1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
Sailed out of NYC on the Escape to Bermuda on May 27, 2018. Check in and boarding was the smoothest of any cruise I have taken. Sailing was good, a very few minor moments of ship movement from the weather as a result of weather on the ... Read More
Sailed out of NYC on the Escape to Bermuda on May 27, 2018. Check in and boarding was the smoothest of any cruise I have taken. Sailing was good, a very few minor moments of ship movement from the weather as a result of weather on the way to Bermuda but none after that. The weather was a minor issue the first day in Bermuda as it rained off an on for the first ½ of the day. After that it was fine. On the ship the spa is always a big plus for me but with the hot tub and stone recliners not being much past slightly warm, it was a bit of a let down. Still enjoyed it though. Food was excellent EXCEPT the steak and service in la Cucina. The steak there was extremely tough and quite overcooked. The server failed to bring a requested soft drink even after several requests. Cagney's rocked. Taste and Savor were great for breakfast! The Ocean Blue menu at Bayamo was very tasty but not quite as good as it was on the Getaway. Moderno, Le Bistro, and O'Sheehan's weer all very good as well. I love those Thai chili wings! Lastly I use a wheeled walked to get around. I never had a single issue with being able to get where I wanted to go! We had four in an angled balcony cabin and we all did well. I did miss not having a light on the balcony though. The crew was amazing as usual. Just look like you need help and someone is there to take care of you. We had a lot of fun in Bermuda. Crystal Caves was a nice tour. Jumping into the cave pools from the 'cliff' walls at blue hole was a lot of fun. Snorkeling at Church beach was some of the best snorkeling we have ever done and swimming at Horseshoe Bay beach is a must do thing for everyone. It was our first ever trip to Bermuda. We plan to do it again and hopefully have a bit warmer and less windy conditions. Thanks NCL for another great cruise vacation! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We went on a family cruise to Bermuda aboard the Norwiegen Escape and it was better than I could have dreamed. Being handicapped and in a wheelchair I was a little nervous about going but everything turned out great...we stayed in a ... Read More
We went on a family cruise to Bermuda aboard the Norwiegen Escape and it was better than I could have dreamed. Being handicapped and in a wheelchair I was a little nervous about going but everything turned out great...we stayed in a section called "The Haven" and it was exactly that...the room that I had was spacious enough for me and my chair and the entire staff were superb, especialy Jefferson our butler who could never do enough for us..the memories will stay with me Forever. The restaurant was very good and served Breakfast, lunch and dinner..the head chef was very accommidating as four in our family are Vegan, so they went out of their way to prepare special dishes.Relaxing at the lounge was nice, they had a very nice selection of liquor and pretty much could make any drink you like. The bartenders were all very nice and good at what they do. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We loved everything , my husband and I are both handicapped and everything was accessible. There was lots to do or not do. We love sitting on deck 8 and reading. Restaurant s were great . I loved that cruise and can’t wait to do it ... Read More
We loved everything , my husband and I are both handicapped and everything was accessible. There was lots to do or not do. We love sitting on deck 8 and reading. Restaurant s were great . I loved that cruise and can’t wait to do it again. My husband is deaf and the movies had captions on . We also saw a broadway type play . We also rented a scooter for him and he was able to take it off the boat into Bermuda . We were able to ring my daughter and son in law with us , we just paid the tax for them . The room was small but we managed fine. It was nice to get coffee and muffins delivered for free . I also would bring a wide mouth water bottle next time to refill at the buffet. I would do this again in a New York minute Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Friends of ours planned the trip and invited us. The operation of the ship was amazing as is the organization and planning of all departments. Everything was squeaky clean. Our balcony room was efficient. For the most part the food was ... Read More
Friends of ours planned the trip and invited us. The operation of the ship was amazing as is the organization and planning of all departments. Everything was squeaky clean. Our balcony room was efficient. For the most part the food was exceptional. for breakfast we ate at the buffet and on board dining. . 2 of my favorite upscale meals were Cagney's and Le Bistro. At Cagney's the sea bass was so good as was the fillet at Le Bistro. The buffet had a good variety of well prepared delicious food. The buffet was congested at peak dining times. i really enjoyed the fresh fruit and salads..The service onboard was excellent especially Marion at the pool bar. who had an amazing ability to remember names. Her timing with drinks was remarkable. I was amazed at how smoothly embarkation and disembarkation went. Unfortunately we only saw one show which was good.i denfinetly would go again! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
We just got back from our 7-day Carribean cruise on the Escape. We brought a large group (21 in all) of family - myself, my wife, two kids, her brother, parents and two aunts, and some cousins. Our son is moderately autistic - calm and ... Read More
We just got back from our 7-day Carribean cruise on the Escape. We brought a large group (21 in all) of family - myself, my wife, two kids, her brother, parents and two aunts, and some cousins. Our son is moderately autistic - calm and sweet, but has trouble paying attention or following group instruction. One of the first things we did when we got on board was check into the kids club, where we had a short talk with the directors there about our son and what they could expect. He's self-sufficient and will absorb himself in an individual activity when one is available, and we were told that was fine. That lasted exactly one trip to the club, after which we were told that his disinterest in group activities made it a problem for him to be in the club and that "they can't provide one-on-one care." Since we weren't asking for that and he doesn't need it, this was a bit of a shock. What they had really told us was that they couldn't keep an eye on the whole of their club, since for our son's safety that's all they'd need to do. The issue wasn't one of age groups leaving the club to do ship-walks - we avoid those anyway (he does elope sometimes and needs to be in an enclosed space, which the club is.) This was an issue of the club being understaffed to the point that there were areas that would go unsupervised for stretches of time. While the cruise was Spring Break and there were as a result a LOT of kids on board (we were told between 1700 and 2500 total) this does not fly as an excuse. Spring Break cruises are substantially more expensive - if more staff is needed to properly handle the kids' club that week, more money has been collected. It should be staffed. And the kids' club is the same size, and maxes out at 190 kids, no matter how many are on board. We were extremely disappointed to be told that because there were so many kids, they couldn't give a sideward glance to ours, and singled him out for his special needs, which in an entertainment-packed, enclosed space, drop to zero in any case. This is a shame, because other aspects of the ship are fantastic. There's so much to do on Lido and above that, in spite of the truckload of minors, wait lines for everything were astonishingly short. We never waited more than 5 minutes to ride a slide, get on the mini golf course or use the ropes course. My (not special needs) daughter, I'm sure, would give the cruise all 5 stars. The food is exceptional at all the specialty restaurants we tried, and their one minor mistake (bringing me a well-done steak when I ordered medium rare) was corrected in less than 2 minutes. I'd highly recommend the drink package, if it's included or reasonably priced - not having to sign for every cocktail is an underappreciated joy, and most of them are included. The cabin we had was on the small side, but if you do a little pre-cruise research like my wife did, you can jam all your travel gear into it for 2 adults and 2 kids and not have any in the walkways. Good service abounds pretty much everywhere you go, whether it's getting on or off the ship, dining, or at the bars and lounges, where we were approached several times and asked by cruise directors how everything was going. (I didn't raise my concerns about the kids' club to them at the time, and kind of regret missing that opportunity). The only shore excursion we were able to do through the ship was the Jamaican bobsled and Dunn's River Falls in Ocho Rios, and it was seamless and an eyeful. Norwegian is doing passengers a disservice by docking in Falmouth - Ocho Rios is maybe the most beautiful port I've seen anywhere in the Caribbean, and you can see it from the top of the mountain where the bobsled runs. (To be fair, our itinerary was changed due to damage from Irma and Maria last year, and Falmouth may have been a fallback from Ocho Rios due to port space). We were also supposed to tender at Great Stirrup Cay, but seas were too rough to run the tenders, and based on conversations we've had, it's a common enough occurrence that this should only be considered half a port; there's a very good chance you won't go at all. We steamed to Nassau early instead. Overall I really want to give a high rating to this ship, and if you're traveling alone or with neurotypical kids you'll probably love it. If one of your tykes is on the spectrum or needs anything resembling personal attention from the kids' club staff, though, expect to have them with you for pretty much the whole cruise. We didn't (and shouldn't have), and it put a pretty sizable dent in what was otherwise an excellent sailing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We choose Norwegian due to it's reputation as a great cruise ship and it didn't disappoint. We had a great time and put some deposit for our next cruise.Ship was very accommodating, very clean. Service on the ship was excellent ... Read More
