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Sail Date: December 2018
Family and friend cruise for Christmas. We have done a family cruise for Christmas the last four years. This was our friends first cruise. Entertainment and activities could have been better. There were times events were scheduled ... Read More
Family and friend cruise for Christmas. We have done a family cruise for Christmas the last four years. This was our friends first cruise. Entertainment and activities could have been better. There were times events were scheduled and then never happened. Of course we always make the best out of the situations. Service was top notch as always. Loved our Washy Washy lady at the buffet, so friendly and always smiling. The Park West personnel were AWESOME!!! Very knowledgeable and helpful. We bought several pieces. Only did one excursion, the Jolly Roger in Barbados and it was fantastic. We were traveling with older children but all ages had a fantastic time! Otherwise, we did our own thing at all of the other ports. As long as you stick to the timing, we have more fun exploring out on our own. Loved the itinerary, just wished the shows and activities were better. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Holiday cruise with family. This was our second time sailing on the Gem for Christmas. The first was back in 2010 for a 7 day cruise. Ship has been refurbished (2015) but still shows outward signs of being an older boat. I must admit ... Read More
Holiday cruise with family. This was our second time sailing on the Gem for Christmas. The first was back in 2010 for a 7 day cruise. Ship has been refurbished (2015) but still shows outward signs of being an older boat. I must admit that the food quality was better now than previously. Norwegian is no Royal Caribbean however. Lobster was nowhere on the menu for any of the restaurants or dining rooms. The dining room experience was nice but the service is extremely slow. Give yourself at least 2 1/2 hours for dinner. The long unpredictable dining time makes seeing a scheduled show at the theater a challenge. One night we went to dinner at 6:30 and hand to skip the dessert portion of our meal because we didn't want to miss the 9:00 show. Speaking of shows, the production (singing, music, and dancing) is excellent. There were times while we were at sea that there wasn't anything to do. This is an old ship, so there is only a pool slide, athletic court, and rock climbing wall. We had the Carnival Sunshine in port with us in Puerto Rico and St. Kitts, and that ship seemed like it contained an adult and children playground in the back of the boat. Disembarkation was a nightmare. They need more structure with this process. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Great clean ship with water slides, ropes curse, pools, hot tubs, theater, music, and more. The Caribbean islands were all amazing ports with many things to do. Ship was always clean, lots of quality entertainment and the food was very ... Read More
Great clean ship with water slides, ropes curse, pools, hot tubs, theater, music, and more. The Caribbean islands were all amazing ports with many things to do. Ship was always clean, lots of quality entertainment and the food was very good. I highly recommend this cruise. Luckily sometimes it goes on sale too. I like to get off at the ports take a taxi and go to the beach to swim and snorkel . Every Island was great but my very favorite was St., Kitts. Embark and disembark were so very easy each time. Husband, daughter, son in law and grandson all had a great time. We would go it again if the opportunity came up. I loved After Midnight and the Rat Pack shows. They were both very impressive with the quality of the entertainment. The bar music was always amazing too. I especially loved the piano man in the bar each night. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was my second cruise with Norwegian and the first on the Escape (Getaway previously). I really enjoyed the additions to the Escape from the Getaway (mainly the District Brewhouse). We went on the 12 day Eastern Caribbean cruise from ... Read More
This was my second cruise with Norwegian and the first on the Escape (Getaway previously). I really enjoyed the additions to the Escape from the Getaway (mainly the District Brewhouse). We went on the 12 day Eastern Caribbean cruise from NYC with my wife and 14 month old son. SHIP: Wow this ship is awesome. There was so much to do that I still didn't see if all over our 12 night cruise. Everything was cleaned immaculately throughout the cruise. On the last night, I took a stroll around the ship for one last look and found a whole team of crew power washing everything on the main deck and the buffet was torn apart for cleaning and sanitizing. The staff does an excellent job maintaining the ship at all times during the cruise and everything was always clean and tidy. STAFF: All of the Norwegian staff were EXCELLENT in ensuring my wife and I had all the baby's needs met. This was a 12 day cruise and many members of the staff got to know my son by name and would always be sure to stop by and say hello to him while I was chasing him around the decks. I an an Engineer and struck up a conversation with the Chief Electrical Engineer and he gave me his busines card and took about an hour out of his day to sit down with me and have a detailed 1-1 technical discussion of the ship and design. WOW! I was't expecting that but just goes to show the level of customer service across all levels of the Norwegian Staff. Additionally, my wife and I had some trouble adjusting to the mattress in the room (coming from a sleepnumber at home, no other fellow guests had issues) and the Housekeeping staff came to our room about 45 minutes after calling the front desk with two new mattresses and egg crate foam toppers for the bed. The next day the Housekeeping Manager stopped by to personally ask about the new mattress to ensure we were comfortable and comped us free laundry service for the cruise due to our issue with the mattress. This was completely unexpected and unnecessary but the Manager insisted and we were grateful for their accommodation. DINNING We were offered the Ultimate Beverage Package and Dining package as a promotion when booking. The Beverage package was great and the bartenders excellent. They consistent had bartenders at all the main entertainment