50 Norwegian Escape First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

This was my first cruise................I am now hooked. Sitting on the balcony with my honey watching the water kiss the ship was as soothing as anyone can imagine. The food was fantastic (Best Lamb Chops that I have had in decades) and ... Read More
This was my first cruise................I am now hooked. Sitting on the balcony with my honey watching the water kiss the ship was as soothing as anyone can imagine. The food was fantastic (Best Lamb Chops that I have had in decades) and the drinks matched my mood perfectly. I wanted to take the Spa home with me. I'll be back soon. The show entertainment was surprisingly top drawer and well worth the cost. The talent was top rate, the setting was unexpectedly professional. The music by the pools and through out the ship was performed by really talented musicians and singers and was a nice touch to a great experience. The service staff was consistently caring and attentive and I was made to feel as if everyone cared about us. The photographs taken by the ship's photographers were consistently well done and will be a forever reminder of a special week in our lives. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We were originally scheduled on the Eastern route, but due to Hurricane Irma it was shuffled to the Western route. This was fine with us as it was our first cruise ever and hadn't been to these ports either. Everything was top ... Read More
We were originally scheduled on the Eastern route, but due to Hurricane Irma it was shuffled to the Western route. This was fine with us as it was our first cruise ever and hadn't been to these ports either. Everything was top notch. Our cabin exceeded our expectations for what we were expecting since most people describe ship cabins as small. There would be a 3rd person option in our cabin and I think that would have pushed it just past the level of comfort that we felt. The size of the bathroom was awesome and that is generally the improvement you get when going from a balcony room to the "mini-suite". Drinks were great, food was great (but we're pretty easily pleased and by no means "foodies"). On board entertainment was great. If you have the opportunity to see the comedian juggler--that was our favorite! Staff was friendly and attentive. No complaints at all! We were so impressed that we have already booked our next cruise on Norwegian! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We went on this cruise as part of a big group of friends. Being first timers, we weren't quite sure what to expect. I have to say we were quite pleased overall, and have already booked our next cruise. The Ship - Huge clean, and a ... Read More
We went on this cruise as part of a big group of friends. Being first timers, we weren't quite sure what to expect. I have to say we were quite pleased overall, and have already booked our next cruise. The Ship - Huge clean, and a wide array of activities. The running track is a bit small, and tight on the turns. If you're a runner, it can be a pain weaving around walkers, and the turns can wear on you. It would be nice to have the direction of the track change direction every day so you can balance out the impact on your body. The fitness center is a decent size, and it offered a good amount of equipment. The ropes course was fun, but limited access to when we were in port or a non-windy day at sea. I wish there was somewhere we could have looked online to see if it was open at a given moment, so we wouldn't have to go all the way up there to find out. Also, if you want to go on it, make sure to wear closed toed shoes, AND a tshirt. Tank tops are not allowed. The Cabin - We had a standard balcony room. I was about the size of a small New York hotel room. Which is bigger than I expected, but had plenty of space and storage for our needs. Dining - We had group reservations for dinner on all but one of the nights. The upgraded restaurants we went to, Cagney's, Moderno, Le Bistro and Teppanyaki, were all good. The main downside of reservations with a large group, is that the meal was much earlier than we would typically like (5-5:30), and it would take forever, because they are trying to time bringing out the dishes all together. Of the complimentary restaurants, O'Sheehans stood above the others. Get the chicken wings, you won't disappointed. Manhattan Room was ok. We were pretty disappointed with Taste. Garden Cafe was a good option for breakfast a quick lunch or late evening snacks. Although it got pretty crowded and hard to find a seat during the peak times. As far as bars were concerned, we really liked hanging outside at the 5 o'clock somewhere bar with Clarence, he always kept a fun party vibe going. I also like the Brewhouse, it had a good selection of beers as well as a pretty relaxing atmosphere. The guys at the bar in Spice were all great nd very attentive as well. I loved the designs they put into our bushwhackers (drinks). The main drawback to the bars is that you couldn't get a blended drink like a pina colada at all the bars. This included 5 o'clock somewhere. If we wanted a pina colada, we had to go to a different deck! Entertainment - Tyler the cruise director, is tireless, and multi-talented. I have no idea when this guy gets rest. Whatever he is paid, he needs a raise. Howl at the Moon was a really fun experience. I wish I would have known to book reservations to the various shows as soon as we got onto the ship, because by the end of the first day, most of the shows were booked. Also, I know it was summer, and I expected kids on the boat. I kind of wish the cutoff to the family friendly stuff was a little earlier. After a long day in the sun or out on excursions, I'm tired, and a more adult themed show at 11pm is pushing my limits of exhaustion. I wish I could have taken part in this more. We didn't take part in many of the evening stuff at spice, because they would usually be too crowded early on, or there would be too many kids. I like kids, I just would have preferred to not have them around for some stuff. Service - Great for the most part. There were some points we got frustrated, because we weren't allowed some stuff. We kind of nicknamed it the ship of "No". Ports - we stopped at St. THomas, Tortolla, and Nassau. We LOVED St. Thomas & Tortolla. Nassau kind of sucked. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
It was my grandson's graduation and my son and daughter-in-law's anniversary. It also was my first cruise. Even though the lines were long, we boarded and got to our rooms in no time at all. The cabins were immaculate. At first ... Read More
It was my grandson's graduation and my son and daughter-in-law's anniversary. It also was my first cruise. Even though the lines were long, we boarded and got to our rooms in no time at all. The cabins were immaculate. At first I was afraid to go out on the balcony (fear of heights), but I ventured out a little at a time until I got used to it. The views from the ship were amazing. I expected a whale to jump out any minute LOL. The staff was friendly and accommodating. The food, what can I say, whether you went to the fancy restaurants or you went up to the buffet it was incredible. The entertainment was absolutely wonderful. There was a comedian, can't remember his last name but his first name was Vince. He had me in stitches. I went to see him 3 times. Whether you got the clean version of his jokes or the adult version, he was very funny. I loved all the ports. I've also spoken with other seasoned travelers who have cruised on many different ships and we all agreed that Norweigan was the best. I had the best time ever from the time I stepped on to the ship until it was time to leave. I will be back. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was the very forst cruise my husband and I had ever taken and boy am I glad we did. We did not want for anything on this cruise, everything you could want was right there at your fingertips. It was a great time from the minute we ... Read More
This was the very forst cruise my husband and I had ever taken and boy am I glad we did. We did not want for anything on this cruise, everything you could want was right there at your fingertips. It was a great time from the minute we got on the ship to the time we got off the ship. The Nowegian Escape staff were great, all the way from the dining staff up to the captain. Tyler the cruise director was a hoot! he was always showing up when you least expected it including in the musical The Brat Pack. I can not say enough how genuine all these people really are. Our cabin stewart Depender always made sure we had everything we needed and made sure our room was clean. I have recommended the Nowegian Escape to all our family and friends. We are already planning another cruise and it can not be any other cruise line but Norwegian! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Came back yesterday 7/2 from our 1st cruise ever. Escape made that experience exceed our expectations. Only reason I did not give Excellent 5 star rating was due to the pools. The fact that there is only 1 main pool on a ship that size is ... Read More