We choose Norwegian due to it's reputation as a great cruise ship and it didn't disappoint. We had a great time and put some deposit for our next cruise.Ship was very accommodating, very clean. Service on the ship was excellent and the entertainment was super. Food was great, very thing you could ask for. the Journey was great also and the waters we were taken too was really nice. Norwegian private island was super nice and they have buffet lunch with plenty of great food for free. We took two excursions, and they were nice, the host was person the tour guide were knowable with a great history of what the countries and islands had to offer. We did not travel with children but this ship accommodated families and singles, so much room on board that plenty of room to do what you want. This is our 2nd cruise and we'll definite be back. I'll be back on this cruise soon. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
The ship is beautiful, but like someone else already said, way to crowded. Most days you couldn't get near the pools. The crew seem tired and overworked. We traveled on the Sky before and had much more interaction with the crew. ... Read More
The ship is beautiful, but like someone else already said, way to crowded. Most days you couldn't get near the pools. The crew seem tired and overworked. We traveled on the Sky before and had much more interaction with the crew. This time not so much. Our cabin was very nice and spacious, the ports were beautiful and had plenty of places to shop and eat. Dining on the ship was great, we didn't get to try every restaurant. The entertainment was wonderful, however, if you don't book on the first day, there's no chance of getting in to most of the shows. The specialty restaurants either, we had booked ahead of time for the one we really wanted to go to, but then wanted to try others and there were no available reservations at a decent time, only 9:00. It is nice to get away no matter where you go or how you go. Thank you! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Before I start my review I want to let you know how fun the Meet and Greets, Slot Pulls and Cabin Crawls are with Cruise Critic. Our Meet and Greet this time was put on by MIchelle and Chris and they did a fantastic job of organizing that ... Read More
Before I start my review I want to let you know how fun the Meet and Greets, Slot Pulls and Cabin Crawls are with Cruise Critic. Our Meet and Greet this time was put on by MIchelle and Chris and they did a fantastic job of organizing that and the Cabin Crawl. My husband and I did the Slot Pull. For our Meet and Greet we were in the District Brew House so there were beer samples and snack samples being passed around. There was music playing and we got to meet the staff and of course the other nice cruisers. What a blast. From there we went right to the Slot Pull and that was a lot of fun. We actually made $3.00 above our bet. Then on Wednesday we had the Cabin Crawl. This was my first time doing a Cabin Crawl and I was really impressed with all the different types of room we saw. These events are a great way to meet other and to learn more about your ship and cruising in general. I really recommend this especially if it is your first cruise. But it is for everyone first cruise or 30th cruise. Great time!! Ok so now here is my review. I purchased this cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday and my cousins 60th birthday. We went with our husbands. I had been on the Escape before and really loved Tortola and St. Thomas and those were two of the ports were were going to see. After the hurricane devastated some of the islands our stops were to Falmouth Jamaica, Grand Cayman, GSC (Great Stirrup Cay) and Nassau Bahamas. I was not as thrilled with these stops but it was looking forward to Grand Cayman and GSC. Embarkation It went smoothly...no issues at all. Got to our room and was disappointed that the room configuration was not what I asked for. I had a spa balcony cabin and after researching I found that there are two configurations of these rooms. One were the couch is closer to the closet (allowing you much more room to get in and out of the closet) and the other with the bed is closer to the closet giving you less room. Because of my disability (I am getting a two level low back fusion in 3 days) I discussed the rooms with the agent and she was able she said to get me my desired room. Well she did not give me the right room. So when I got to my room I called guest services and they said they said they would send in my concern. Later that day received a message on my phone from some man that said there was no record of this. Since I did not speak with him I have no idea if he knew the correct request or not. So either she did not put the notes in or they were telling me I was lying. Very said for a person who likes NCL and has recommended them to many friends and family. So I was really in a lot of pain trying to bend in this small area to get things that I needed. The Muster Drill was a little longer than usual because you have those people who think they can wander in late...then those who wander in even later...and those who do not care at all and come when they feel THEY should show up. So this makes for a longer time. At my cousin's station a lady was screaming that it was taking to long. I think they had to remove her because she was screaming so loudly. So when they give you your time for the drill please be considerate and get there on time. The Escape is beautiful and there is something for everyone. From a pool, childrens area, slides for both kids and adults putt putt, bowling, Spice H2O a place for adults only. So many places to go on this ship. . Then there are many bars and places to dine. I don't drink much if at all but in order for my husband to get the drink package I had to as well. He also doesn't drink much but being with my cousin and her husband he did drink more than usual. The District Beer house was very nice. We all enjoyed everything about it except the waitress. She was the most unfriendliest person on the ship. They have many types of beers and a cozy atmosphere. You can order I believe 4 different items from the menu, like sliders and wings but it will cost you an additional fee. My cousin and her husband ordered a few things the second night not knowing she had to pay. This was her their first time on NCL. So if you are looking for great beers go here. If you want beer and free food go to Sheehans as it complimentary. The Cabin The cabin was nice except for the configuration as I spoke of above. Everything worked fine. There was enough storage and room for both of us. Our steward was great with the animals in the room. Those are always a treat. And he kept everything nice for us. I should have asked him to fix the bed because there was a piece of plastic that went between our beds where they push them together. I could feel this and it was uncomfortable. I should have requested him to fix it and I am sure he would have. Just kept forgetting after I got up. The pillows on the bed were very nice. Make sure if you are in your room and you want to hear the announcements turn your tv on and go to channel 22 and you will be able to hear them in your room. Dining All specialty restaurants we went to were wonderful. We did La Cucina, Cagney's and Tepanyaki. All of us enjoyed our meal. In fact in the Italian they had tbone steak...kinda sad they took out the ribeye. But I was so stuffed after eating the pasta that I told our waiter to skip my steak. My husband got it so I had a few bites of his. I just did not want to waste a steak. So yes there is definitely a lot of food at these restaurants. And the desserts are great except for the Tepanyaki. I do not like either of the two desserts they offer. Green tea cake and fruit sashimi. I wish they would add a few other choices like the other restaurants have. We also went to Taste, Savor and Manhattan Room for dinner as well. All were very good. I love when the strip loin is on the menu and I was so happy I did not have a specialty reservation that night. Oh and really make your reservations for the specialty restaurants as soon as you are able to on line. Otherwise you may get shut out. We tried to change a time on our 630 La Cucina reservation to a 530 reservation so we could get to a 730 show. This was the first night I tried and they were booked. So this is really important if you want to get reservations. Entertainment and Activities. We get the spa package so most of our free time is spent there. And being disabled it really helps me feel good. My cousin and her husband did the slides and they loved them. My cousin is 60 and her husband 70 and they had a blast. So the slides are not just for kids. We only ended up with one show and that was the For the Record the Brat Pack. It was excellent. We saw it the last time on the ship but it was in the Supper Club. So being in the Theater gave it a little difference. Still excellent. I would recommend it. But there is some strong language so I would not recommend it for smaller kids. Spa We love the spa and so we got the spa balcony our room was so close to the steps and we could go directly up to the spa on the next floor. This spa is a little more expensive than on other ships but it has more. There is a steam room which is great and then right after we would go into the ice room for like a minute or so and boy is that refreshing. You are not even cold. They also have a salt room which I went into but then after reading the sign inside that says people with diabetes and high blood pressure should not use it, I got out. It would have been nice for the sign to be on the outside like all the other signs. They also have two types of saunas as well. And what is nice on this ship is that I could go in these with my husband. On the Gem and Dawn these areas were inside the women's areas so you could only go in by yourself or with other ladies but not with your spouse. I like this much better. They had many heated loungers and they were great about removing towels for people who were saving them while they got a spa treatment. I like that they were pro active in this area. There are also many regular loungers that are very comfortable. We had a relaxing time in the Thermal Spa!! Ports and Shore Excursions. This is where we were really disappointed due to weather conditions. Our first stop was Jamaica. We did a food walking tour that was excellent. We did not do it from the ship but directly from the website. Look up Jamaica Culinary Tours if you are interested. Next stop was Grand Cayman and we had a three stop snorkeling and stingray experience with Captain Marvins. Another one that you can