venues walking around taking orders and all the drinks were well made. My only complaint about the dining would be the large gap between the quality of food and service in the main dining room and specialty restaurants. The specialty restaurants were EXCELLENT (think Ruth Chris/Morton's quality). The Main Dining room food was ok but nothing compared to the specialty restaurants. I understand Norwegian needs to make a good reason for the upcharge for the specialty restaurants but think that might be impacting the food/service in the main dining room for the worse. The service in the main dining room was not consistent and not as personal as the other venues. I got the feeling the main dining room staff was being stretched to their limits which causes the slow service and lack of personal interaction such as in the specialty restaurants. We went to the buffet for breakfast and lunch pretty consistently and always found that they had a large selection of food and the tables were always bused quickly by the staff. The buffet did get crowded at times but that is expected for a ship of this size. ENTERTAINMENT I spent one night walking around the different bars/lounges of the ship and noticed that every single bar had live entertainment. The choices in entertainment were endless with comedians, dueling pianos, Broadway style stage shows, Magicians, Bands, solo artists, etc. Several of the main performers gathered large followings throughout the ship. The ship was definitely bumping every night and had a great vibe going. KIDS CLUB The staff and facilities in the Kids Club were EXCELLENT. They have a program called Guppies for Children 6 months to under 3 years. Each sea day they had two "Mommy and Me" style classes that each lasted 30-45 minutes. The staff running these programs did an excellent job over the 12 days organizing different and unique activities for the parents and children to participate in together. We did songs, games, art and of course bubbles! My 14 month old son loved the daily classes and we were able to meet several other families from this program and ended up many of us eating together for dinner every night. We met families with children attending the Splash Academy (over 3 to 13 years old) and they all said their children loved the Splash Program as well. We went with several families to the end-of-cruise show the children in Splash put on and the staff did an awesome job engaging the kids and creating an exciting atmosphere for them. OVERALL This was my second NCL cruise and we had a blast. The crowd on the 12 day cruise was a little older however we were able to meet families in our demographic (30-40 years old). I really like that NCL runs consistent promotions for Beverage/Dining/Kids Sail Free which is one of the reasons I would keep coming back to NCL. The Specialty dining is excellent and I would be temped next cruise to buy the package for more meals. My only complaint was the quality of service and food in the main dining room. The room was fine but nothing really stood out like the specialty restaurants. The service was slow and inconsistent as well. We did have some great attentive waitstaff in the main dining room and ensured to fill out comment cards recognizing their service. The specialty restaurants, entertainment options and personable staff more than made up for this complaint and would not stop me from cruising with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Service, food and entertainment were fabulous. Always smiling face, delicious taste,and a increadible talent on board an exquisite ship!!! Bravo, crew of the NCL Escape!!! From Howl at the moon with Ben Michaels, Rob and Marty, the ... Read More
Service, food and entertainment were fabulous. Always smiling face, delicious taste,and a increadible talent on board an exquisite ship!!! Bravo, crew of the NCL Escape!!! From Howl at the moon with Ben Michaels, Rob and Marty, the levity comedy with Flip Schultz , the iconic singing of Sharon Wilkins, to the Choir of Man performance , And After midnight and Bratpack Musicals, to the for cuisine, bars featuring almost 100 brews, specialty cocktails from around the world, and incredible customer service throughout the vessel, the NFL Escape was an experience for the ages.... and special needs friendly!!! The ports were warm, friendly, and our NCL excursions were well done.. A lifetime of family memories in just 12 days. And the thermal spa... a must!!! The ultimate in comfort, relaxation and enjoyment. Loved the sauna, salt water pool, steam room, and more!!! Thank you, to the crew of the Norwegian Escape!!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
The ship was clean. The food was very good. The cabin was clean, the steward was helpful and the cabin was fare for the money paid. The entertainment part could be better. The Only one show "The chore man" or 12 days is ... Read More
The ship was clean. The food was very good. The cabin was clean, the steward was helpful and the cabin was fare for the money paid. The entertainment part could be better. The Only one show "The chore man" or 12 days is unacceptable. Rest of shows were similar, but was worth to look only for one day. Watching such shows second time with little additions was not interesting. The thermal suite was very good. However, The spa service people were afraid to do more than expected. The knowledge of time and knowledge of regular services was not adequate. In order to have spa staff The sport activities were excellent. The excursions on the ship was too expensive, parts of excursions were not interesting. Taking same service on the island was less expensive and usually had more value.Some information should be verified, because expectations from the beach given from ship was partially incorrect. Too many service charges for every order. The water should be given for free.The Internet service was very good. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This cruise was originally supposed to have 6 ports; San Juan, st. Lucia, st. Kitts, Barbados, st. Thomas, and Roseau, Dominica. After final payment, itinerary was changed. San Juan was eliminated and Dominica was replaced with St. John, ... Read More