Came back yesterday 7/2 from our 1st cruise ever. Escape made that experience exceed our expectations. Only reason I did not give Excellent 5 star rating was due to the pools. The fact that there is only 1 main pool on a ship that size is insulting. Ok, now onto the good stuff. Boarding was very quick. In fact we were able to board 2 1/2 hours early. The mini suite was just as advertised. Roomy with large balcony and bathroom. 2 sinks and shower with 8 jets was nice touch. Our room was made up,several times a day and was very clean. The food was better then expected. Had the upgraded dining package and was treated to some fine meals. Even the complementary dining was above par. Only ate in buffet a few times for breakfast but it was very good. Food Republic is a must. Very reasonable for high quality food and a unique experience. Also had the drink package which honestly is a no brainier. You literally could get any drink (beer/alcohol) you wanted. And I mean anything! EVERY brand of beer available. I couldn't believe it. This took top shelf to another level. In fact, we have been to several high end all inclusive resorts and the food drink on the escape exceeded those incredible experiences. The spa was included with our package and we took advantage of the amenities. Their pools, hot tubs, etc were unbelievable. Took a few naps in their loud lounge and heated chairs. Really felt pampered there. Unfortunately I had a stone massage that was sub par at best but they did credit my account 1/2 the fee. Nice customer service as the spa mgr was very accommodating. Constant entertainment and activities on board. Fun to watch the activities. One night we watched the comedian show and he was very funny. Also the saw The Brat Pack. Actually felt like I was watching a NY show. It really was AWESOME! The singing and dancing was very good. What a fun show to end the night. Did a few snorkeling trips in st John and Tortolla. Breathtaking beaches and surroundings! Those islands were really beautiful! Didn't do excursion in Bahamas. We just walked around the port stores. Honestly that's one big hustle. Wish we didn't leave the boat. Now for the BEST PART.........VIBE! My wife really wanted this but I had no clue or expectation. Adults only! Felt like we had our secret pocket on the ship where they put the best bartenders and passengers. Nice area to just get away and always have a lounge chair. Large misters, shower and hot top all at the very top of ship was nice touch. Always had a seat at the bar and the over lucky people in VIBE were all "salt of the earth" nice people from all over the country. Everyone was very friendly but you could also be alone and secluded if that's what you wanted. RUMMEL & ROBERTO brought customer service to another level. Always called you by your name and had your drink ready. Would make you anything, Bought out cold towels, fruit, beach towels, cold ice water with lemon. Attention to detail was their specialty! Introduced us to some crazy shots and drinks that were very good. Both ROMMEL & ROBERTO always smiled! Their energy was contagious! If you can get into VIBE please do it. You will, not be disappointed! Everyone on the ship was very friendly and would always point you in the right direction. Bought a watch in the jewelry store. MELVIN was the salesman. Not pushy and never felt pressured. He always smiled and gave me honest answers. Great guy! Other then the pool situation, this trip on ESCAPE was incredible! Clean, attention to detail, fine food/alcohol, friendly staff are a few things that come to mind. Well done NCL, Bravo!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was our first cruise. We took our three kids ages 16, 14, 10. We got to the ship after a flight, at 3:30pm and were able to walk right on. Our room was ready and it was bigger than what we expected. Also, the bathroom was a good ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We took our three kids ages 16, 14, 10. We got to the ship after a flight, at 3:30pm and were able to walk right on. Our room was ready and it was bigger than what we expected. Also, the bathroom was a good size. Complementary restaurants were fine, buffet was typical and OK. We also ate at the Japanese steak house which was very good and at the Food Republic which was good. The pool and water rides were always over crowded! No chairs available on the pool deck. Pool bars were way too busy. The kids had a fantastic time at the teen lounge and the splash academy. Splash Academy was for kids under 13 years old. The counselors who worked there were fantastic! They had unbelievable energy. My 10 year old never wanted to leave! One thing I wish I had known, there is an APP available called iconcierge You should download it before you get on the ship, otherwise you will have to pay for internet access. Once you have the app, all the people in your party can pay $10 each for the week and be able to text everyone who has the app. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
The Norwegian Escape is a beautiful ship but the cruise itself could do this A LOT of improvements. The worst experience of this cruise is Tyler - the Cruise Director. He is the frat boy who never grew up. He is everywhere throughout ... Read More
The Norwegian Escape is a beautiful ship but the cruise itself could do this A LOT of improvements. The worst experience of this cruise is Tyler - the Cruise Director. He is the frat boy who never grew up. He is everywhere throughout the day but not in a good way. I think a good cruise director could make or break the entertainment and he certainly has room for improvement. If I ever heard him shout "MAKE SOME NOISE" again for no reason I might explode. Aspects of the ship itself Firstly, the amount of people on board is far too high! The amount of available lounge seating would be considered low for a ship half the Escapes size and people were often forced to stand while attempting to watch activities in the main atrium. The ship has a great amount of restaurants and definitely enough bars. One thing that really bothered me was the smoking was allowed in the casino and you could smell the smoke well into other areas around the ship and into dining venues. The outdoor amenities (e.g. pool, waterslides, ropes course, deck chairs) were WAY under-catered for. It is almost impossible to get into one of only two public pools available. Another sad item that has been under catered for in this ship is people who want to take some time to play games with their family. There is no card room on this ship so people who want to read quietly in the library are interrupted by those who want to play cards or board games. There are also only five tables available in the library which were always full. I definitely feel that there was space enough on the ship for a card room but Norwegian decided to focus on areas that would bring in more revenue instead. Dining Dining is not exactly "freestyle" on this ship. Even though you don't have to go to the same restaurant and the same time every day, you do need to make sure you have a reservation before the cruise leaves or you won't be able to eat anywhere but the buffet. Although there are apparently 28 restaurants on board (I counted several times and could not name more than 22 even with the entire ship map to assist), the amount of dining that is included is limited. The buffet is a good easy option for all meals. Don't go to Taste or Savor - the service is terrible. O'Sheehan's is great for lunch and have the same menu for dinner (the apple pie was my favourite dessert from all restaurants). Go to the Manhattan room for dinner, we had Daisy as our server and she was great. Cagney's was great and I enjoyed all of the sides that go with your steak. The desserts here were very pretty but didn't taste like much at all (I'm not going to pretend that we didn't go to the buffet for dessert after this). The Teppanyaki restaurant was great as well. Don't be late for your reservation because everyone else at your table cannot eat until you have arrived. The atmosphere as well as the food was great but it was a little cheesy because all of the chef's had exactly the same routine and no personal touches were made). La Cucina was probably my favourite meal all courses were great and the service was the best we had. Le Bistro was a totally different story. The food was okay - I wish they had sides available with the mail course because mine was just a piece of lamb with four edamame beans and source. I think for a speciality restaurant they could have done better with their profiteroles than stuffing them with ice cream and covering it in magic shell. Petty food complaints aside, this was a really bad experience. Our waiter was totally overwhelmed even though he was only serving three tables and had an assistant. The manager kept telling him what to do instead of helping him get things out. After an hour and a half of waiting all I had eaten was a salad. When we complained to the manager our food still took another ten minutes to arrive. The manager did try to compensate us for the bad experience which is definitely appreciated. Entertainment and Activities The available activities were always WAY TOO CROWDED. The only time you should attempt the ropes course, going in the pool, finding a deck chair or going on the water slides is by lining up before the activity is open. The activities are too few for the amount of guests on board. We also found only one zipline was ever open on the ropes course and that the whole course was shut down if it rained or was too windy (this is a lot of the time when you're on a boat in the Caribbean). Karaoke had lots of song choices but hardly any good karaoke songs. I really enjoyed the Comedy Club Adult only show (11pm) but don't come here if you plan to get offended by adult themes (there is a family friendly show if this is you). If the only activities you enjoy involve either trivia or giving away your money (bingo, deal or no deal, "free" shopping demonstrations) then you're in luck! This ship is crawling with these activities. Every day there were several announcements for activities that Norwegian was trying to get more money out of you to go to. Service Overall, we were more than satisfied with the service. If you do have a complaint, please tell a manager and I guarantee you they will do their best to remedy the situation. There is no point in complaining among yourselves if there is behavour that needs to be corrected. One thing that i found strange was that we found staff rotated between dining rooms and the buffet instead of staying in one place. How does Norwegian expect their staff to learn how a dining room works if they work at a different place every night? Ports and Shore excursions Overall, the ports are poor areas. If you go to any of the island's downtown areas, there will be someone trying to sell you local (made in China) objects or refilled bottled water. If you're not doing an excursion, I don't recommend just walking around the downtown areas. In St Thomas we did the Castaway Girl shipwreck snorkel and sail which has a great crew and a guided snorkel tour. In Tortola we went to Virgin Gorda to see Devil's Bay and the caves. THIS IS A TOURIST TRAP - although it is beautiful, there are way too many people on this excursion. There was an hour wait to get through the caves which we eventually passed on. We did the Athol Island snorkel out of Nassau. The boat that took us there was very questionable but the reef was great. I would recommend taking a catamaran there instead of the boat. We had no trouble embarking and disembarking the ship but then again, we always did it at off peak times. Overall, I didn't appreciate the how much of the ship was dedicated to trying to get you to spend more money. Norwegian certainly has compromised their included dining to force you into paying extra for food. I did enjoy this vacation a lot but there were so many things that Norwegian could have done better. Very disappointing for their newest, biggest ship. (sorry for the long article, I hope it was helpful) Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Never wanted to go on a cruise had pre notion of it and wanted no part…….thanks to our best friends we went and had a BLAST!! Tyler the cruise director was amazing, Michael Vejar is the best employee on the boat!! We brought our ... Read More