book directly with them. 3 snorkeling stop and then the stingray stop for $45. Another guest said he booked Captain Marvin through Shore excurioneer and paid more. But it did not matter what we paid because after we got off the ship we found out that the port police or port authority would not let the snorkeling tours go out. Not private ones and not on the ship. Boy we were disappointed. I went with Captain Marvins about 6 years ago and it was amazing. So we walked around just a little bit since it is hard for me to walk and we went back to the ship and to the spa.. Next stop Great Stirrup Cay. We were really excited to see there island and lay in the sun and have a bbq. another highlight of the trip that did end up happening. Due to the weather we could not tender and therefore could not visit the Island. The captain took us directly to the Bahamas and we got there at 1pm on Thursday and stayed overnight and spent the entire day there on Friday. I am not big on the Bahamas so was pretty disappointed. But we did find a snorkeling tour with the ship to Athol Island. It was only $50 so not a bad price. We went to one snorkeling spot and it was really chilly out. But I did get in and snorkel for awhile. Many of us just stayed in about 15 minutes but there was enough time to snorkel a lot had it been nice out. Service The service on the ship was great!! Everyone except for the waitress in the District Brew House and our waiter in Cagney's had a smile on there face. I am for the most part always smiling and try to stay happy so I like when I go on a trip and the service staff is also happy. Just a shout out to Leyda in the Manhattan club. She was so sweet and so nice we all wrote the comment cards out about her. I hope she and the other crew members had a good time in the Bahamas. Since we were staying overnight there the crew got to enjoy some of the sites. What a nice break for this hard working staff. We would definitely go on the Escape again. We think it is a great ship. Lots to do and great food. If you have any special requests I would make sure you put it in writing. You do not want to have happen to you what happened to us. I am doing that with our next trip on the NCL Bliss to Alaska so I can get the room configuration that will be good for me and my disability. If you decide to go on the Escape have a great time! We sure did! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Need to get away; get a good break; a change of vacation; Normally would travel by plane/or bus; Package deals. The cruise was very nice; relaxing; you meet nice people from all different ethnic groups; The food service was ... Read More
Need to get away; get a good break; a change of vacation; Normally would travel by plane/or bus; Package deals. The cruise was very nice; relaxing; you meet nice people from all different ethnic groups; The food service was excellent; everything to sum it all; everything was wonderful. I just wish we had got a chance to go to Jamaica; this would give me a chance to learn about my people/and culture. And hopefully in 2018 to go back to see Jamaica and other islands; of the Caribbean. And hopefully in 2018 to do a European cruise as well. This is my first cruise; so is learning more about cruising. It may take some time to get use to the things they have to offer. This cruise line caters to the travelers needs; and cruise staff was very friendly; have noticed they was for everybody of the ship. So nice ok Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Have been on 11 NCL cruises and this was the worst. NCL keeps deteriorating, and the overcrowding of this ship just made things worse. Public areas have been replaced by too many restaurants (29 of which 5 are free!), so there is no ... Read More
Have been on 11 NCL cruises and this was the worst. NCL keeps deteriorating, and the overcrowding of this ship just made things worse. Public areas have been replaced by too many restaurants (29 of which 5 are free!), so there is no where to sit and enjoy reading a book or staring at the ocean except your own room. My big complaint: the Atrium is used for noisy shows and games like Deal or No Deal and even karaoke (so that we could all hear the bad singers, whether we wanted to or not). Atrium is packed when these activities occur, so not only is every chair taken, a whole bunch of people stand around watching, and if you are not seated you cannot see what is going on. The loud sound system and yelling carries throughout the area, which is also where the information deck, computer area, and shore excursion desk are located, so at times you can hardly hear if you need to go to one of these areas. Activities like the Not so Newleywed game, Thriller Dance Class, Big Pyramid Game show, line dancing, etc., might be fun in smaller rooms with plenty of seating, but here they are loud and impossible to see unless you are one of the lucky ones who arrive early. The whole idea of a warm and welcoming Atrium area is destroyed. Further, the sounds carry upward into the casino (already a noisy area) and O’Sheehan’s Bar and Grill. O’Sheehan’s (free) was one of our favorite places to eat on other ships like the NCL Pearl, where we could enjoy quiet breakfasts, snacks, or off-normal-time lunches with a sea view. Here it is constantly crowded and noisy, often with a long wait line for seats. The whole ambience and greatness of the place is ruined by the noise (no sea view either). Not enough lounge areas meant that even trivia ended up in the Atrium. And because of the crowds, if you sat there, bar service was very very slow. Crowding because of over 5000 guests extended to the pool areas, where lounge chairs were put into every available space and walkway, even lying side by side without space between chairs, so if you lay down it seemed like you were in one giant lounge bed for 6 people (your new best friends). Only the waterfront deck outside had good places to sit and watch the view and maybe play cards or talk with friends, but in inclement weather it was useless (and when a ship is moving during Dec. the cold air and wind make this area unusable for a lot of time). Reservations were usually needed for all the shows and specialty restaurants, and sometimes even main (free) dining rooms. (Freestyle my eye!!) Upon boarding we booked the shows for the week and found many were already marked Sold Out. Fortunately you often could arrive at showtime and get in to Headlines and Main Escape Theater shows, but for the Supper Club the non-reserve wait line started an HOUR early, and not everyone got in. The 6 pm Supper Club made little sense to me, since different acts showed there, but the (free) set meal was always the same, so would you want to eat there twice? Some shows without food were at 9 pm. Generally the shows were free there and good (Ben Zemzer Comedy Magic was so intriguing my friends went twice; and The Flyboys 4 piece singing group was great, though a short show at 45minues). But why was Jalynn Steele’s Supper Club cabaret show an extra $29.95 plus gratuity? (Sorry, I had never heard of her so didn’t pay for that one!) There were two big production shows — AFTER MIDNIGHT based on the Cotton Club was FANTASTIC, a great show, Broadway quality, excellent tap dancers, singers, dancers (highlight of the trip for me, and the best show I have seen at sea), and THE BRAT CLUB, energetic singers and dancers and a horrible plot that made no sense —some people liked it, I didn’t, and do not sit in the first few rows or people will be dancing behind you. Levity Entertainment group provided comedians....they got better in “adult” sessions. Some of the smaller acts had poor singers — the dueling pianists in Howl at the Moon could play really well but were not great singers, for example, and the singalong pianist wasn’t very funny and was not a good singer (at least to me). Food in the specialty restaurants was excellent and service there better than normal for NCL. Moderno great, Teppanyaki lots of food and entertaining, La Bistro best of cruise (dover sole to die for). Breakfast in the free Savor and Taste very good, with a large menu and excellent service. Service there better than the free Manhattan room (which sometimes has a singer or pianist). The buffet food good, but very similar night to night, and like on many NCL ships, too crowded so you normally had to hunt for seats. In the search for more profit, NCL has added more Ala Carte restaurants and even some of the normal specialty ones like Cagney’s is ala carte pricing unless you book a specialty package. If you have specialty package you generally were limited to one appetizer, main course, and desert (entree worth under $20), but that did not bother us, If all you want to do on a cruise is eat, this is the ship for you— unfortunately we like to do other stuff too! Bar goers may like the Cellars wine bar and beer-loving Distict Brew House, but be prepared to pay the high prices and automatic gratuities. There are the usual constant calls to buy stuff, and almost all daily activities are really promotions to buy things, from the Fly Boys CD to spa treatments to art [check Ebay prices before buying] to watches and bingo. The casino is the biggest on an NCL ship, but do not expect loose machines. The good news is there was a nonsmoking area. There are all kinds of ad-on charges for stuff that used to be free, like room service. You have to pay for a special spa package or there is no access to the snow room they tout, even if you buy a regular spa treatment. One good deck area had a fee, and some ship areas were relegated to those people in First Class (that is, Haven Rooms). Yoga has a charge, slow internet gets more and more expensive, duty free liquor not much of a bargain, etc. Constant announcements tell you what is happening (even if you can read like I can and get the daily newsletters!) Good news is that handicapped folks have cabins with wider doors and can open them with a button. The theater had a couple of rows roped off for handicapped folks, but strangely they put chairs in the handicapped area that should be for wheelchairs. Overall getting around in my scooter was easier than in the badly designed Epic, but the elevators seemed small and fast. Best thing onboard, comfortable beds. The rooms had a very large amount of storage. The ship was extremely stable, even in rough weather — better than most ships. Kids had their own area on Deck 5, and seemed happy with all the activities. The library is tiny, as is the card room. NCL constantly tries to sell you certificates to be used on another cruise (and I do mean constantly). The captain will wake you up daily at 10 am to tell you