This cruise was originally supposed to have 6 ports; San Juan, st. Lucia, st. Kitts, Barbados, st. Thomas, and Roseau, Dominica. After final payment, itinerary was changed. San Juan was eliminated and Dominica was replaced with St. John, antigua. Overall, this was a very good cruise, but we were a little disappointed with the loss of one port and a total of 6 full days at sea. Having said that, this ship had great entertainment, friendly staff, and ultimately we had a great cruise. Specialty restaurants were excellent. The main dining rooms were good, not great, and the buffet was just okay. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly with little wait time. I would not recommend the scenic rail excursion in st. Kitts. It was very expensive and not worth it. Our mini suite had ample room and we had a great steward. The bed was awful though, and the mattress really needed to be replaced. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose this cruise for convenience of leaving from NYC and the dates which had no students on vacation. First time on mega ship and pleasantly surprised. Embarkation was easy. Lovely balcony cabin was under the gym but no noise from there. ... Read More
Chose this cruise for convenience of leaving from NYC and the dates which had no students on vacation. First time on mega ship and pleasantly surprised. Embarkation was easy. Lovely balcony cabin was under the gym but no noise from there. Most meals in the Manhattan Room. Service was nice and relaxed not rushed. Garden Café was fine and not a problem with seating. After the first rush of crowded elevators on day one elevators were not overcrowded. Also ate at Cagney"s,Teppanyaki, Le Bistro, O"Sheehans. Specialty restaurants as expected food was good and service nice. Enjoyed "After Midnight" but less so 'The Brat Pack". Enjoyed the lively disco on the casino floo,r.the parties at H2O, Levity comedy shows in the theater and at Headliners, and some groups in the Atrium. Had excellent help with wi-fi package (I left it on all night and used up my time!). Ports were good and happy that there were no tender stops. Problem is that most of the tours are too much for too little and much of what you see are just the market areas. I wish there were large sightseeing buses so that you could really SEE the ports .Barbados has a shuttle bus to the port marketplace and then a $2 taxi to town and back. The crew talent show was fun and the Q&A with Captain and Engineer informative. Service was generally very nice and I enjoyed talking with crew from around the world. Long line leaving the ship and took much longer than expected. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We could not have asked for a better experience on a cruise. Had no issues during embarkation. Our balcony cabin was great and our room steward John was great. Lots to do including the Broadway quality stage shows, the comedy shows and ... Read More
We could not have asked for a better experience on a cruise. Had no issues during embarkation. Our balcony cabin was great and our room steward John was great. Lots to do including the Broadway quality stage shows, the comedy shows and parties. The movies, trivia and game shows in the atrium were so much fun. Poolside action, the exercise classes and the competitions the zip lines and water slides. The meal options from complementary to specialty restaurant dining. We opted not to get a drink package and it worked for us just fine. The shore excursions were a bit expensive so we only did one with the ship in St. Lucia the catamaran snorkeling tour which was great!! The other ports we explored on our own with no issues. The service on this ship was great including Rowan in the Garden cafe singing “Washie Washie so guests would remember to always wash their hands. Then the fabulous Golden Octaves band whose lead singer sang every note to perfection and provided us with beautiful memories. The wonderful “Party Hype Crew” including Alvin the Cruise Director, Rasheeda and Joey they kept our energy levels up. Renee and Natasha in the Dufree shops who provided excellent customer service even though we didn’t win any of the many raffles. This cruise offered great value for our money and we enjoyed every single bit of it. Thank you and see you next time! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Embarkation went smooth and as expected. Disembarkation was terrible, We paid for transfers to our Hotel and there were NO NCL employees outside of the terminal to assist us. The Brat Pack was stupid and profane and After Midnight left ... Read More
Embarkation went smooth and as expected. Disembarkation was terrible, We paid for transfers to our Hotel and there were NO NCL employees outside of the terminal to assist us. The Brat Pack was stupid and profane and After Midnight left me snoozing in my seat. Service was terrible. We waited 3 days without a bar of soap in our bathroom. This is our second time in the Haven and this cruise lacked priority boarding after excursions. I felt like it was a waste of money. The elevators on the ship were filthy, with food on the floor on more than one occasion. I'm not sure if it was the ship or the crew but I don't feel that the ship was taken care of which is disappointing after the amount of money we spend to have a luxury cruise. We'll be trying the MSC Yacht Club. I'm not sure if I will go on another NCL cruise Haven or not. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose this cruise because it was 12 days and $459 + taxes for total of $600. Left from and returned to Manhattan. Ship holds 4500 passengers. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Cabin was average. The problem with this size ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was 12 days and $459 + taxes for total of $600. Left from and returned to Manhattan. Ship holds 4500 passengers. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Cabin was average. The problem with this size ship is that in exchange for having more people, the venues decrease . Entertainment: The size of the theater is half that of smaller boats with one level only. It cannot accommodate even one quarter of the passengers at one time. Smaller boats have bigger theaters. As a result, you MUST reserve time and day for any and all entertainment on board. In addition there were only two musical production shows for an entire 12 day cruise which were repeated over and over so everyone could see it. There was one so so magician for two of the same shows. And they put a comedy act in the main theater to fill in. The comedy acts were usually in the smaller lounge and they were repeated numerous times with the same material. And as stated before, you needed reservations or you had to wait on line to get in if someone did not show up. There were two supper club shows which they charged extra for or you could not go in. And the supper club show held only a small number of passengers. Dining venues: There are three free dining areas. Manhattan, Savor and Taste. Manhattan is the larger of the three and has music for an hour and only open for dinner. The other two are smaller and no music. Service at all three was terrible for all meals, breakfast , lunch and dinner. Waiters were not experienced, mixed up orders, went back and forth bringing only one item at a time. They worked harder not smarter. Very slow service. Food was mediocre. Of course for more money, they had many more dining venues which charged more money and additional service charges when you have already paid for your meals. It seems that all in all the bigger boats provide room for more people, less service, less entertainment and less venues for entertainment. Fewer pools, smaller theater.smaller gym . But for more money you can now get better food, entertainment, drink packages, can get excursions etc. in addition to casino, and a spa which they charge more money to get in with heated chairs and sauna, steam room etc. it seems to me the cruise industry will put themselves out of business soon charging for everything which should be included in the fare.. They certainly have lost me as a cruise customer on these larger ships. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Norwegian Escape is a large ship, we booked this cruise to see if we would like cruising on a ship of this size. Food was very good especially Cagney's and Bayamo which was excellent. We found breakfast to be a problem whether we ate ... Read More
Norwegian Escape is a large ship, we booked this cruise to see if we would like cruising on a ship of this size. Food was very good especially Cagney's and Bayamo which was excellent. We found breakfast to be a problem whether we ate in Taste or Savour it took a very long time to receive your meal and it was usually cold, the order was incorrect or the most frustrating was a wait of 45 minutes to receive meal and the eggs whether an omelet, over medium, scrambled or eggs benedict were not cooked with raw egg whites. At the time of our sailing December 9-21 2018 there were no straws on the ship. We were a group of 8 and all used the Norwegian app and paid the $9.95 to be able to text one another this worked great and we had no problems with app what so ever. Huge shoutout to the staff, they work really hard to try and make sure you have a great holiday! The entertainment on this ship is lacking and we were very disappointed, we have sailed on 4 previous Norwegian cruises and we could hardly believe we were on the same cruise line. We went to shows in theater, Howl at the Moon, comedians and lounge acts, at all of these venues the volume was so excessively loud that people walked out, there was no variety the same shows over and over. We did 14 day cruise on Norwegian Star last year (2017) and entertainment was different every evening. We reserved Choir of Men and this was an excellent show, however the food they serve is terrible. Make sure you arrive early to stand in line to get a good seat and plan dinner after the show. We did one ship excursion in Antigua, and on our own at other ports. If you need transfers to airport at end of cruise book early as they sell out and you have to go across the street from terminal and stand on the sidewalk to find a cab. New York traffic is crazy busy and juggling luggage on a street corner looking for a cab with hundreds of other people is not a fun way to end your cruise. The great smoking debate continues on this ship, as smokers even we were confused, you can smoke on deck 17 in two locations outdoors and the casino as well as a little indoor room on deck 8, this room was a total joke. The casino is in the middle of ship and is very open, the smell of smoke wafts through 2 decks and even as smokers was annoying. Why not give smokers a place outside on deck 7 or 8 to keep more of the smoke outside.?? On other ships in Norwegian fleet you could smoke on one side of the boat or other on the same deck as a lot of the public spaces. We have been loyal Norwegian consumers but will be looking at other cruise lines for future cruises as this cruise was mediocre at best and the entertainment was very very lacking. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I felt that there was way too many uosales on the cruise line. Not much is included. The food in the specialty restaurants we visited was really good. You had to pay extra for them. The service in Cagney’s Steak restaurant was ... Read More
I felt that there was way too many uosales on the cruise line. Not much is included. The food in the specialty restaurants we visited was really good. You had to pay extra for them. The service in Cagney’s Steak restaurant was excellent. I recommend the Food Republic and Cagney’s steakhouse. The buffet was just okay most of the time. There was only one restaurant that was included besides buffet and dinning room. Most of the entertainment on broad was really good. We saw three shows ( After Midnight, the Choir of Man and Brat Pack) and they were very good. Chelsea Reynolds and the piano player at The District brew house were both very talented. The comedians and dueling piano were just okay. We played bingo and that was fun but very expensive for what you got. It was in the theater and it was punch cards. You didn’t use a dabber. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We had a wonderful time on this cruise on NCL Escape which left on December 9, 2018 from New York. We were previously on this ship in November 2017 when it departed Miami for a 7 day Western Caribbean Itinerary. This was our 3rd cruise ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on this cruise on NCL Escape which left on December 9, 2018 from New York. We were previously on this ship in November 2017 when it departed Miami for a 7 day Western Caribbean Itinerary. This was our 3rd cruise with NCL, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. My wife travels in a wheelchair with me, so we had to book this 2 years ago in order to secure one of the wheelchair accessible balcony cabins, which was wonderful as well. Embarkation of the ship was a breeze, and we arrived at our scheduled time of 10:30 AM, and were onboard with our bags dropped in the room by approximately 11:30. As soon as we got onto the ship we went for lunch which was great. Our dining experience on Escape was fantastic overall. We ate in many different venues of the ship, including the Manhattan Room, Cagney's, Le Bistro, Teppenyaki, Margaritaville, and the Garden Cafe. The majority of our dinners were eaten at the Manhattan Room which is on Deck 7, Aft. We had a wonderful waiter, Archinta Patra who looked after each and every one of our needs, and make sure nothing went wrong at all. We also had a great Maitre' D', Moises Fernandes, who ensured that nothing was missed during our dining experiences. We also had at the 4 night specialty dining package as well, and went to the specialty restaurants mentioned above, and all were great, both in service and food quality. For Port Excursions, we mainly did our own thing at each and every one of the ports. In St Thomas, we took a cab into town from the Havensight Cruise Terminal, and walked around the old town of Charlotte Amalie, which was very enjoyable. There are many interesting little shops and boutiques located there, and I would recommend it as a must if you haven't done it before. In Antigua, our second stop, I organized an Island Tour for both the Cruise Critic and Facebook cruise groups, through a local tour operator, Emelda Frank. She took us on a 5 Hour tour of the island, and we saw all the fabulous things that Antigua has offer, including the spectacular Shirley's Heights and Nelson's Dockyard. If you haven't been to Antigua before it is a must. The great thing about this tour is that she was able to accommodate my wife in her wheelchair, and we were able to experience everything that the island has to offer. Our next stop after this was Barbados, where I met up with an old high school friend, and he showed us around the island. Barbados is wonderful, and I would recommend doing an Island Tour if you have the chance. Our next stop was St Lucia, where we did a COSOL tour of the island which took the entire day. We started first thing in the morning at the ship, and saw the entire island for the most part, including the Volcano, Pitons, Sugar beach, a speed boat ride, rainforest drive, and many of the other beautiful scenery that the island has to offer. I would also highly recommend this tour as well. Our final port stop was Basseterre, St Kitts, where we went to Reggae Beach for the day. I am not a big fan of St Kitts, probably my least favourite island of the itinerary. The reason for this is, there isn't a lot to see and do if you've been there multiple times. I would recommend an Island tour the first time, but other than this, the island has some great beaches and a lot of adventure tourism, which we can't partake in, due to my wife's physical requirements. The on ship activities were very good overall. There were a couple of things that could have used a little bit of work in this department. My wife and I are big trivia fans, and we participate in pretty much all of the trivia events that are offered onboard during the sailing. The one thing that could be worked on here is repetition of questions. With exception of the Progressive Trivia and specialized theme trivia, we saw some of the questions multiple times. Perhaps they could add some more questions to the rotation perhaps so that this doesn't happen in the future. On our previous sailing on the escape last year, we were a big fan of the District Brew Pub, and the live entertainment that it would offer in the evening with a piano player. On this sailing, we tried the venue twice, and had to leave, due to the excessive volume of the piano, which drowned out the singer's voice, to the point we couldn't hear anything. Perhaps this could be improved in the future. The themed parties, ie 70's, 80's and 90's parties were OK, but not as good as the same events on the previous sailing last year. I think that this might have had to do with the cruise director's choices of music, as the director we had last year was exceptional, and the parties were unforgettable. The Service on the ship was wonderful as well. We experienced no issues at all from members of the crew, and the Hotel Directors staff including the Director, Deepak Punia, Assistant Director, Roland Schrock were both excellent, and made sure that all of our needs were looked after. Additionally, the Food and Beverage Director, Kivanc Ucar was fantastic as well. All in all they were excellent, and I would recommend the ship to anyone who asks. I would definitely book on Escape again, depending on the itinerary offered. To summarize, the cruise was very enjoyable, and we had no major issues during the sailing at all. Thanks again for a great cruise NCL. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
The cruise that wasn't suppose to be. Our original booking was an 11 day Caribbean cruise on the Breakaway leaving March 23 out of NY. Problem Breakaway isn't returning to NY in 2019. Offered replacement on the Escape ... Read More
The cruise that wasn't suppose to be. Our original booking was an 11 day Caribbean cruise on the Breakaway leaving March 23 out of NY. Problem Breakaway isn't returning to NY in 2019. Offered replacement on the Escape was Bahamas which we had just done. This cruise was to be for our 35th Anniversary on March 24th 2019 so we wanted something more then a 7 day that we had just done. There go 12 day Southern on the ESCAPE December 9th 2018. After many Itinerary changes we set sail on what is now my second favorite NCL ship, sorry ESCAPE DAWN still has my heart. Embarkation and disembarkation were the smoothest we have had on NCL. No problems on either end of the cruise even though we left late to try and avoid a major storm and returned early due to our 3rd medical emergency of the trip. The ship was great. Very easy to get around on. Lots of options for what ever you had in mind. Only exception is if you're a smoker such as my wife. Smoking areas are getting smaller and fewer on all ships. Our cabin 15756 was awesome, plenty of storage and the deck is one of the best secrets on this type of ship. Our cabin is the last of the Spa balcony and the next cabin is a mini suite. The ship juts out further for the mini suits and therefore our