Never wanted to go on a cruise had pre notion of it and wanted no part…….thanks to our best friends we went and had a BLAST!! Tyler the cruise director was amazing, Michael Vejar is the best employee on the boat!! We brought our kids and it was great for them…..liked the freestyle cruising, getting on was not a problem, getting off is crowded but whatever….biggest disappointment was Atlantis, five other ships came in that day and was toooooo crowded, ended up leaving early, no fun at all. The baths at tortola were okay, this is a fairly new excursion so the locals are still a bit on the "rude" side at times, but repeating "don't wash your feet off in the pool" gets old I am sure. Hands down the best excursion was the Stars and Stripes Boat and snorkel ride….the crew were amazing!! Loved it and they were amazing to our kids, word of advice spread out a bit, it's a big ocean and yet people still were on top of each other. The shows on the boat are okay, the only ones worth going to are the dueling piano bar and the how to drink wine show….the rest were just so-so. Everything was clean, and everyone was so attentive. Savor isn't very good, and the buffet is annoying and kind of like a cattle call at times, but the hours are good and for the quantity they have to cook for, good job. The pools are small and there's not enough space, but whatever, there are other things to do, a lot more. Do the stupid things, be involved, that's what makes it fun. My husband won a blackjack tournament while there and had the best time!! Our suite had plenty of space and the bathroom was awesome!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Getting on and off the ship was ran very smoothly. The ship is huge. We had a balcony room. This room is not large enough for four people. You could put two adults and one child in the room. We got our two kids an inside state room and ... Read More
Getting on and off the ship was ran very smoothly. The ship is huge. We had a balcony room. This room is not large enough for four people. You could put two adults and one child in the room. We got our two kids an inside state room and we had the balcony. Loved it. The dining is awesome. You do not need the specialty dining package on this ship to eat well. Most of the complementary dining restaurants offer steak. The two specialty dining room that I would recommend are Gagney's Steak House and Maderno. The Italian we went to was steak not spaghetti and meatballs or lasagna. Order the filet at Cagneys. We mostly at all our meals at the Garden Cafe Buffet. They served everything you could think of for breakfast, lunch, super and snacks. You can have all the soft serve icecream you want. They had lots of fresh fruit, ice cream and cakes to choose from for dessert. Complimentary drinks are water, unsweet tea, lemonade, juice and coffee. They do not have soda unless you have the soda card and you ask for it. I did not see any soda on the ship. They do have sugar and sweet cal packets for you tea. Book your shows the first day. We did not get to see any of the stand up comedies, they were sold out. Do not pick Atlantis Aquaventure for you half day excursion in the Bahamas. You will be disappointed at the time you have to spend there. It cost $189 a person and you only have time to ride about 4 slides. The 5 hour excursion is really only 3-4 hours with transport time. We loved the dolphin swim in Tortola and the Virgin Gorda and Baths. Would do those again. Magen's Bay Beach in St. Thomas is not that impressive. The ports in Tortola and Bahamas is beautiful. Our kids loved the rope and zip line course and slides on top of the ship. The pools are crowded and loud. We had lots of fun and would do it again. The photos the photographers take are excellent but find someone that has worked there a long time to ask about packages and books. The new people are clueless. Overall fun trip and I would do it again. Ready for next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was a family vacation, also first time cruisers. We are a family of 4, and my brother (21) and I (27) decided to treat our parents for their 30th anniversary (50s and 60s). Considering my parents are definitely not the party type we ... Read More
This was a family vacation, also first time cruisers. We are a family of 4, and my brother (21) and I (27) decided to treat our parents for their 30th anniversary (50s and 60s). Considering my parents are definitely not the party type we all had a fantastic time on the Escape. We arrived the night before our cruise and stayed at Fairfield Inn & Suites Miami Airport South (it was okay, wouldn't stay there again, close by the airport). The next morning we took uber XL to the Miami port (highly recommend this, it was only 20$). As first time cruisers I didn't realise I needed to tag my luggage outside the port, I thought they would do it at customs for some reason. We ended up having to drag our luggage around, fortunately our rooms became available at 12. Although our scheduled time for embarking the ship was 1pm we were there around 11am, there was a slight wait but nothing too bad. Once we got on the ship there was so much to explore, the ship is enormous! The little fishes on the carpet was great as the flow of the fishes were indication to the front of the ship. Sailing out of Port of Miami was beautiful. I had reserved all our shows well in advance, which I recommend. We had inside cabins and to be honest they suited us perfectly find, they were nice and roomie for two people, and we weren't inside our cabins majority of the time, only to sleep. Our steward kept our room clean at all times! He was great. The food on the ship is amazing, we didn't get a chance to do any of the paid restaurants, I only wanted to do one however the timings they had were all at 9pm, so definitely reserve these in advance if you want to go check them out. The Garden Cafe was great, it literally has everything you want and more. The Manhattan Room, Savor, Taste and O'Sheegans were also all great! I enjoyed everyone of them. The waterslides were tons of fun, and of course the rope course! I may chickened out a few times but made it through it :) It's a ton of fun, however they do then to close it down when it's too windy or if it looks like it's going to rain (it didn't rain), though when I got up there and saw how windy it could be it's a good thing they close it down when it's unsafe. They only really have two pools one is on the main top deck (16) and the other one is in the kids section. They have several hot tubs around, I recommend going to the top floors 17 and 18. I didn't have that much trouble finding a spot to sit but the chairs do get taken up during sea days. The Vibe area looked great (didn't get the pass for that). The spa looked gorgeous! Tip: If you want a nice peaceful area to just relax mid day or like me around 6pm, go to the 8th floor and find a spot on the red couches by the Wine cellar area, it's almost always empty and it's a beautiful view and just so peaceful and it doesn't hurt to grab a glass of wine (you are not required to). I watched a few movies in Spice H2O area, which was really nice. I didn't attend the 60s themed party but went to the glow party! That was a ton of fun! The shows were nice, my parents and I enjoyed it, don't miss the international crew talent show on the last day! They are so talented and did a great job. The service is wonderful, everyone is so happy and they work so hard, I can't even imagine how tired they must be. Tyler our cruise director did a fantastic job! They constantly hosted game shows and entertainment in the atrium (6th floor). Our ports were St.Thomas, Tortola and Nassau. Due to my father's restriction of not being able to do a lot of activities and minimum walking, we did only level 1 activities. In St. Thomas we booked the Coral World excursion, it was nice, but I wouldn't recommend it, it was somewhat boring. However we did just end up going to Coki beach right next to it and had a good time there (I would just taxi it to the beaches). Tortola was just beyond beautiful, we did the Tortola by Sea and Land, that was a lot of fun (no walking and free rum punch) and got to see a lot of Tortola that way. Though heard the Virgin Gorda was a lot of fun maybe next time. Nassau was probably the only port that was meh, the excursions to Atlantis was overly priced so we just walked around Nassau and went to junkanoo beach (walkable from the port). I think I'll take the taxi to a better beach next time, but this was free. Overall the service was great, loved the freestyle dining (no worries about having to dress up). I would definitely sail with Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
First time cruiser. Family - parents in 50's - 4 kids age 16-27. Both parents travel frequently and have high expectations for accommodations, dining and how we spend our time. This cruise exceeded all those expectations. ... Read More