the latitude and longitude (available on the TV...), so much for relaxing and sleeping late... Muzak is constantly going in every bar and hallway. There is a jogging track, but with all the people, don’t expect to run very fast if at all.... Kids will enjoy a bunch of slides, aqua area, and rope area (if weather is good...it wasn’t on much of our December trip). The Tv basically has about 5 real channels [thank goodness for MSNBC, Fox News, and CNBC- I was sick part of the time], including a movie channel (ask front desk for a schedule), plus ship’s channels which run the same stuff over and over including the Not so Newleywed Game (why do’t they run more of their games?), plus newer movies you can pay for on another channel. The overall design of the ship should have been good, but because there were fewer lounges or lounge areas, the crowding in the Atrium area often made the activities there unbearable. Be prepared to be nickel, dimed, and now dollared to death on this big NCL ship. Bring your earplugs for the Atrium, spend quiet time in your room or on your own balcony, and pray for good weather so some of the people go outside (and so you do not miss ports as we did for more sea days). Finally, do NOT buy port to airport transfers from NCL as we did, or you could find yourself waiting for two hours in the Miami sun (or rain) without cover or chairs for nonexistent buses! (and do not exit the dock without a bathroom break because once outside they will not let you back in and the only “facility” is a filthy portable type shed with rickety stairs and rails and no wheelchair access) - shame on Port of Miami! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Hi...I chose this cruise to take advantage of the low price offered immediately after the hurricane season to the western carribean and mexico sadly after the devastation to the eastern carribean islands...some highlights... - even ... Read More
Hi...I chose this cruise to take advantage of the low price offered immediately after the hurricane season to the western carribean and mexico sadly after the devastation to the eastern carribean islands...some highlights... - even though sailing was close to november, climate was gorgeous, mid 70's outside and a little cooler inside the ship... - Out of the 10 or so Norwegian Cruises I have been on, I thought Andre was the best cruise director with his pure honesty and sometimes true to life views that were hilarious...I actually he was better than the legendary Julie. - shows were top notch, especially the chemistry between the group "The Mercy Boys" and their harmony was so good reflecting mostly british music along with some r&b hits from the us mainland... --unlike many of the harsh reviews, I thought Brat Pack was great for its 80's teenage saga and nostalgia but be careful there is a scene where they disrobe to their undies.. - After Midnight was great for the tap and rhythm section mostly harlem and jazz music reflecting the roaring 20's of that era -although I did not eat at dinner in the mdr, food was plentiful and delicious at the buffet during all hours, especially the asian food section... --i did tip well my room steward Jose who along with other room steward and the various staff on the ship literally work day and night - being platinum latitude member, I got a chance to go beneath the ship into the crew quarters, down the "I95" stretch, backstage of the theatre but most memorable of all are those gigantic machines that clean and fold all the laundry of the entire ship... -- I had a great time overall and would highly recommend NCL to everyone --one more thing, don't miss the shows in the atrium...even though they were crowded, they were absolutely hilarious and the high turnout reflected that... Bye and can't wait to sail the NCL Bliss next! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Just completed a 7-day cruise on board the Escape. Was booked as Eastern Caribbean but rerouted to Western Caribbean due to hurricane damage. We didn't feel this itinerary change was not communicated very well and excursions only ... Read More
Just completed a 7-day cruise on board the Escape. Was booked as Eastern Caribbean but rerouted to Western Caribbean due to hurricane damage. We didn't feel this itinerary change was not communicated very well and excursions only became available a week before cruise. Overall the food and staff were excellent and would not advise booking the specialty restaurants as the step-up in dishes does not warrant the additional cost (especially as we were also charged a $20 reservation fee). The biggest advisory to offer is that this is is essentially a SMOKING ALLOWED ship. Smoking is permitted in the casino but there is no separation of it from the rest of the ship. Smoke can be smelled throughout all the main common areas. If you have small children or medical complications please take this into consideration, we would have if we had known this ahead of time. We have filed a complaint with Norwegian that this fact should be made to passengers prior to booking. The kids program was very good as well for our 7 and 9 year olds. Overall the pools felt small and crowded with typically long lines for the water slides. Unfortunately outside of our control was the weather (1 excursion we cancelled due to heavy rain and a second cancelled by the tour operator due to rough water). Both refunds were processed quickly. The other major irritant was the lack of common courtesy by other cruisers. My mother-in-law requires a walker and quite often several elevators full of able body adults (many of whom could use the exercise) were needed to pass before one with space arrived. Saw on many occasions people taking the elevators for 1 floor with a 15 second staircase right beside. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We went on this cruise because we were with a group. We have been on several other cruises - different cruise lines. Some of the things we didn't like: - casino smelled bad due to smoking - even though we had the drink pkg. we ... Read More
We went on this cruise because we were with a group. We have been on several other cruises - different cruise lines. Some of the things we didn't like: - casino smelled bad due to smoking - even though we had the drink pkg. we were charged for bottles of water - Medical office was closed most of the day & when we had a need for some gauze bandaids we were told to go to 13th floor where we could get some. Turned out to be a coin operated dispense cabinet which did not have what we needed. We were told if a doctor was needed it would cost at least $140. - The Irish Pub was supposed to be open 24/7 but between breakfast & lunch they closed down. The staff ignored the people waiting - no explanations. Service was also slow. - It was very loud in the Atrium, making it hard to interact with Customer Service. - Because there were so many people who used scooters, walkers & canes, there should have been a dedicated elevator - took an extremely long time to get from floor to floor. - The entertainment, mainly The Brat Pack, was pretty bad. When we got to see The Mercy Boys in the Atrium one night, we were very pleased - they were very good. - The service in our room was inconsistent. No trash removed & room service dishes left. The things we did like: - The food was very good. Ate at two specialty restaurants - Cagney's & the Japanese one. We enjoyed them both very much. - Getting on & off the ship went smoothly. - Our mini-suite was small but generally ok. - We were glad that Norwegian handled the change of ports well due to the hurricanes. - It was nice to have free-style dining with no need to dress up. - We weren't bothered with a lot of photographers - got one nice photo at the Japanese Restaurant. - We didn't do any excursions, but got off the ship a couple of times. Glad not to have tenders. Plus it was nice to have shuttle/bike-riding cabs since there were long walks to the shops. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I, like so many folks, had my Eastern Caribbean cruise cancelled by Irma. I was a bit disappointed, because I was really looking forward to going back to St. Thomas. NCL refunded me and gave me a 50% (of the total cost of my cruise) ... Read More
I, like so many folks, had my Eastern Caribbean cruise cancelled by Irma. I was a bit disappointed, because I was really looking forward to going back to St. Thomas. NCL refunded me and gave me a 50% (of the total cost of my cruise) credit. I had an itch to go cruising, so I stalked their website until I saw a good sale for the Norwegian Escape traveling out of Miami on a Western Caribbean itinerary. I booked this cruise just one week prior to its sailing and I got an amazing deal that I just couldn't pass up. Ports - Honduras, Belize (fake), Costa Maya and Cozumel. I didn't learn until I began meeting folks onboard that this sailing originally had an Eastern Caribbean itinerary. However, because of Irma's damage to many of those islands, NCL changed it to Western. Embarkation and Disembarkation - Embarkation: I took an early flight into Miami and did a B-line to the ship. They had just begun allowing folks to check-in when I arrived around 11 AM. The crowd was growing by the minute. While I wasn't due to check-in for a few hours, I hopped in line anyways. Embarkation took about an hour from curb to ship. Not bad for NCL, since they really suck at Embarkation and Disembarkation. Disembarkation: I had an earlier flight leaving Miami (11:59 AM) when we returned, and I was a little concerned about getting to the airport on time, so I opted to carry my own baggage off. I was in line to get off the ship at approximately 7 AM. At that hour, I want to say I was maybe the 20th person in line. I wasn't the only one with a before noon flight. We were set to arrive and disembark at 8 AM, but they let us get off at 7:40-7:45. I flew through Customs and out onto the curb where I hoped into a $27 cab straight for the airport. Since there was no traffic (Saturday morning), I got to the airport in less than 15 minutes. Had I known this would have happened, I would have booked an earlier flight. But back to my disembarkation experience: Unfortunately, I found myself behind this family that allowed their inconsiderate sons to play Air Hockey at 7 AM. The noise was so loud you could hear them in the Atrium, which is located a level lower. The noise was so loud, it gave me a migraine once I got in line. There were elderly people in line in wheelchairs, and you could tell by the grimaces on their faces the noise hurt their ears and hearing aids. These kid's parents didn't care. They seemed asleep at