service, however the reservation people were no longer there. My complaints fell on deaf ears - "Oh, so sorry" at that point just didn't seem adequate enough for me. There are too many other places to go, whether it be resorts or cruises, where we are not treated as second class passengers. If this is "Cruising Like a Norwegian", they can keep it. 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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