First time cruiser. Family - parents in 50's - 4 kids age 16-27. Both parents travel frequently and have high expectations for accommodations, dining and how we spend our time. This cruise exceeded all those expectations. Booking agent was outstanding. Embarkation was easy. Ship and room outstanding. We did have some booking issues with the website being down a lot and communication issues, but staff remained friendly and professional, even through our initial frustration. They upgraded our cabin from a balconyX to an aft balcony. Great move because it showed good customer service and when we book again - we will always pay the premium for the aft balcony! Stateroom was much larger than expected based on what we had heard from others. Very nicely appointed and quite comfortable. Large bathroom and balcony. Huge options for restaurants and on-board activities, as well as shore excursions. One of my biggest concerns was that we live in Orlando and I have had my fill with theme park lines and huge crowds of people. Our cruise was very full, but often there was no waiting in line and at the worst, only a few minutes delay - we were pleasantly surprised. One pet peeve is poor customer service - there was none on this cruise. Every staff member was friendly and professional and made you feel welcome. Here are some areas for improvement. When the restaurants are full, service can become very slow, the accuracy of food orders goes down and the food is often cold when it arrives. It was still very good, but consider upgrading a least a few of your meals to the specialty venues. We did not, as there were 6 in our party and after paying for 18 excursions and all the add-ons, we drew the line. We seemed to get very good seats for dinner. I don't know, but expect is was because we made reservations. I would therefore recommend them. The Cotton Club Jazz show was liked by all- even those who are not into music so much. The Brat Pack show was good, but didn't meet our expectations - glad we did not pay for it. Wide range of excursion options, but very some were very touristy. St. Thomas tour and Magen's Bay was fun, but I would pay for taxi and do it on my own next time, or do one of the St. John tours - Land tour was too commercial. Others did snorkeling tour and liked it. Tortula was great. Land & Sea expedition good, land tour was too long. 4 people went to Virgin Gorda and loved it. If in Nassau again, I would stay on the ship. Disembarkation was a circus. Lines of people snaking around the ship and no one directing anything. At some point, they announced they had suspended disembarkation, and to report to the common areas. No one moved and within a few minutes, everything started up again, but that was never announced. Glad I did not get out of line. I don't know what the point of the different disembark priorities are - it was just chaos. In perspective those things were minor hiccups. Minor complaints aside, I would highly recommend NCL and this ship. In fact, when we cruise again, we may do the same cruise because the overall experience was so great. Everyone had a blast Thanks for a great vacation!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
First I need to say is that anyone that wants to be picky should never go on a cruise!! I couldn't wait to write this review. In fact I'm doing it as we head to the Airport. The Escape was a very Beautiful Ship with the Wow ... Read More
First I need to say is that anyone that wants to be picky should never go on a cruise!! I couldn't wait to write this review. In fact I'm doing it as we head to the Airport. The Escape was a very Beautiful Ship with the Wow factor! From first entering the ship all the way to the exiting the ship on the last day the crew was Superb!! Starting at the Port to getting on the ship went smoothly! Yes there is a waiting period so don't get there at 9 am! We arrived at 11:30-11:45 and was on board by 12:45. Once on the ship we were able to eat a great lunch! It was so relaxing and the staff was always friendly! The only hiccup was getting 1 out 8 pieces of our luggage. The tag got ripped off so it was at the Guest Service Desk! If we would have thought to go there earlier I'm sure we would have had my luggage a lot earlier! Lesson learned! Throughout the cruise every single person was friendly and looked like they enjoyed their jobs! There is one exception and that was the young girl at the Excursion Desk! She was quite curt and seemed as if we were bothering her with our many questions we had about an Excursion! She must of been having an off day! Not that you have to but we tipped our stewards that cleaned our rooms and our friendly bartenders!! I know the gratuity is included but I think they deserved extra! Our room was cleaned very well and our kiddos loved having a animal made from towels left on their beds each day! On our port days the whole Embarkation process was so easy!! On our final day Exiting the ship was a breeze as well. We took our own luggage and it wasn't bad at all! I believe we were off the ship within 20 minutes. The food and drinks were the best I have ever had at a resort. The After Midnight show was spectacular. Only wished the Million Dollar Quartette wasn't cancelled. But all in all there are people that like to only point out the bad and I'm sure there are but the good definitely out weighs them on this ship! This was our first cruise. We are a family of 7! I will definitely sail on a NCL ship again!! In fact NCL ships put the others we saw at the ports to shame! Keep up the energy and greeting your guests back on the ships NCL! The other ships look boring and I think the other ships guests wished they were getting on our ship when they saw the special treatments we got as we were boarding...cool wash clothes, water and juice!! Very nice factor! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
First cruise with my spouse. Traveled with others who were cruise offianatos but also had younger children so we get the connection of the vacation for Mom & Dad and vacation for Kids. Great options for the children with endless ... Read More
First cruise with my spouse. Traveled with others who were cruise offianatos but also had younger children so we get the connection of the vacation for Mom & Dad and vacation for Kids. Great options for the children with endless activities if you enjoy water and sports. Our steward was awesome - his name was Jericho - anything we needed he made himself available. Food was acceptable - however seemed more like same food at a different restaurant name. A couple were different but not a great variety. Acupuncture Doctor was the best ever. Dr. Jessica Ong - she would be the only reason for my return. Excursions were unorganized and very crowded with little direction as you were being herded to an area in Nassau you were hoping was accurate. While on the trip I was "had" by the Cruise Shopper - Named "RITA". Rita sold herself as being your advocate but don't let that spunky witty delivery fool you. Later I had found out that she is paid commission by Diamond International. I purchased a piece which was very expensive and RITA explained when she delivered by jelewry to the boat that I would receive an appraisal on my new ring electronically. Shortly after receiving everything I approached her about returning and/or refunding the jewelry - as I was feeling uneasy. With a smile she said "well there are no returns on store credit or exchange" My stomach sank and at that moment I knew I had been "had". I looked thorugh all of my documents and oddly enough there was not a single document which contained a phone number or email address. I have since returned home and brought my jewelry in for appraisal because I did not receive the one promised by RITA. To make matters worse, the ring was .50 carrot short of what was listed and the appraised value was $12,000 less than what I paid (yes you are looking at that correctly). When I returned home I frantically sought out blogs about experience with Diamond Iternational and how they team up with the cruise shopping folks to make big bucks and pray on unsuspecting vacationers. I thought I was brighter than that but they really shammed me and she was the driver. While I think the ship was clean and I was greatful to have a balcony, it was crowded, way too many kids and the weight staff at the restaurants and bars were far from attentive. We have been to many all-inclusive and they bend over backwards for you. Lastly was participating to the "walk off the ship" - however we arrived at the elevator the same time the announcement was provided that they would be refueling so elevators would be out of commission, causing many passengers to have to carry very heavy suitcases down several floors. Not a single cruise member in site to assist. I think they have great things for families. However, we felt the bad outweighed the good. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
The ship is huge and beautiful. The staff was friendly and attentive. The food and drinks were great. There were many amenities but the lines were so long that we didn't even participate in some. There are 2 pools but both were small. ... Read More
The ship is huge and beautiful. The staff was friendly and attentive. The food and drinks were great. There were many amenities but the lines were so long that we didn't even participate in some. There are 2 pools but both were small. One was taken over by the young adults and the other by young children. My mother who was celebrating her 70th birthday never was able to even get in one - not because of a physical disability but because there was no room. It was nearly impossible to find a beach chair anywhere except the Spice H2O deck but that area restricts children until after 7 pm. It was virtually impossible for all of us to enjoy the afternoon sun together as I have a 12 year old. There was too long of a wait to get a drink at any bar close to the pools. They offer a lot of shows but reservations should be made so you can get a seat. The comedy show was great! The rooms with a balcony were great. My advice is : don't book at spring break time, book early to get a deal on the drink package, get a chair outside early, go to the waterslides, etc when they open, go to the buffet early for breakfast and make reservations for dinner, read multiple reviews about excursions through NCL before booking (Seahorse Sail & Snorkel was not as advertised), eat a big meal before boarding (the wait to get your room is long and the dining is a mob scene) and don't bother with the seminars as they are merely a sales pitch We had a great time but would have been better if it was less crowded and if I knew then what I know now. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We went on our first cruise for our honeymoon. We did the beverage package, had a mid-ship balcony, and did 2 shore excursions. The beverage package was perfect, all drinks under $15 were unlimited, if not you paid the difference for ... Read More