the wheel when it came to parenting or discipling their three boys. The derelict mother actually joined them in a few games. I took one for the team and asked to play when they finished a game, and I just snatched one of the pucks, preventing them from further audio carnage. I got so many high-fives and quiet thank you's as we disembarked. To whoever that family was: Shame on you!!! To NCL: Please shut down those games during disembarkation, so people like me don't have to be confrontational to rude and inconsiderate people. My room (9844) - I had a balcony on the 9th floor. I've done a few NCL cruises by this time, so this room is pretty standard. Its not the larger balcony rooms, but I didn't need large since it was just me. What I did notice was I didn't get the breeze I normally get with balconies on higher floors when we were at sea. I like to open my balcony door at night and hear the waves crash and feel the wind on my face. That experience was minimal to non-existent with this room. I think it was part the fact that I was on a lower level and part that we were going through the Gulf which was very calm with waves lower than 1 ft in height. The Ship - I really liked this ship. Like most NCL ships, it had something for everyone. I loved that there's an area (H20) where children are not allowed. Even though this sailing occurred right after Irma and during the beginning of the school year, I was SHOCKED at the number of children on the boat. It wasn't a lot to where I felt suffocated, but it was more than I was expecting. Way more. Surprised at how many folks snatched their kids out of the first few weeks of school. This ship has 3 slides - one for those who aren't that adventurous, one for those who want to squeal like a child and one for the insane. The latter is a straight drop and ends in like 5 seconds. Let's just say I stayed sane and enjoyed the other two slides immensely. It brought out my inner child. I don't believe our cruise was fully booked, because I never had a problem getting a sunbathing chair near the pool on any day, to include sea days. There were 2 pools. The salt water pool can only have adults in it during the day. Kids can come in at 6 PM. I really enjoyed this. I mostly stayed on the pool deck when I was on the boat, if I weren't eating or at a show. Dining - I mostly ate breakfast at the Garden Cafe (buffet), lunch at O'Sheehan's Neighborhood Bar & Grill, and dinner at either Savor or Taste (main dining rooms). For the first four or five nights, I ate dinner at Savor and I found the customer service lacking. I was most times a party of one and they seemed to always forget me. I'd have my food sitting over in the corner, covered getting cold, while I waited for someone to bring it to me. The one time on the final night when I went to Taste, I didn't have any of those problems. Everything was so prompt, I didn't know how quite to handle it. Everyone was so nice. Not to say the folks over at Savor weren't nice, but it was a completely polar experience. Made me wish I had gone to Taste the previous nights. The main dining rooms all have the same menu, so it really doesn't matter which one you go to when it comes to food options. I never explored any of the speciality dining options, which come at an added cost and I never went to the Manhattan Room (complimentary dining), which has a band every night. I went to the Manhattan Room on the Breakaway, the Escape's smaller fraternal twin, and wasn't impressed by it, so I didn't feel the need to visit it on this cruise. Entertainment - I must say...Andre, the Cruise Director and his team did an amazing job. I typically go into port during port days, do an excursion, go eat dinner and pass out in my room from pure exhaustion. During sea days, I sunbath all day and eat. That's it. I don't gamble and I always felt like the ship's entertainment wouldn't be... dare I say it?... not entertaining! So, I'd never go, never check anything out. But for my sailing on the Escape, boy was I wrong and I believe that's largely due to Andre, Dave and their team. I laughed and screamed and cried and looked forward to whatever audience included game, show or skit they'd do in the Atrium. They really did a good job. Their entertainment sets aside, there were quite a few good singers and bands on the boat. There was a woman and a two piece band that played poolside called A Minor Trio. They mostly played Caribbean or Caribbean themed music. Now, the lead singer was this woman with a beautiful voice. She's one of those cruise ship singers you look at and go: Why aren't you a recording artist? Her voice was insane. There was another 5-piece band called Groove Addiction from St. Lucia with a guitar player from Colombia with a female lead singer, played most nights in the Atrium. The band was amazing... I mean AMAZING, but the lead female singer? She sucked. Majorly. No matter what she sang, she sounded like a wounded, dying animal. There would be times I would listen to them and try to cancel her voice out in my head, and just hear the band, but that was impossible. The guitar players, the young guy from St. Lucia who played bass and the Colombian guy on electric, should be on the road with some A-list artist like Santana or Rihanna, because they're just that good. I mostly stayed in the Atrium before and after dinner, so whatever was going on there, I partook in. In addition, I saw the After Midnight: Broadway's Cotton Club Musical, an all black cast production. I didn't see the original Broadway production. I really enjoyed it. Solo Travelers - Dave, the Assistant Cruise Director, managed the Solo Travelers group during this cruise and he SUCKED MAJORLY. Great guy. Funny. Wildly popular. But his attitude about this group impeded him from making it great. He believes (and these are his exact words) that the Solo Traveler's Group is a "babysitting job." I felt insulted. Like... are you freaking kidding me? If anyone doesn't need to be babysat, its solo travelers! We are independent people, hence why we can travel alone. His attitude about this group was such a huge hindrance that I never even bothered meeting up with the group again after I attended the meet-up on the second night and I heard him say that. I was done. I hear from folks who were on the ship the week prior that the guy who was doing it the 9/16 sailing was amazing. I can't remember his name. If I could tell NCL anything, it would be: This group should be fun and led by someone who gets solo travelers, someone who wants to create memorable experiences among a group of unique people who likely share a lot in common. Ports - Honduras was insanely beautiful. I went to snorkel and with it having the second largest reef in the world only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, I had an AMAZING time. I did the Jolly Roger in Roatan – Catamaran Sailing & Snorkeling excursion, which I booked through the ship, and I can't say enough good things about it. The actual excursion was great! The food was blah. Chicken good, but rice and sides sucked. The sail was nice. Slow and since it was hot it was kind of miserable on the lower deck, but the actual snorkeling? It just doesn't get any better! I can't say enough how amazing it was. Belize was super fake. Fake island. Fake experience. Felt like we were dropped off at some low-end amusement park. Took my snorkeling gear with me with hopes that I could snorkel from the beach. Nope. Not a chance. As soon as I grabbed a beachside chair, the island's workers put up a purple flag that warned against jellyfish. As we walked the damn near mile trek from the ship to the island, I could see them in the water. I think I counted a dozen or so. While they were beautiful to look at it, I didn't trust getting in the water and then I spoke to a few folks who had gone in before the flag went up and they said the water was murky and there was nothing really to see. Bummer. So, then I tried to parasail. The woman manning the list and booth told me at 10 AM, she couldn't tell me about the 2 PM sail until the Captain returned. She told me to come back 2-3 hours later. It was so hot the day we arrived, I knew I wouldn't just hang around that long, especially after I saw the island's one small pool was full to capacity. So with that, I took my happy butt back on the boat and enjoyed the boat's pool. Before going back, I tried my hand at some shopping to feed their economy, since we were told actual Belizians "owned" the shops, but they were so over priced it was insane and I actually felt disrespected. I had one guy quote me $675 for a wooden mask. $675!! For a mask that should have cost no more than $100, he finally came down to $390 and when that didn't work he began with guilt trips on how he needed to pay his shop's rent. Unbelievable! Yeah, to say I didn't enjoy this port is an understatement. Costa Maya and Cozumel - Been there, done that. In Costa Maya, I walked by all the mostly Made in China vendors and took a $3 cab to the public beach to get $25 massages. The guy who wrangles folks to get massages inflated the price to include a $5 tip. He does the same thing for the food he sells from the restaurant directly across the street when he talks you into sitting in one of their chairs. He automatically included a 20% tip with the price. Beware of him. Nice man, but a total hustler. I ordered guacamole and it sucked. Drinks were $17 and the guacamole $10. I talked him down to $12 per drink and $9 for the guacamole.When another cruiser and I got the bill it was $37 when it should have been $31. I don't mind paying folks, but when I know they're overcharging me, I resent it. There's no way in the world a local would be charged those prices. In Cozumel I did the Starfish Sanctuary and Snorkeling excursion through the Ship. Had a great time! Great sail. Beautiful breeze. Gorgeous water. Decent snorkeling. It wasn't fair, because the whole time I was, of course, comparing it to my experience in Honduras, which was unparalleled. But honestly, it wasn't bad. The water was very choppy due to the wind, but I still had a good time. Great drinks. I walked off the boat a very happy person. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
So....where to begin. We were so looking forward to this cruise, having been on just two cruises previously, we we excited about the prospects of a big, state of the art ship and beautiful tropical beaches. Our only reference point was ... Read More