balcony goes from a regular balcony room to the mini suits and is angled out giving us a much larger balcony. With a large overhang above us we are able to enjoy our balcony rain or shine. Only draw back with the balcony is they took away the outside light. Dining, NCL has me a believer in specialty restaurants as we have found comp dining to have bad service. NOT the case on the Escape. Taste Savor and the Manhatten Room all had good food with good service. Taste having the best. The garden Cafe I was disappointed with very hard to get around and find things food was poor. Here is my WARNING stay far away from the early riser breakfast at Margaritville. Worst food I ever had on any ship. Here is what I thought of the specialty restaurants we went to. Teppanyaki is good the show and food are both OK, land base restaurants of this type are better but they have less restrictions. I give this a 3.5 out of 5 Bayamo seafood restaurant extremely disappointing. Selection was very bad food was poor price was extreme Bayamo gets a 2 out of 5 LA CUCINA food and service was very good 4 out of 5 LE BRISTRO was everything I have come to expect from a great French restaurant, great food and service. 4 out of 5 MODERNO if you have never experienced a Brazilian Steakhouse this is a MUST. Great food very service the grilled pineapple is to die for.4.5 out of 5 CAGNEY'S it is NCL's very best of the best 5 out of 5 THE CHOIR OF MAN food is good the entertainment is great the beer is cold and keeps on flowing. For entertainment we didn't do a lot. CHOIR OF MAN was great, went to the art auctions and lectures they were good. Spent a lot of time in the Thermal suite which is AWESOME. Alvin the cruise director which we saw with The Not so New Newlywed Game we found rude insulting and not funny. Felt bad for the couples that were on stage. Alvin hands down worst cruise director we have had on any ship. Service overall was good. Wait staff in the restaurants was very good. Bar service in the casino was fair Crew was helpful and attentive. Our cabin steward was fair, we have had much better on our other NCL ships. Ports were very easy to get on and off the ship. Excursions are good a little on the high price side but still good One final comment here for wasn't sure where to but it. I remember on all my other NCL ships you could get your picture taken in the restaurants and then later decide if you wanted to keep the picture or even have it in your picture book which is our preferred way to keep our memories of the cruise. Here you had to decide to keep it or not then and there at the end of your meal. I am not sure if this is the new fleet wide or not but would like to see it go back to the photo shop so you have options. In closing we loved the cruise and I would do it again Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
For Barbados, St. Thomas and St. Lucia ports which I'd never been to before. The weather was great at all the ports except the cold in NYC where we started. It was cold until we got down to Florida and encountered rain the night ... Read More
For Barbados, St. Thomas and St. Lucia ports which I'd never been to before. The weather was great at all the ports except the cold in NYC where we started. It was cold until we got down to Florida and encountered rain the night before we got back to NYC. All ports were average ports, but Barbados, where most of us complained. We were the 3rd ship in port, but even so, the walkway for us to the terminal needs to be improved. It was totally impassable for any wheelchair. There were stairs at least 2 other times where the other ships were docked at which we had to go up/down. They ran a shuttle for people that were unable to walk, but the traffic on the road was busy with painting cranes and trucks. Did NCL beach excursions on all ports except St. Lucia, where I took a tour to the Pitons. All were enjoyable. I had a studio close to the lounge (love the cappuccino machine for morning coffee). It was similar to the lounge in the Epic, but had 11 "scenic" screens....no tv and no bartender after 5 p.m., but a wine vending machine. The gym would be very crowded during the day, so went at 9 p.m. to beat the crowds. Thought it should be bigger for 4200 cruisers. Our solo host was Silvia and she organized dinners, shows and dancing for the singles in the group. They'd invite all to meet in the Lounge at 5 p.m. daily, even if not in a studio (listed on the daily activity newsletter). This was my first time at NYC (Manhattan) port, but found it was very easy to get on/off the ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our third cruise with Norwegian, and it was our least favourite. Had it been our first Norwegian cruise, we wouldn't sail with them again. The ship was too crowded. If they're going to build bigger ships with more ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Norwegian, and it was our least favourite. Had it been our first Norwegian cruise, we wouldn't sail with them again. The ship was too crowded. If they're going to build bigger ships with more staterooms, then they should make bigger restaurants - and a bigger Atrium. During the "at sea" days we lined up for O'Sheehans, & the other general restaurants. There was never a seat in The Atrium, but that was okay because the entertainment was geared towards kids and 70 yr olds. If you liked balloon animals, trivia, and cheesy game show style entertainment, this was for you. If you liked someone banging a tambourine all through breakfast reminding you to wash your hands-- this cruise was for you. The other ships on Norwegian we sailed on had a different show in the theatre each nite- not this one. Some of the shows we had to pay extra $$ to attend. The comedians were hilarious (Flip Shultz!!). The excursions were too short. They'd drop you off at the beach around 1030- and return you at 1pm. The pools were too crowded, and the layout of the sun deck chairs wasn't great- you often stared at people sitting parallel to the glass barriers blocking the ocean view, or had a steady stream of ppl walking past you on the walking track. You had to pay an extra $15. to sit in Jimmy Buffet's restaurant, and each night 5 o'clock somewhere sat mostly empty. We were constantly bombarded with art auctions, jewellery sales, etc. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