We went on our first cruise for our honeymoon. We did the beverage package, had a mid-ship balcony, and did 2 shore excursions. The beverage package was perfect, all drinks under $15 were unlimited, if not you paid the difference for every penny you go over (which we never ran into this problem). The only problem we ran into with the beverage package was the port fee. Our cruise was delayed a couple of hours due to high winds. Every beverage sold before departing Miami we had to pay a small port fee. We probably combined to have 12 drinks which only lead to about $8 in charges total (NOT MUCH I KNOW!) Just makes you think how much extra money they make for something that was suppose to be free to begin with the beverage package. The mid-ship balcony was a great experience for us. I will echo what other reviews have said in that you certainly feel the waves more than what you think you will. Our room was in great shape and it exceeded our expectations for consistent upkeep. I wouldn't let one bad review about cabin upkeep hold you back-all staff we crossed in the hallways were friendly and always greeted us. The shore excursions were OK. St. Thomas' Magens Bay was very crowded. We took a tour bus (20 ppl) there and saw some great scenery. On the way back, a couple was over the top obnoxiously drunk (really embarrassed for them, and this is coming from someone who really enjoys their drinks!). This truly ruined it for us as we couldn't hear anything the tour guide was saying. We strongly recommend not doing a bus tour, but rather doing a private taxi for a cheaper and more enjoyable experience. Tortola was probably our highlight. We did the Canopy Tour (MUST-DO!) which brings you to breath-taking views and ends with zip lining with even more views. Bahamas we were not impressed with. You can't walk 3 steps without being haggled by locals trying to sell. We were looking forward to the shopping here, but it became too annoying to be enjoyable. AVOID the Straw Market! Everything else on the ship we were mostly pleased with. If you aren't ritzy, there is plenty to do and eat complimentary. Silas, Andre, and Rommel were a blast (do they ever sleep?!) during all of their game shows and other events. "The Perfect Couple Game Show" is a must-see. Garden Cafe', O'Sheehans, Taste, Savor, and Manhattan were all just fine. We especially liked the Manhattan room as it gave us our one night of "ritz" and it came complimentary. They do a lot of little things (maybe this is standard in the Cruise industry?) that we were impressed with. For instance, when getting back on board from ports, they'd give us an ice cold scent infused towel, drinks, and fresh towels all while playing music to welcome you back on board. My one complaint I had throughout the week (and maybe this was because it's Spring Break time) is the kids. More than a third (1,800) were kids. The "freestyle living" is exactly as advertised, eat-drink-sleep-play whenever you'd like. This "freestyle living" goes right on to the kids too as there was little to no supervision and little to no respect by kids for rules etc. (I'll get off my soap box now...) There are a few times/places where it was suppose to be kid-free including the pool during the day and some game shows. Spice H20 was the one exception for the most part. It would have been nice to have more follow-through or more respect of the rules by parents/kids to allow for a more enjoyable experience for all. Overall we agreed on the way home today that we'd cruise again, but we are going to be looking for an adult only type cruise. Great work to all staff involved-Rommel, keep working on those dance moves with tall ladies!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
When I called to schedule my cruise I explained to them exactly what my family was looking for in a cruise. I explained that this was our families 1st cruise and the only place we wanted to go was the Bahamas, and the other islands would ... Read More
When I called to schedule my cruise I explained to them exactly what my family was looking for in a cruise. I explained that this was our families 1st cruise and the only place we wanted to go was the Bahamas, and the other islands would just be a bonus. I was asked if there was anything we were celebrating and I said why yes, ”it’s mine and my husband’s 15 year anniversary, and I just graduated Nursing school”. We found a date that Norwegian was scheduled for the Bahamas and booked my family’s 1st cruise. I would like to explain to you several issues that my family encountered with Norwegian. We had 2 medical emergencies on the ship. Let me explain to you that the whole 13th floor is a medical center. The 1st medical emergency we had was the night before our depart to St. Thomas. That Captain made an overhead announcement that he was speeding up the boat to 35mph (normal speed is 25mph) to arrive at the island early, and no one was able to get off the ship unless there was a medical emergency because we would be arriving at 330am. Totally understandable! Then day 5 they made another announcement at 11am that there was another medical emergency the night before at 1230am and the Captain had to turn around the ship 110 miles to helicopter this patient to a hospital and we were no longer going to the Bahamas. I was outraged, being that this was the only reason we booked this cruise. In the Atrium (there main hub) one of the employee said on a microphone “please everybody calm down, that you’re not missing anything”. Then he proceeds and says “can I get a raise of hands of the people that have been to Detroit, because if you have just add sand, and that’s the Bahamas! A dirty place”. I was totally offended by this! He continued on to explain that our port fees of $18 will be credited per person and that’s it because emergency’s happen. I really wish I would have recorded all of this because every employee I came across was rude and could care less that we were unable to make the Bahamas as they have been there a hundred times. As we were speaking to a crew members other cruise ship passengers joined us and we asked to speak with the Captain and they stated that would never happen. We even tried to ask if there was any way we could port anywhere else and they say no. Then we proceeded to ask why the Captain would not speed up the ship like he did for the 1st emergency and they said because we would have less than 5 hours at the Bahamas and people would be unable to do there excursions. That to me was just an excuse because there is plenty to do within 4 hours at a port. I have to tell you that my family did not buy one thing at our other 2 ports because we were saving the little money we had to spend at the Bahamas for gifts. So we went home empty handed with not one gift. Ok moving on to other issues we had. The servers, bartenders, and guest services were all rude the whole 7 days we were on this ship. Trying to get a drink took at least 5 to 10 each time. And I’m not kidding, it really took that long as they would not even look at you and say I will be with you in a minute. Anytime we ate at one of their 5 complementary restaurants our food was cold 80% of the time and when we asked if it could be heated up we always got attitude. Horrible service, horrible employees, we will never recommend or ever cruise on Norwegian Cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I had the absolute best time on the Norwegian Escape! This was my very first cruise ever. I went with 6 of my closest friends and my mom to celebrate my 30th birthday. Prior to the cruise I did a lot of research on which cruise line and ... Read More
I had the absolute best time on the Norwegian Escape! This was my very first cruise ever. I went with 6 of my closest friends and my mom to celebrate my 30th birthday. Prior to the cruise I did a lot of research on which cruise line and ship I wanted to take. Ultimately I decided the Escape was the way to go and boy was I happy with my decision. Boarding: Getting through security and boarding the ship couldn't have gone more smooth. We zipped through security and waited in the holding room for less then 20 minutes. While waiting there were snacks and beverages provided. I think Norwegians scheduled boarding time system helps make it an easy process. A friend I was with who has been on several cruises by Royal Caribbean and Carnival said that it was the fastest she ever boarded a ship before. Cabin: I wanted my own room but didn't want to pay the double occupancy rate so the studio room was the perfect option. I was surprise at how much space there was. When I first saw photos I admit I thought I would be a bit cramped but not at all. Once I unpacked my stuff in the 2 spacious closets and put my suitcase under the bed, I had plenty of room to move around comfortable. The shower was the perfect size and had great water pressure. I also got a chance to see the rooms my friends were staying in which were balcony and outside window rooms and I can say for sure the studio rooms are definitely the more aesthetically pleasing to the eye with a beautiful white walls and blue carpets, opposed to the other rooms that were pale walls and brown carpets. I would be happy to stay in a studio again. Food: We went to all of the complimentary dinning options through out the ship. All of them were top notch in food and service. Every night there was a new menu with delicious specials to try. We also went to Teppanyaki one night, the food and service there were also suburb. The buffet was crowded at times but the staff did a great job of keeping the line moving and the food fresh. Shows: I highly recommend going to the variety show on the first night. It gives you a little sample of all the shows on board and helps you decide which you would want to go to. We went to the Supper Clubs Brat Pack dinner show and it was amazing! These actors should be on Broadway! The food that went along with the show was also delicious. After the show we got to meet the cast and take photos with them. We also went to the Headliners Comedy club and laughed our asses off at each comedian that came to the mic. I definitely recommend both shows! Entertainment: Silas the cruise director was the best! So friendly and always kept the party going. The pool side Mr. Sexy Legs and Miss. Norwegian contest were a hoot to watch. I myself competed in battle of the sexes game show and had a blast doing so. There were many other contest and game shows hosted by Silas and they were all a great time. We went to two of the dance parties on the ships back deck. The 80's party and the glow party, both were pumping with great music and the staff dressed to the nines in their themed outfit! We had had so much fun with all the entertainment they provided. Casino: I didn't spend to much time in the casino but when I was there I enjoyed it. The staff was friendly and attentive. Pool/Hot-tub/Water-slides: I thought the pool was great, the area around the pool