So....where to begin. We were so looking forward to this cruise, having been on just two cruises previously, we we excited about the prospects of a big, state of the art ship and beautiful tropical beaches. Our only reference point was Princess Cruise Lines in Alaska and a Western Carribean cruise on NCL close to 20 years ago. After several weeks of pondering this review, I still cannot determine the target demographic for the theme of this boat. The ship is just entirely too big with a curious design. There were many features we looked forward too looking at the deck plans....the water slides, ropes course, pools. in reality, if there is anything more than a breeze, they shut down the ropes course. The water slides are packed, but the pool is the main tragedy. No one swims. The main pool is right up next to a big stage where "cruise director Tyler" emcees hypersexualized show after show to a hot, intoxicated audience. It is all so loud and unnecessary. The other areas of the ship were confusing. There is one small gift shop, surrounded by a high end camera store and jewelry/ watch store. Is a cruise ship really where you want to purchase a $3000 watch? The casino was nice, but a bit smoky, played a few hand of blackjack. The chandelier was pretty. They have the art auction rip off thing like other cruise ships. Did that once before. A small painting gets very expensive after framing and shipping. Next comes dining and entertainment. So a word to the wise.....book everything you can before you get onboard, or at minimum by day one. Apparently, there is no penalty for not showing up; but we were a bit miffed, learning that literally every show was booked by day 2 or beyond. Since you ships card isn't scanned until showtime, people just reserved everything. We saw one neat show the first night....then we were out of luck. We ate at the freestyle restaurants, but it doesn't matter which one you choose, because they all share the same menu. We didn't eat at any specialty restaurants because we couldn't get a table. We also miss a "formal" night, or a captain's dinner. Maybe something else NCL did away with. This morning buffet is a bit of a mess at prime time trying to compete for a place to sit. Cabin was fine. Unless you go all out for the captains suite, the rooms looked about the same. Storage is cramped and we were sleeping four. Can't expect much from 350 square feet. Nice "device" friendly room, but no drawers for clothes, just shelves. NCL really went downhill with service, primarily because you pay a flat fee - thus no incentive for staff to go the extra mile to assist. I don't know if other ships are doing this, but we adored the staff on Princess and NCL from years ago. I didn't even meet our steward. The ports / beaches were beautiful and the highlight of the cruise. Pay a cabbie to take you to a pretty beach and save hundreds avoiding the excursions. Word to the wise, bring your snorkeling gear - availability is variable from beach to beach. Also, if you chose an excursion....try doing it on your own. Booking it through the ship costs an extra $25 to $50 per person. Beware of some of the stoned locals on the USVI. One guy came up to me accusing me (an American) of stealing his land. Keep an eye on your belongings. Embarking and disembarking went smoothly. Despite the comments above, we had a great time as a family. As we we traveled with our teenage son and daughter and parents in their mid seventies. Perhaps this an overly harsh criticism, but between airfare and expenses...the experience should have been a bit nicer. Glad we went. Wouldn't choose NCL again. Not classy or elegant. Will save up next go round and choose something a bit higher end. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We wanted to experience NCL because of the ship not the itinerary. We enjoyed the whole experience. My granddaughter got me up to sing karaoke with her. I don't know what I sang, just followed the words on the screen. The shows ... Read More
We wanted to experience NCL because of the ship not the itinerary. We enjoyed the whole experience. My granddaughter got me up to sing karaoke with her. I don't know what I sang, just followed the words on the screen. The shows were excellent and the band was outstanding. As a musician myself I was blown away by the excellence of the musicians. I really enjoyed it. Our cabin was excellent. Plenty of room and we really enjoyed it. We will definitely choose NCL again in the future. We live in Orlando and the travel to Miami was a bit much for us. We would have rather sailed out of Port Canaveral. The food was excellent, we went to a few of the restaurants and enjoyed the food. We chose anytime dining and found it the best way to go. No rushing and hardly ever a wait for a table. We loved this cruise. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
The restaurants on this cruise were many but we ate dinner five times in MANHATEN ROOM The room had the atmosfere of a night club, The choices of food were so many We had a hard time choosing between the choices and so sometimes we had ... Read More
The restaurants on this cruise were many but we ate dinner five times in MANHATEN ROOM The room had the atmosfere of a night club, The choices of food were so many We had a hard time choosing between the choices and so sometimes we had two or three appitizers before main meal which was also delicous; They also had desserts that not only looked good but were delicous We ate the other two nights in Bistro Food was very good and service was great the waiters could not do enough for you. They brought us an aniversary cake and sang us a song.It was a wonderful experience. There were so many great shows to see it was hard to decide where to go first;We have never seen a show on a cruise ship as wonderful as After Midnight also The Frankie Valie Tribute show was terrific we saw it twice. We had a great time and are going to book this cruise again next year.We have been traveling on Norwegian since 1987 and this was the beat cruise we have ever been on Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
This was my first time cruising with Norwegian and it was a great cruise for the price! I have previously been on two Royal Caribbean cruises and loved them, but my mom is an avid knitter and found a group that was going on this cruise and ... Read More
This was my first time cruising with Norwegian and it was a great cruise for the price! I have previously been on two Royal Caribbean cruises and loved them, but my mom is an avid knitter and found a group that was going on this cruise and holding classes while we were at sea. Since there were so many people they got us all a great discount so I tagged along. My mother has a fused ankle so she was worried about how well she was going to be able to get around but the crew were very accommodating with bringing the wheelchair to our cabin and getting her where she needed to go in a timely manner, with the only exception being on disembarkation day we had to meet them at the elevators on the main deck. My favorite thing about Royal Caribbean has always been how wide of a variety of spectacular food they have, especially since I am a mildly picky eater, Norwegian didnt have nearly as much variety as RC and the food they did have was good but not spectacular. If you can eat anything it might not be as big of a deal to you but for picky eaters you will have to get used to eating the same things every day. The one food item that I did absolutely love was the Honey Creme Brulee! The shore excursions offered were decent! I ended up buying tickets to the Coral World Park and for the Turtle encounter in St. Thomas directly from the Aquarium since the cruise didn't offer the Turtle encounter. It was a great experience and I got amazing pictures! I also bought the Sting Ray Encounter in Nassau which was cool, and when I got to the island I was able to add on the Dolphin swim for a much cheaper price than was offered for the same experience on the ship! I would defiantly recommend the excursion to everyone I know! The redeeming part of this cruise were the passengers and crew! Tyler the Cruise Director was such a ball of energy and made every activity he attended a blast. The ship had great themes for every night! My personal favorite was 80's night at the Spice H20 bar. I made some great friends the very first night of the cruise and we all somehow managed to find each other every night to have a blast! It was an unforgettable experience! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise ship because it was a new ship and had never sailed Norwegian before. The ship did provide many fun things for our teenagers to do, like the multi-level water slide and the teen gathering room. The mini-golf was fun ... Read More
We chose this cruise ship because it was a new ship and had never sailed Norwegian before. The ship did provide many fun things for our teenagers to do, like the multi-level water slide and the teen gathering room. The mini-golf was fun as well. There was not enough time at the ports of call especially Tortola and Nassau. Although at Nassau, the pier was extremely long for someone with walking difficulties. It would be helpful if assistance would be provided to be able to get to shore using a small shuttle vehicle or assisted wheelchair. The food was only OK, however, for any of the top dinner choices you had to pay extra. We feel that the higher quality food and better menu options, i.e., lobster and steak, were only offered if you paid extra. We felt like the better food was provided to those who paid extra, those who didn't pay extra had the inferior quality or "leftover" food. For the most part the entertainment was very good but hard to make reservations as most were marked as sold out. The best entertainment was "For the Record - The Brat Pack" and "Frankie Vallie & the Four Seasons Tribute". Both of these were excellent - the best we've ever seen on a cruise - high energy, great singing and loads of fun. There were just too many passengers to get around. Even to get on an elevator it took several attempts to find one not packed. Being one of the passengers who required a scooter, it was very hard to get around, especially through the hallways toward the outside of the ship and through the doorway. Getting around is very important, but was difficult on this ship. Only one swimming pool and always packed so unable to use it much??? Why is there only one swimming pool??? It was extremely crowded and not really usable for true swimming time. The cabin was very nice, but seemed small for an upgraded room. Our room steward, Jocelyn, was fabulous. She was always very pleasant, helpful and caring. She assisted our friend who has lost her luggage by taking care of the laundry promptly, so that at least the few items our friend had was cleaned and returned to her room promptly. Overall, our main disappointment was in the quality of food. We've been on many cruises and this one rates extremely low for the food options provided as "complimentary" for the "average" passengers. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