The time for this cruise was the best for me. I felt like the itinerary worked well for how long of a cruise it was. I don't have any specific complaints, there was no issues I had and overall it was an amazing experience! I have been ... Read More
The time for this cruise was the best for me. I felt like the itinerary worked well for how long of a cruise it was. I don't have any specific complaints, there was no issues I had and overall it was an amazing experience! I have been on numerous cruises before and I would say that they all have pros and cons. This ships pro (for me at least) was the staff, absolutely amazing! They always went above and beyond! The con would probably be dining options. I love the "freestyle" idea and actually I think they did a pretty good job with it. There should be more variety in terms of complimentary dining places. Also the food was good but I would not say great. The embarkation and disembarking process was very smooth compared to other ports I have left from. The ropes course is a must so! I wasn't sure I would want to do it but I'm so glad I did!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Seriously, I am tired of reading about so many complaints that I decided to leave my own for the first time. I think some people need to get a life. So many cruisers take the time to complain, but never take the time to say something ... Read More
Seriously, I am tired of reading about so many complaints that I decided to leave my own for the first time. I think some people need to get a life. So many cruisers take the time to complain, but never take the time to say something nice. All they do is moan, moan, and complain. This was our 12th cruise with NCL and we had a great time. The cruise is what you make it. Could we find a few egative things to say, yes? But we choose not to do that and we choose to concentrate on the positive. The entertainment was Broadway quality, the food was amazing, and our room steward was fantastic. She did an amazing job keeping our room clean and was so kind. In fact, we found every worker on the cruise kind and hard working. One of the persons who complained about this itinerary said that we had a canceled stop due to a medical emergency. This is absolutely untrue. Every single stop we made was on time. If this complainer is talking about Puerto Rico, that was canceled months before the cruise took off due to the devastation of the hurricane. There was also complaints about no seafood. Really!? There was seafood on the buffet every single night and day. Honestly, I am not sure what people are looking for, but perhaps they should win the lottery and buy their own freaking yacht and then they can boss around their hired help. This cruise was a lot of fun. The staff was amazing, the food was great, the service and the restaurants and specialty restaurants was awesome, the entertainment was great, and every time we passed an employee they smiled and said hello. We would absolutely do this cruise again and this itinerary. No matter how great something in life is, one can always find something negative to complain about. Perhaps, we should all look at the positive side of life more often. I would love to see the reviews from Norwegian Cruise line staff about how horrible sometimes the passengers are. I’m sure they would not be good at all as we see how horrible sometimes passengers treat the staff with abrupt rudeness, loudness and total disregard of respect. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose NCL Escape for many reasons, newer ship, good pricing, departure port and favorable experiences on my last 13 NCL cruises. My total cruise history including this cruise now stands at 31. Ninety minutes after leaving my apartment my ... Read More
Chose NCL Escape for many reasons, newer ship, good pricing, departure port and favorable experiences on my last 13 NCL cruises. My total cruise history including this cruise now stands at 31. Ninety minutes after leaving my apartment my 73 year old younger brother and I were onboard the Escape. That time included a ride to the train station, two trains and one taxi ride to get it to the pier from Penn Station. The food was really good, I ate in specialty restaurants eight of the twelve nights and i enjoyed each and every one of them. I please to see that NCL is now offering so many options in their complimantary dining venues. O'Sheenan's and the buffet had nightly specials that were always so tempting. Did have a prime rib at O'Sheenan's that was really good and my bother raved about it. Wanted to try the seafood basket but had specialty restaurant reservation on the nights that it was available at O'Sheenan's. The buffet always had something to my liking, the desserts seem to have gotten to be a lot better. The chicken tenders with the mustard sauce and the pretzel bread were things that I alway had if they were available. Breakfast was great too, ate more fresh fruits in twelve days than I think I had in the last twelve months. Didn't go to any of the shows, at my age I find them loud and i enjoy the peace and quite on deck. Did watch a movie one night out on the back deck and really enjoyed that. Every morning I would partake in the daily activities in the Atrium, Sudoku and Trivia things that I really enjoy doing. In the afternoon is was quiet time on the confortable chairs on the Waterfront or a game of two or three of cribbage with my brother. Having been to all these islands so many times over the years I don't do excursion any more. Usually just hangout in the shopping areas alongside the ports when we are in port. These things might not be excititng to most but I enjoy what I do and that's what crusing is all about, just doing your own thing or little or nothing at all. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our third and least favourite cruise with Norweigan. Our first was last year on Jade to the Carribean. We got engaged on that cruise and everything about it was perfect. We booked this cruise with Cruise Next while we were on ... Read More