was always crowded but the pool itself was not at all. It is salt water and very deep so it's not a pool you lounge in but its nice to cool off in for sure. There were a ridiculous number of hot tubs on board, I swear there was one in every corner. If one was crowded just walk a few minutes to the next and you were good to go. Water slides were fun although you have to remove all jewelry before going on them, something that should be in huge letters on a sign before you walk up as most people found out once they were at the top. The lines were a bit long but if you went at the beginning or end of the day you could get on pretty fast. Mini-golf: The mini-golf course was a bit disappointing. It was over taken by children who leave the putters and balls all around the course. There is no staff over seeing it so no one to keep it flowing nicely. Ports: I really enjoyed St. Tomas and Nassau. Tortola is very under developed and does not have a lot to offer. We had a good time exploring the island but were definitely hoping for some more to do. If you were going to pick an island to do an excursion definitively pick Tortola as exploring is limited. Shopping on board: Shopping was nice but pricey. I waited until the last day when they had huge sales to make any purchases. Staff: Every staff member I encountered was extremely polite, helpful and hardworking. Seriously, these people would 24/7 and really do not get the credit they deserve. Every single one of them had a smile on there face and was there whenever you needed. I couldn't have asked for better service from any of them. Excursions: We did Hike, Kayak, Snorkel in St. Tomas. It was fun but if I could do it again I would have chosen just a snorkel excursion. The Kayaking was must harder then anticipated as it was very windy that day and we were going against it. The hike was merely a short walk to some rocks. The snorkeling part was the most fun but we only saw a few small fish. At Nassau, we did the half day beach break at the Atlantis hotel. That was great! We got to go to their private beach and swim. We were provided beach chairs and a towel. We also got to explore the grounds and go to their aquarium, which was beautiful. I would recommend this excursion. Cons: There were very few but if I had to list a few here it what they would be. The elevators, they were only at the front and back for the ship. So if you were in the middle you had to walk to either one, which is fine if you needed to go to the front or back of the ship but if you wanted to go to the middle on another floor it was just a lot of extra walking. Also they were always very slow and super crowded, majority of the time we would just take the stairs as it was 10x times faster then waiting for an elevator to come and that you could even get on. Getting a chair on the deck in the sun was nearly impossible unless you got up at the crack of dawn. Getting a drink on the deck was very slow. The deck is always crowed so it was a long wait for a drink. The inside bars did not have this issue. Over All Trip: I really did have a wonderful time on this ship. I was actual quite sad when we had to leave as I just had so much fun. I think this ship is great for a big group as it provides something for everyone. We were able to split up and have a great time apart and also meet up later and have fun together. I would do another Norwegian cruise in a heartbeat and even started looking for my next one the day after I got home. I give it 5 stars and the highest recommendation! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My wife and I cruised on the Escape on 2/27. We are both 32 years old. My wife has cruised before but this was my first cruise and all the negative reviews here really started to make me wonder if this was going to be a worthwhile trip. ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on the Escape on 2/27. We are both 32 years old. My wife has cruised before but this was my first cruise and all the negative reviews here really started to make me wonder if this was going to be a worthwhile trip. The Escape was awesome. We had booked a Balcony room but due to price reductions the week before we left we were able to get a Mini Suite without increasing our fare. The room was amazing. I am not sure that I would have noticed the difference between balcony and mini suite which is about 25 sq ft but the room was clean, had lots of storage, large bathroom and shower and a comfortable bed. Our room attendant Manuel was courteous and did a nice job taking care of our cabin. The food of the escape was generally good to excellent. The best meals we had were in La Cucina and Cagneys. I had one pretty OK meal in the Manhattan room and one pretty disappointing meal at the Supper Club which has been noted in almost every review. The show is totally worth it though so go to the show and eat before or after somewhere else. It is worth the money just for the show. We also ate the Teppenyaki which was awesome and Le Bistro which was not to my pallette but enjoyable. We had breakfast and lunches in the buffet, MDR's and O'Sheehans and they were always good. Service ranged from polite and courteous to excellent. In every dining rooms there were always maitre d's checking on tables. I really tried to look around to see if other people might be having problems but everyone always seemed to be enjoying themselves. The one thing that I would say that was a slight drawback is that my wife is a vegetarian and she had a REALLY hard time finding multiple options. There was always one app and one main in the MDR that were vegetarian and they did rotate but we hit a few nights that were not to her liking. Teppan and La Cucina seemed to have the best vegetarian options and were her favorite. Also, this might just be me but I love good table bread and the Escape was certainly lacking here. Every restaurant served the same room temp bread that was pretty blah. The one exception was La Cucina which serves a warm Italian loaf that was delicious. Desserts in the specialty restaurants were best but the ones from the MDR and buffet were OK as well. We never had to wait more than 2-3 minutes to get a drink and we tried almost every bar. The pool bars are the most crowded during the day but even then we seemed to get served in a very timely manner. We saw The Brat Pack supper club show and Million Dollar Quartet. We both agreed that the dialogue of these shows is a little weak but the singing and performances were wonderful. The pool was relatively crowded on sea days but we always found spots, usually on the sun decks as the pool deck was usually full by 10AM but there was plenty of space to come down and watch the activities and then return to our chairs after they were over. The thing that made this the best vacation though were the cruise director Silas, assistant cruise director Andre and their staff. I had no idea what to expect here but these guys and girls work so hard and were truly the highlight of the cruise. They were everywhere interacting with guests from dance classes, to trivia, to parties to bingo. They were always upbeat and to us made the experience so much fun. We really enjoyed the game shows they put on and made sure to try and catch as many as we could. We also really liked the shows and competitions they put on at the pool on sea days. That was always entertaining as well. All in all we had a great time, and I think that most people around me were having fun as well. I am not sure where the negativity comes from. It seemed like people who were young and old, and families traveling with kids were all enjoying themselves. My suggestion would be to try and catch as much of the cruise activities as possible. We ran around like crazy trying to get reservations as soon as we got on the ship. Not sure how much of that was necessary as it really stressed us out. But if you are concerned they have people working inside headliners as soon as you get on taking restaurant reservations and we did not have any problem getting times. Be sure to write down what you reserve online in advance as it was really hard to find someone to access that info for us on the cruise. You can book new reservations on their app but you can't see your existing reservations or cancel reservations. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
First cruise for my wife and I, also took our 20 & 23 year old sons. Our balcony cabin was great, no complaints – nice bed, desk, sofa, ample storage, etc. Nice touch with USB charger outlets on lamp beside each bed. Nice German ... Read More
First cruise for my wife and I, also took our 20 & 23 year old sons. Our balcony cabin was great, no complaints – nice bed, desk, sofa, ample storage, etc. Nice touch with USB charger outlets on lamp beside each bed. Nice German fixtures – great water temperature and flow adjustments in shower. Shower was more than big enough. Note: Room key must be inserted for lighting and power to work – nice energy saving feature. The ship was absolutely beautiful, only a few months old. As a naval architect/shipbuilder, I had the opportunity to see the Escape under construction at Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany in June 2015. Lots of nice touches – LED lighting everywhere, even the main engine exhaust was treated – so it was not the black diesel smoke of the other ships when starting their engines. At each port we visited, St. Thomas, Tortola, Nassau, the Escape was clearly the standout ship both in size and with all the on-deck activities such as the ropes course, water park, and so forth. Lots of people in Garden Café, the buffet, and the upper decks, but we always were able to get some deck chairs – there is a lot in other reviews about that – people saving chairs and such, but we had no issues on our cruise. With all the people and congestion on the upper decks 16-20, especially when entering and leaving port, it was still very easy to get to a much quieter place in literally seconds. Deck 8 is the best kept secret – a nice boardwalk stroll, never crowed, with plenty of shaded comfy chairs to rest, read a book, or sip a drink in peace. We enjoyed alternating between the busier spots, and the quiet spots. We had the unlimited drink package, and 4 specialty restaurant package. The only irritating thing about the drink package ($15/drink limit) was the coffee drinks. For example, in Le Bistro I could order a cognac after dinner, but my wife could not get the $2.25 cappuccino with her crème Brule. At