I organized a group for a craniofacial theme cruise (craniofacial birth defects), called Fabulous Faces at Sea: The 2016 Craniofacial Cruise. I ended up hosting a 17-member group. My travel agent (who also has a granddaughter with the same ... Read More
I organized a group for a craniofacial theme cruise (craniofacial birth defects), called Fabulous Faces at Sea: The 2016 Craniofacial Cruise. I ended up hosting a 17-member group. My travel agent (who also has a granddaughter with the same craniofacial condition I have) found this cruise line, routing, ship, date, and pricing for our group. She was able to get me into a Studio (solo occupancy) cabin on Norwegian Escape. My mother also came along (a late booking) and got a neighbouring Studio cabin with a connecting door to mine. Our group had some group-specific activities onboard (a Q&A session for me and my mother to answer questions from the group about my condition and how she raised me, as well as an ice cream social) on our days at sea, as well as a group-specific shore excursion (Coral World and Coki Beach on St. Thomas USVI). From the time we boarded Escape in Miami on August 6 through the time we disembarked in Miami on the 14th, the service aboard ship was excellent. Mark, the cabin steward for both my cabin and Mom's cabin, went out of his way to serve our needs and made our cruise special, by leaving towel animals and other surprises in our cabin each night. One night, the Studio social manager left a sweets tray on our beds. Mom and I loved our Studio cabins--they were cozy yet space-efficient, comfortable with wide beds, and the decor was unique and funky (I loved the colour-changing mood lighting). I highly recommend NCL for solo travellers! The Garden Cafe buffet was our favourite place to eat breakfast each morning, and when our group were not having dinners in the Savor and Taste dining rooms, Mom and I had our dinners at the Garden Cafe. For our group dinners, both Savor and Taste restaurants served us beautifully, with gourmet meals (which we loved). On my own, I enjoyed O'Sheehan's Bar and Grill, the Irish pub (and it was my favourite dining spot for solo dining). On the last night of the cruise, I took Mom (on a mother-son date) to Le Bistro for dinner (ribeye steak for two with French cabernet sauvignon). The waiters in Savoy, Taste, and especially Le Bistro, were attentive in serving us while being very friendly. After my mother retired to bed (she's of advanced age), I enjoyed the nightlife, dancing away the evening (and wee hours of the morning) with new friends on Spice H2O and in the Skyline Club. During the day (especially on days at sea), Mom and I enjoyed just relaxing in the deck 6 forward atrium and listening to the piano music and entertainment (and we even saw a towel animal folding demonstration and cupcake icing demo) and soaking in the hot tub and sunning on Spice H2O. My mother was given priority attention during embarkation with wheelchair service, and the same upon disembarkation. All in all, the cruise was excellent in all aspects, and NCL worked well with our group (including some of us with medical needs and mobility issues). I would definitely cruise NCL again (and use the Studio cabins again). I plan to host more Fabulous Faces at Sea Craniofacial Cruises again in future years, and NCL is on my radar. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise for my parents 35th anniversary. We've all sailed on NCL in the past and my sister has also sailed on RCI. This was a big change for us as we are used to sailing on smaller ships. The crew went above an beyond ... Read More
We chose this cruise for my parents 35th anniversary. We've all sailed on NCL in the past and my sister has also sailed on RCI. This was a big change for us as we are used to sailing on smaller ships. The crew went above an beyond adapting their rooms for them to be deaf friendly. They were able to get my sister the scripts for the shows and when they had a few mix ups one of the officers gave my sister a crew phone for any other needs that came up. They also had expedited check in to make sure their check ins went smoothly. We were able to join them so we weren't split up. 678 Ocean Place and the Manhattan Room were way too noisy. We noticed that the acoustics throughout the ship were a lot louder than other ships we've been on. While there are more elevators we felt as though there should have been another set. The waits were often way too long on port days. Even though the ship is larger it didn't feel like there was more to do on this ship vs others we have been on. We also missed the private/homey feel of the smaller ships during some activities. Customer Service and Shore Excursions: This was the worst idea to have it in the middle of the 678. You couldn't hear a damn thing while trying to do anything. It was annoying for the crew members as well as guests. Dining: We were very disappointed in the food this time around. Not that the food was entirely bad we...we're talking about variety. The main dining rooms had the exact same menus and they didn't offer very much for a picky eater or those who like to have their red meat cooked well. My sister and I would eat salad and whatever app we could find that we liked, so we could eat with the family and then we would venture out to find something at the pub or the buffet. Crepes are also served in the evening and the line gets pretty long. This was a must every night once we asked when they served served them. Specialty Dining: We chose the 3 dinner package. What we didn't know was that the Iron Chef's restaurant was an addition charge on top of the price. It was also one of the worst meals we had. Cagney's menu changed a lot. We loved it in the past but the selection seemed a lot smaller. We would 100% go to the Brazilian Steak House every night on our next cruise. It was amazing. Even though the meats aren't cooked well they brought out plates with pieces cooked longer. Entertainment: We weren't fond of having to book the shows in advance but it worked out. It beat showing up an hour earlier like we did in the past. It just didn't leave us with a lot of flexibility in out dinner times etc. We went to see After Midnight, For the Record, the tribute show at the Supper Club and a few of the comedy shows. Loved the comedy shows. Activities: My husband and sister loved the water slides, ropes course and the plank. Unfortunately, the plank was closed a lot of the time but they were still able to get some good pictures on it. Photo Desk: The people were extremely rude to my mother and sister. Ports and Excursions: Other than in the Mediterranean, this was our first time booking excursions through the ship and we thought it was unorganized in comparison. We were used to meeting in the theater and being brought out by a worker. This time it was more of a free for all and lots of people were getting lost, angry and confused. We loved all ports but felt like the Bahamas has gotten really run down and the safety alerts in the Freestyle Daily was a surprise. We loved the Helmet and Sea Trek Dive in St. Maarten. My husband, sister and dad loved zip lining in St. Thomas. My father in-law and his girlfriend thought the St. John excursion was amazing. The Virgin Gorda was gorgeous and we are so happy that we booked the 1st excursion out. It was nice and private for the 1st half. The Spa: Is a must. We only booked a day pass when we were in Tortola, to get the most out of our time there. AMAZING. The heated pool alone with the waterfall was worth it. We would book it for the week the next time. The heated lounge chairs were so so relaxing. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
First time on Norwegian and certainly the last. We strayed from RCCL and learned out lesson. We had a lovely time as ANY cruise is a good cruise; however, NCL can't hold a candle to RCCL!! The food was mediocre at best, the choices ... Read More
First time on Norwegian and certainly the last. We strayed from RCCL and learned out lesson. We had a lovely time as ANY cruise is a good cruise; however, NCL can't hold a candle to RCCL!! The food was mediocre at best, the choices in the main dining were far from traditional, there were NO bar waiters to be found anywhere. If you wanted a cocktail you were on your own to find it! For a ship of this magnitude to only have 1 small pool, is short of reckless and irresponsible! Overall design and layout of the ship was poor and compartmentalized. The entertainment was poor and not up to the same standards as RCCL, Carnival or Princess. NCL majorly screwed up our embarkation with respect to my husbands mobility issues and wheelchair. They made to attempt to offer restitution for all the trouble he had to through. Sorry, won't be returning to NCL! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was my very FIRST cruise! So needless to say I was full of anxiety especially after reading all the negative reviews. I was really afraid that it was going to be so crowded on the ship that we couldn't do anything. IT WASNT! ... Read More