This was our third and least favourite cruise with Norweigan. Our first was last year on Jade to the Carribean. We got engaged on that cruise and everything about it was perfect. We booked this cruise with Cruise Next while we were on that cruise. After that we did the inaugural sailing on Bliss from Southampton to New York in April. We enjoyed this because sailing on a brand new ship was a great experience. The only thing we didn’t like was that cruise was the entertainment was a little limited. Embarkation from New York on the escape was very fast and much quicker than Miami and Southampton. However disembarkation was very slow. We were very disappointed with the entertainment. There were only 3 free mediocre shows and some comedy which were repeated over the 12 days. Completely different to Jade which had different types of shows every night and all were excellent. We had already seen Martin Brock on Bliss and if I’m honest, once was enough. This was the first cruise we travelled on with our daughter who is 12. She was not allowed to join the entourage club because she was 3 months too young and she didn’t want to join the club with the younger kids. The cruise was very busy (too busy) and I think we prefer the smaller ships in future. Food was ok but not as nice as Jade or Bliss. Our daughter is a bit fussy and asking for a plain ham sandwich seemed to be impossible. The menu’s didn’t seem to change much. Waiters were mostly very friendly but there were a couple that seemed like they didn’t want to be there. On one occasion we had to wait an hour for our main course and were not asked if we wanted a drink. On another occasion we asked what the soup was and the waitress didn’t know but kept asking what we wanted to order. And on another occasion I ordered chicken fajita wraps in O’sheans but didn’t get any wraps. I had to stand in line to try and get someone’s attention. The two girls with the blueberry muffins were fun and made us laugh. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
A great itinerary of islands. Cruising between Thanksgiving and Christmas is usually less crowded and a better bargain. The ship was busy, but not overcrowded. The crew was fantastic. The officers were out and about every day. ... Read More
A great itinerary of islands. Cruising between Thanksgiving and Christmas is usually less crowded and a better bargain. The ship was busy, but not overcrowded. The crew was fantastic. The officers were out and about every day. Entertainment was top notch. we love the comics and Howl at the Moon. The Choir of Men was great as was JR in The District and Chelsea Reynolds who played all different venues. We ate in the Manhattan Room many times and food and service was great. Also enjoyed some of the specialty dinning as part of the free perks. They were good too although I think service in the Manhattan Room was equally as good or better. Embarkation was a bit disorganized . We took our own luggage and walked off the ship with very little problem. We usually do our own shore excursions so I can't comment on that. Loved the Escape and would sail her again . Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
The itinerary for this 12-day cruise was excellent. I liked the variety of islands. I was a little disappointed with the ship. I was on the Gem last year and felt that had better public spaces. The Escape is geared towards the Haven areas ... Read More
The itinerary for this 12-day cruise was excellent. I liked the variety of islands. I was a little disappointed with the ship. I was on the Gem last year and felt that had better public spaces. The Escape is geared towards the Haven areas and other exclusive venues. The workout room is much smaller, spa is smaller, theater seemed smaller (1 level versus 2 on the Gem), card room/library smaller. This ship has like 1000 more passengers than the Gem and smaller public areas???? Huge amounts of space were allocated to “fee extra” areas like the Haven , the Supper Club etc. I still had a Good time but the more I sail with NCL the more I feel nickel and dimed and a second class passenger since I do not book suites. I’ve been on almost 30 cruises in the last 25 years and not sure I will go any more. One plus- the entertainment was absolutely fantastic. Excellent shows. Friendly actors, singers and dancers who were friendly and nice around the ship. This is one area that NCL excels at. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We picked the NCL Escape on December 9th, because the itinerary was awesome. The ship, the crew, the entertainment, the bars, the restaurants were all five star. We met the most wonderful crew members who worked tirelessly to make sure ... Read More
We picked the NCL Escape on December 9th, because the itinerary was awesome. The ship, the crew, the entertainment, the bars, the restaurants were all five star. We met the most wonderful crew members who worked tirelessly to make sure our cruise was not only great, but they made sure we were not only happy, but ecstatic. This is truly a beautiful, comfortable, and stunning ship. This was the best vacation we had in over 40 years. We loved it!!!! The ports were magnificent...We went to St.Thomas, Barbados, Antigua, St. Lucia and St. Kitts. The islands were phenomenal, the excursions were great, the food was outstanding. What more could you want!!! If you see this cruise in the future, don't pass it up. This was a magnificent trip with the nicest, sweetest, and most supportive staff we every met!!! Every day was filled with fun, activities, great food, great people and exciting adventures!!!! AWESOME!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Embarkation was a little confusing and takes time, but once you get on the ship it is beautiful. We were in a mini suite and feels pretty much the same as a balcony cabin. All dining is great. Service in restaurants good(Cagney's ... Read More
Embarkation was a little confusing and takes time, but once you get on the ship it is beautiful. We were in a mini suite and feels pretty much the same as a balcony cabin. All dining is great. Service in restaurants good(Cagney's Steak house - amazing and lots of choices when eating at O'Sheehans - great place to have a good and quick breakfast), rooms cleaned well, but never really saw our room steward (Usually there is more interaction with the staff), bars and lounges take great care of you (They remember you when you return and come up and say high when you are not in the same area). Ports were all fantastic. But the Highlight of our cruise was the Dinner/Show in the Supper Club "The Choir of Men" they were fantastic, amazing and very enjoyable. You had to pay extra, but I would pay again to see that show. Would definitely cruise again. Read Less

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