times, it felt like some of the bars were understaffed – one bartender working very hard with lots of people waiting. The bars are beautifully done, usually just outside, or between, two restaurants – very easy to grab a cocktail before dinner. The main complementary restaurants Taste, Savor, and The Manhattan room were very nice, we ate in all of them. Although we did do a couple of meals and snacks at the Garden Café, the benefits of Taste and Savor -ordering from a menu for three meals a day without the business of the buffet was more to our liking. As others have commented, Taste and Savor are arranged in a sort of “H” shape with partitions – so you feel like you are in a smaller, more interment restaurant. It was easy to request a window seat during breakfast. Note: On days in port Taste and Savor are not open for lunch, leaving one the O’Sheehans or The Garden Café. The specialty restaurants were definitely a notch above the complementary restaurants in food quality and service. We ate in La Cucina, The Bistro, and Cagney Steakhouse – all of them were excellent. I think NCL has a great thing with this Freestyle dining concept. We made reservation on line for each restaurant in advance except for The Manhattan Room. As a long time Jimmy Buffett fan, I was anticipating the 5 O’clock Somewhere Bar and Margaritaville restaurants. Initially I was somewhat concerned at all the hype in the web reviews. It was originally a complementary venue, was considered too crowded, then became a al carte. If anything, on our cruise, it was the biggest let down – we never visited it other than to pass through on our way somewhere else. It was never crowded, and did not have the “life” or energy of the other bars and venues. We didn’t miss anything there. In fact, with the drink package, why would I order a margarita at the Buffett bar, made with Margaritaville house brand tequila (you know Jimmy doesn’t drink this stuff), when you can order a Patron (Silver) margarita at any other venue on the ship as part of the unlimited drink package? Just my opinion - no offense to die hard Buffett fans. Note: FYI They also have Patron Anejo and Reposado, Don Julio, but they are above the $15 limit. The District brewhouse was great – a great place to get a wide variety of beer from all over the world – something to please any beer drinker. This is the only place I found with a wide beer selection, most of the other bars and restaurants had a much more limited selection (Bud, Miller, Heineken, Stella Artois, Dos Equis). Drink package covers (unlimited) wines by the glass – selection is somewhat limited but decent (Estancia Pinor Noir, Blackstone Merlot), but a huge selection if you order an a la carte bottle.. When ordering by the glass, we always seemed to be served the more generous “glass and a half” portion. The wines by the glass are the same at each restaurant I believe, by the end of the week, I did find myself wishing for a greater selection. Entertainment was great. We did three shows: Brat Pack dinner theater, Million dollar Quartet, and After Midnight. All of them were excellent – great musicians and entertainers. My personal favorite was the Brat Pack show – definitely NYC Broadway quality to me. Acoustics, amplification, were top notch. We also treated ourselves to the spa package – incredible hot tubs, heated chairs, saunas, etc. Very nicely done with water views all around. Weight and exercise rooms were also beautiful – great to be on a treadmill or elliptical while looking out on the ocean from floor to ceiling windows. The facility could be crowded at times, but honestly we never had trouble getting a machine. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We were a group of 21 (5 families) that took the Norwegian Escape the week of February 20, 2016. I was a little skeptical about going on this cruise after reading all the poor reviews but am I ever glad we went. The boat is beautiful, the ... Read More
We were a group of 21 (5 families) that took the Norwegian Escape the week of February 20, 2016. I was a little skeptical about going on this cruise after reading all the poor reviews but am I ever glad we went. The boat is beautiful, the food was great, so much to do for kids. The rope's course was a great experience. The staff were friendly for the most part except for the two bartenders at the Waves pool bar on the 17th deck. They were quite rude and unfriendly. But, I guess everyone is allowed to have bad days so I won't hold it against them. Previous reviews complained about how crowded the pool areas were. Well what do you expect when you book on a cruise ship with 4000 people. I always managed to find lounge chairs, maybe not where I wanted them, but who cares. You are on vacation, don't stress about the little things. Embarkation and disembarkation (we chose walk off) were a breeze. Very quick and efficient. Once the ship got going, they had everyone meet to go over the safety instructions. When they do this, they close all the bars. One guy was yelling at the poor bartender about because he was getting his drink and wanted to speak to someone in charge. I mean really, it's for your own safety (and law by the way) to go through the safety instructions. You must have a real drinking problem if you can't go 30 minutes without a drink. As for entertainment, the Million Dollar Quartet show was great. The music was amazing and lots of fun. We spent a lot of time at the District Brew House in the evenings as there was a great piano player. Try the Red Light District drink! Friends of ours went and saw the dueling pianos and the comedy show and they loved them both. The raspberry mojito at the Mojito Bar was delicious. I have two children, ages 10 and 13. My 10 year old had a blast at the kids club. She spend a lot of her time there. My 13 year old went to the teen club but wasn't too happy with it because there were groups of teens who knew each other and kept to themselves. Normal teen thing to do, but it would have been nice if the staff and tried to make everyone feel included. So she only went twice. We didn't do any port excursions. We got off the boat and found our own way around. In St. Thomas we found a taxi driver who took us to the top to get a great view of Magen's Bay and then brought us to Coki Beach for the morning. She then came back and picked us up in the afternoon. For a family of four we paid $50 roundtrip. Coki Beach is a small beach that can get crowded. We got there early enough that we got a great spot. The sand was so white and the water was so clear and beautiful. The fish were right there to snorkel with. The kids loved it! In Tortola, we just walked to the town and did some shopping. In Nassau we walked to the beach (15 minute walk) but didn't stay long as it was quite cool that day and windy. On our way back we hit the shops. Nassau was not my favourite place. Very busy and dirty but glad I experienced it. Overall, we had a fantastic time and I would recommend this to anyone looking for a great time that doesn't mind big ships. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was my first cruise and I'm afraid I've been spoiled. Embarkation was easy - staff were friendly and helpful and were able to answer all questions. I asked for a map/floor plan and was provided with one which was very ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I'm afraid I've been spoiled. Embarkation was easy - staff were friendly and helpful and were able to answer all questions. I asked for a map/floor plan and was provided with one which was very helpful (even though there are floor plans at every elevator). Our stateroom 15822 was ready to go right away and luggage was delivered within an hour or two. Our Room Steward, Gibbs was awesome. So welcoming, professional and on top of everything we needed. Our Stateroom being on deck 15 also meant being one floor away from the Garden Cafe buffet, which was awesome. Some food was amazing, other food was just good, but there was always plenty of it at all times of the day and a wide variety. Coffee (including decaf), tea, hot water, water, juices and iced tea were always available. Taste and Savour (complimentary dining) had the same menus - lots of variety. I had an eggplant dish that was excellent, but then another night I had pad thai that just didn't do it for me, but the staff are extremely accommodating. Never tried the Manhattan and they didn't post the menus ahead of time like at Taste & Savour. O'Sheehan's had pretty good Irish Pub grub - I liked everything I tried. Debarkation at ports of call was the same as embarkation - relatively quick, easy, well-organized and professional. I loved being able to run on the jogging track some mornings, then use the elliptical in the gym other mornings. Pool decks (H2O/Spice adult-only included) were extremely busy so if you plan to spend some time there, better find a nice spot that you like nice n' early. The adult pool is quite small, but there are other places to cool off (waterfall in H20, ice/mist station on upper deck). I tried both adult water slides - the tube slide was nice and calm, but the tandem/free-fall one was pretty exciting (you stand in the slide tube and the floor falls from underneath you, then before you know what happened, you're zooming and sprayed in the face with water and come out the other side hoping nobody can see where your bathing suit got wedged lol). The Comedy Club show was good and funny. We weren't able to make it to any of the other shows, but the games and entertainment in the Atrium were always fun to watch and there was always something going on (next day's schedule of events was delivered every evening). I was concerned about feeling restricted because I needed to stick with all the complimentary offerings, but it wasn't like that at all. There wasn't one thing I wanted to do that wasn't already included in my fare and I liked the idea of being able to pay service fees ahead of time and not have to walk around with money all the time. Another thing I really liked was that there were big, clean, air-conditioned public bathrooms everywhere. The smell of smoke from the Casino that wafts to the floors around it is a shame, but wouldn't stop me from recommending this ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We were first time cruisers, myself, my wife and our 13 and 9yo girls. We were quite hesitant about cruising and now are really looking forward to doing it again so in that way I guess you could call it a success but reflecting back on it ... Read More