This was my very FIRST cruise! So needless to say I was full of anxiety especially after reading all the negative reviews. I was really afraid that it was going to be so crowded on the ship that we couldn't do anything. IT WASNT! Embarking was so quick! We were on the ship within 15 minutes of arriving in Miami! When I first walked on board, I was mesmerized at how HUGE and Beautiful this ship was!! Our rooms weren't quite ready yet so we went ahead to have some lunch at the Garden Cafe. My first taste of cruise food was DELIGHTFUL!!! I couldn't believe all of the options~! Everything was relish! After eating, we headed to guest services to find out how to log-in to wireless, as I was a bit leery about not being able to get in contact with my kids at home once we left. We purchased the unlimited internet package with our on-board credit. I was perfectly at ease when I realized I could FaceTime my kids ANYTIME on the ship and at all the ports! It was cool letting them see the ship and scenery too by phone! The connection is a bit slow but definitely served the purpose. We got a balcony suite. I LOVED our room! lots of closet space, cabinet space and the bathroom was way more roomy than i expected.One of the things that really stood out about this cruise that i didn't expect was how extraordinarily comfortable these beds were!!!! OMG!!! I didn't want to get out of bed in the morning!! LOL!! The bed and pillows made me feel like I was sleeping on a big ball of cotton! I tried to think of ways to take the bed home...but...it just wasn't feasible. The view from our balcony was intoxicating!. I sat on the balcony every morning with a fresh cup of coffee and just soaked up the view! There a coffee maker in your room with cream and sugar, and 2 cups. We had a stateroom right next to my brother and sister so we could just chat on our balconies :) There are enough plug-ins to use your phone chargers and a fan if you like. there is also a hidden blow dryer under the cabinet that i found helpful. When we left our room, we would just stick my library card in the card slot next to the door to keep the air conditioning running otherwise it turns off when you leave. It will also turn off as long as you have your balcony door open (thats just common sense). I don't know who took care of our room because no one ever introduced themselves. I do know they were very courteous in the hallways. Whomever cleaned our room ever night did a wonderful job! Everything was always so neat and smelt fresh! They really keep this ship CLEAN!! One thing i thought helped a lot in finding your way around was the little fish on the carpet. They swim in the direction to the front of the ship! Our first night was awesome. It didn't take long for them to get our luggage to our rooms and we got quite comfortable. We had booked Teppanyaki for dinner and that place was the BOMB!!! I ordered the lobster....BEST lobster EVER!! Warning... Do NOT order the ice cream for dessert. It seriously looks like a piece of crap(for lack of a better word) on the plate. You will know if someone else orders it! The chefs were so fun and entertaining! They had us singing and even made us a mickey mouse with the rice! the second night, we tried our hand at the casino. We found out that you win BIG on the first few nights and you start losing towards the end of the cruise! Thats the way it was with my niece and us. We won $400 at roulette the first time we played and we were smart enough to walk away with it. About the fourth day of the cruise we tried roulette again and lost $100. At least we still went home with $300 extra. the casino does smell of cigarettes really bad but i was fine wit it. Ive never been a smoker but its never bothered me. Its not like smoke was everywhere like in some bars I've been to. You could just really smell it bad. But like i said, didn't bother me. We loved the deck parties at night at H20. Lots of dancing and fun under the moon! the big screen was really cool. We especially like 80's night! Lots of good music! We got the drink package with our cruise. Unlike a lot of the reviews that complain about it being hard or slow to get drinks, we never experienced this. The staff was wonderful. They always were quick about getting us drinks. We never had to wait long at all. The movement on the ship was very noticeable. I got motion sickness and a very bad headache. BUT..... SEABIRDS saved me. I got them for $11 in the gift shop and about 30 minutes of putting them on, I was perfectly fine. I had to wear them the whole cruise but it was worth it not to be sick. I must note that i get sick really easy so the movement might not be a thing for most people. We didn't hear any noise from other cabins while we were in ours. It was perfectly quiet. I know Im jumping around but Ive never been a good writer anyway...lol...just trying to cover as much as possible. It was weird that we didn't see many kids on the ship at all. But they were still in school where we live. We got to experience most things the ship had to offer. the ropes course was exciting (i took pics while my sister and brother did it)! They laughed so hard having a ton of fun on it. We played mini golf. We did the waterslides. The one with the float is the most fun to me. My sister in law got stuck on the other one. When they dropped her, her t-shirt got stuck on the slide and she was hung for a minute, which scared the crap out of her....lol! We never got in the pool because it really was way too crowded for that. The pool was just too small. The hot tubs were always in use as well. I found that if you wanted to enjoy those things, get up really early, say around 6:30 and you will have them all to yourself. We took some line dancing classes! It was hilarious! As for the shows, we only seen the Brat Pack which was very entertaining, the comedy show with Phil which had us all laughing and "after midnight" which was a musical filled with lots of good singing and dancing. I think our favorite show was the crews talent show. They did a lot of cultural things. As for the facilities on the ship, I didn't use the spa but i wanted to. The gym was cool. We worked out a couple of days then gave up the fight against all the calories! LOL! I gained 5 pounds on this cruise!! Overall the food was amazing. We ate at the Garden cafe most of the time. there is this one guy who stands in the entrance greeting you with the "Washy Washy song" and hand sanitizer. You'll never forget him or his smile! The elevators were a bit crowded every now and then but nothing to complain about. One night we had an emergency on the ship and they had to fly a helicopter to the ship to airlift someone with a medical emergency. That was cool to watch. That night the ship rocked like crazy but it did make me sleep good :) The arcade is too much fun and the bowling is pretty neat as well. The ports were all so beautiful. I loved this cruise so much! Disembarking was as smooth and quick as embarking. It will be hard for the next cruise to compare to this one! Ive been sad since we left the ship...lol! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
fist of all, the reservation was a scam, the guy call us to sell us a cruise, we reserved 4 cabins, all of 4 where in diferent floor, on in the 9 floor at front the other rooms were on floors 13 and 14 , in the back of the ship, the ... Read More
fist of all, the reservation was a scam, the guy call us to sell us a cruise, we reserved 4 cabins, all of 4 where in diferent floor, on in the 9 floor at front the other rooms were on floors 13 and 14 , in the back of the ship, the fourth one was in a floor 18, was Haven suite. we explained the guy that we were traveling with one handicap person and two kids, one 3 years old and the other 5, but any way we were bucked all over the ship. The ship was so unconfortable, so packed, so crowded, the pools were full all the time, the pools were so small, even the one in the Haven courtyard was so small that looked so funny. The halls were so narrow that was unconfortable to walk, we had to walk all off the ship to go one cabin to other. No a nice cruise to repeat. NCL customer service is terrible, rude , in general , was a bad experience, before, during and after the cruise. This was my 15th cruise , 4th with NCL and the last one with NCL. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Loved it, loved it, loved it. Wish I was there right now. Since there are so few reviews that address accessibility information for disabled people in wheelchairs and scooters, I think I will focus on that. As a person who uses ... Read More
Loved it, loved it, loved it. Wish I was there right now. Since there are so few reviews that address accessibility information for disabled people in wheelchairs and scooters, I think I will focus on that. As a person who uses a scooter, I found the experience to be fantastic. The embarkation was very quick and easy and they let me get on first so as not to get in the way of other folks getting on the boat, which was fantastic by me. The accessible room was very large, compared to a regular room and the special roll in shower had lots of grab bars which is important if you need a flat area to roll into, or in my case, bars to hold onto while you are standing to bathe. Please, if you are not disabled or are disabled and do not really need this kind of room, do not request it. There is a special place in H E double hockey sticks for people who park in disabled parking or take these kinds of rooms when they don't need them. There are only a scant few on each boat so please leave them for those who truly need it. The elevators are never fast enough on any boat so you will have to wait. Abled bodied people should take the Norwegian Stair Challenge, where you never take the elevator (advanced), take the stairs every other time (intermediate) or take the stairs when it is only one or two floors (beginner). It will speed things up for you abled bodied people and my husband LOST four pounds on the cruise doing the advanced version. All three of our ports docked and did not tenders, so that was easy. In St. Thomas we used Mr. Gumbs taxi and after pre-arranging it, we just asked around using his name and they called him to come get us. I was able to roll into the open air trolley! In Tortola, we disembarked, went down to the market, and hired a private taxi at the stand there for one hour $55.00 and he gave us a tour and left us at Myetts restaurant which was wheelchair accessible and had a great view of the beach. We spent a nice hour or two there, then he came back and got us. The whole thing was $90 when it was all said in done and of course we tipped him well on top of that. In Nassau, we disembarked (with 5 other ships - yikes) and went 10 minutes to the right to Junkanoo beach which is free. We bought fried snapper and Bahamian beers and enjoyed the beach. A great cheap excursion! The boat was very accessible and everyone bent over backwards for us. The food was amazing and I am a picky foodie. I could not believe how great the service was and how personable everyone was. The pool was a sea of humanity. Do the math- 5,200 people/1 pool = hot mess. I would never get in a pool anyway in such a crowded place, because, yuck. I will say I heard they had a lift if you did want to do that, and I personally saw the lift in the spa whirlpool. Feel free to ask me any questions as I know what a pain it is planning a trip as a disabled person. Lots to do, lots to eat and drink, great entertainment, you will love it if you have the right attitude! Go up one deck from the pool and you will find quieter lounge chairs outside the Vibe lounge that are free. Vibe is totally worth it if you happen to get there fast enough to get in. If not, don't sweat it, just go to Vibe and sit outside the doors for a similar, free experience. 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 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

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