We were first time cruisers, myself, my wife and our 13 and 9yo girls. We were quite hesitant about cruising and now are really looking forward to doing it again so in that way I guess you could call it a success but reflecting back on it there were just a couple of things that really got in the way of our enjoyment and that is the reason for the average review. The embarkation process was smooth enough. We arrived at 1:30 and were on the ship shortly after 2:00 so it was pretty quick. The issue was the lady who printed our tickets did not even say Hello or give us a smile. We have as well have been the paperwork she was processing for the human interaction she gave us. Not a great first impression. Getting on the ship was through the casino which wreaked of smoke so that wasn't great either. The ship though is beautiful, clean and you can tell they mean to keep it that way. Our room was mis ship mini suite with a balcony and we LOVED it. The shower was something to write home about. Great water pressure and big enough for two of us. The balcony was a perfect size for two of us to sit and really was a highlight. One of our bags didn't arrive and dealing with Guest Services was pleasant but it did take a long time to get through the line on the first day. I guess that it to be expected. As just about everyone had the drink package sometimes you did have to wait before being acknowledged by the bar staff but nothing overly long. I tried to tip a buck or two extra with every drink. I am not sure if this helped. Every bar person did acknowledge it and thanked me though. We had the specialty dining package and dined at Teppanyaki twice, Moderno and La Cuccina. The specialty restaurants were (in order of best tasting to least) Teppanyaki, La Cuccina, and finally Moderno (which almost had no taste). The regular restaurants Taste, Savor and the Irish pub were ok. We were disappointed after everything we had read about how good cruise food was, it just wasn't. The buffet had a good selection and was decent for breakfast and lunch. Same complaints as everyone else about the chair hogs on the pool deck. I had read enough to expect it, so we were not surprised and that helped. We went to the The Brat Pack and left the kids at Entourage and Splash Academy (more on that later). The Brat Pack show was really good. The food, well, not so much. It started of well, with a decent appetizer, went downhill with a main course I don't even remember and ended with an inedible desert. The performers were excellent though and we really enjoyed it. The kids evening however, sucked! Our 9yo hated Splash Academy, said it could have been fun but they were way too strict. Our 13 yo didn't really liked Entourage but all the other kids seemed to have friends or know each other and no one talked to her. I am surprised at how Norwegian puts some an emphasis of the "Freestyle" cruising and then is adamant that siblings be seperated with no exceptions if they are different ages. It was the last time either of them went. It would be nice to have a semi-supervised area where they could have gone together. We enjoyed the ports very much, St. Thomas and Tortola were beach days and both were very beautiful. We did the Dolphin swim at Nassau and loved every single minute of it. I had purchased an OBC before we left and on the morning of Disembarkation, we still had $40 or so on the account. We received an invoice at our stateroom that implied the $40 had been credited back. After breakfast we went to the photo shop to look at our photos. We picked out three photos to purchase. When I took them to the counter they said the account had been closed. I tried to use cash but they wouldn't accept it. They said we would have to go down to Guest Services and re-open the account. No thank you. So we left without pictures. That was disappointing. So wrapping up, we enjoyed cruising a lot more than we thought we would. There were parts of the Escape that were great, and though we are already thinking about our next cruise, it will probably be on a Royal Caribbean ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
My husband and I went on the Norwegian Escape and after reading all the negative reviews I was a little nervous. We are in our late 30's from Canada. It was my husbands first cruise and my first cruise as a passenger (I was a dancer ... Read More
My husband and I went on the Norwegian Escape and after reading all the negative reviews I was a little nervous. We are in our late 30's from Canada. It was my husbands first cruise and my first cruise as a passenger (I was a dancer in the shows almost 20 years ago gulp). I just don't understand how there were so many bad reviews; in our experience we had an amazing time! Below is a summary of our cruise. Embarkation- was a breeze but we were also the last group to get on. It took less than a half hour and we were in our cabin. Cabin- We had a forward balcony cabin which was lovely. Not a ton of space but definitely comfortable. The balcony was lovely. Our room steward Jezreel was great. Food- how people complain about the food is beyond me. The food on board was amazing. We never went to any of the a la carte restaurants. The buffet had fabulous food. The sandwiches at lunch were awesome and the soup was always delicious. The one day they had the most amazing fried chicken. It was so good. We never had trouble finding a table and usually sat in the aft section (what a nice view). The Manhatten room was a cool atmosphere and the 3 piece band was a nice touch. The food was really really good in all the complimentary restaurants. Get the chocolate lava cake...best dessert ever!! We never waited for a table. Wherever we ate, we had a good meal except at the super club. It was just okay. Entertainment- Both the complimentary shows were spectacular. Although after midnight may not be for everyone (not much of a plot, jazz type music and lots of dancing) the cast was so very talented. They really impressed both my husband and I and considering that show is probably the last show I would expect him to like he loved it. Million dollar quartet was also great. The music was great in that one and again the cast was super talented. We went to see the brat pack show and it was pretty good. Given that this is a show that costs extra maybe I was expecting more (especially after seeing after midnight) it was still a good show but the dinner with it was just okay. Howl at the moon was absolutely hilarious and super entertaining especially after 11 when the crowds clear out a bit and the content is more for an adult crowd. Our hands down favorite entertainer of the cruise was Beau Tahana from New Zealand, he played from 9-11 at the District. We were there every night. I totally loved his humour and he is also a great singer and piano player. Bars and lounges- we went to many of the bars on board. Our favorite was the District. It is a really great atmosphere especially when Beau is playing! We went to the skyline one night it was okay nothing special. The bar at spice H20 is always super busy. The 80's party and Glow party were fun. We went to the 5 o'clock somewhere bar for the band and karaoke and it was pretty fun. Lovely at the atrium bar is great. We never waited more than 5 mins for a drink except at the spice H20 bar where on average I would wait 10 minutes. Pool deck- I would agree with other cruisers that the ship could use another pool. There were never any deck chairs on the pool deck itself but there were always deck chairs on the sun deck which offers panoramic views and is a quieter spot. My husband and I thought we would spend lots of time at spice H20 but we ended up sitting on the side of the pool in the pool deck which was awesome. The pool was warm and it wasn't too busy for the most part. The waterslides were really fun. Ports of call- decent, something for everyone. In St.Thomas we took a cab to red hook then hopped on the ferry to St. John. We went to Trunk Bay which is arguably my favorite beach (aside from Crane beach in Barbados) in the world. We went to Cane Garden bay in Tortola. It was lively and the beach was nice. We liked it. At first we got a cab to Brewers bay which was not a nice beach in my opinion so we went to cane garden, glad we did. Nassau was okay, if you like Cancun you will love it. We went fishing but didn't catch anything as we had to come in because of poor weather. We never had to wait getting on and off the ship. They have a great library with lots of good books. We did the trivia almost every morning and the captain/chief engineer talk which was really informative. Service and staff- The cruise staff is great and Silas and Paquito are a great team. Very warm and charismatic. Everyone we met was friendly. The service was great in all areas. Disembarkation- was a huge lineup. We waited about one hour to depart the ship. In NCL's defence they do specify that if you are taking your own luggage off to do so before 8 am. We waited until about 9 and like I said the lineup was HUGE! So overall it was a great cruise. We had a blast!! Food and entertainment were the highlights for sure. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
The ship was new and beautiful, however, the food was supposed to be great, it was not. The staff was supposed to be friendly, most were not. The on-board activities were supposed to be fun and entertaining, they were not. The music at the ... Read More
The ship was new and beautiful, however, the food was supposed to be great, it was not. The staff was supposed to be friendly, most were not. The on-board activities were supposed to be fun and entertaining, they were not. The music at the pool and at the dance clubs was so loud that it seriously injured my hearing. The music was all the same techno beat and got so boring I went to bed early most nights, even though I love to dance and party. The 80's night was somewhat better because they played more variety. The best entertainment was the evening shows (musicals) Great talent! I also enjoyed the ropes course and water park. We had a great balcony stateroom. The steward was helpful and friendly. In the future, I will spend my travel money at an all inclusive resort. I like to be able to relax or experience excursions any day I feel like it, not be confined to a ship's schedule. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
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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