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6 Night Caribbean Cruise from Miami

6 Night Caribbean Cruise from Miami

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Norwegian Escape
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Itinerary


Norwegian Escape

Cruise Critic Editor Rating:
4.0
1,572 reviews
Why Choose Norwegian Escape?

Pro

Exceptional dining, entertainment, bar and club options abound.

Con

A la carte fees and cover charges add up quickly

Bottom Line

There's something for everyone on Escape, but you might pay extra for it.


Cruise Reviews

16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Well, hadn't cruised w/ Norwegian in 8 years, as we generally use RC and Carnival. After reading the reviews on the Escape, we were a bit nervous...which was completely unnecessary. Let me begin with this caveat: My wife and I have a ... Read More
Well, hadn't cruised w/ Norwegian in 8 years, as we generally use RC and Carnival. After reading the reviews on the Escape, we were a bit nervous...which was completely unnecessary. Let me begin with this caveat: My wife and I have a deal...as soon as we turn into a cruise snob and/or complain about everything, we're done cruising. We've been on about 25 cruises, and bottom line to us is this...they are what you make of them. My wife, adult son and I arrived Miami the morning of sailing (drove from Tampa). Boarding went smoothly. We showed up at the terminal around 1030, and onboard around 1130. Restaurants: We ate at all the 'free' restaurants throughout the week, with the exception of sushi at Food Republic for an afternoon snack. All food was excellent (Savor, Taste, Manhatten and O'Sheehan's). Wide variety of items, all prepared and served properly. Entertainment: Fabulous, to say the least. We did them all, including the comedy shows, Howl at the Moon, and the Supper Club (show/dinner no charge). Suggest going directly to the Box Office immediately upon boarding...they will assist you in filling your schedule for the week to whatever degree you want. Can't say enough about Rat Pack. There is more than enough entertainment, and it all was top notch. Magician was great as well. Casino: Not nearly as smokey as we anticipated. At peak hours it was a bit heavy, but not nearly as bad as the other 25 cruises we've been on. I'm not a smoker, don't care for smoke, and wasn't completely turned off even at peak times. Overall, it didn't seem as though there were many smokers on our cruise. Hopefully a sign of the times. Room: Had a balcony on the 10th floor. A bit smaller than balcony room of other ships, but for as little time as we spend in the room, it was more than sufficient for 3 adults. Meet & Mingle: A young lady on this cruise organized a Meet & Mingle for the first sea day at the brewery club. It was incredible. Norwegian provided sample sized beers for any interested individuals, as well as some great hors d'oevres. They did a great job making us feel welcome. Hadn't done one of these before, and it was great. Slot Pull: Hadn't done one of these before either, and it was a blast. Had a group of about 20 from the meet & mingle that played. We all put in $10, played one machine (5 pulls per person at the $2 rate), and planned to split all the winnings (unfortunately, we played it to $0 in the end). Norwegian provided 2 bottles of wine to be given to 2 players of our choice. It was a lot of fun. Service: Incredible, from the room steward to the wait staff. All seemed to bend over backwards to provide whatever you may want. Did NOT meet a cruise employee who wasn't friendly. Super Bowl Party: Norwegian provided a nacho bar/wings in the Atrium for the big game. It was rockin', and a great time had by all. Really a nice touch. Hope you all enjoy this ship as much as we did. It appears to cater to active and boring travelers alike. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Myself, wife and 2 kids (6 and 8) booked a family suite room (9194) for an Eastern Caribbean itinerary - changed to Western due to the hurricane - back in June. This was our 8th cruise with NCL, first on the Escape. We stayed at the ... Read More
Myself, wife and 2 kids (6 and 8) booked a family suite room (9194) for an Eastern Caribbean itinerary - changed to Western due to the hurricane - back in June. This was our 8th cruise with NCL, first on the Escape. We stayed at the Doubletree in Miami the night prior and arrived at the port around 10am. Emarkation was pretty standard (aside from a small technical glitch that caused about a 20 minute delay). We were onboard around 11:30. First impressions were very good. We had sailed on the Breakaway before and this ship has a similar vibe and layout. Our first priority was to register kids in Splash Academy, which went very smoothly and quickly. We then headed up to the pool deck to check out the area. The kid's Aquapark was very cool (probably suited for kids a little younger than mine) and they played for a bit. The one issue (and this is consistent with most NCL ships) is that there is nowhere for parents to sit in the sun. We were all crowded on a bench or on loungers out of the sun. I have never understood that. We went in the very crowded family pool for a while and then headed to our stateroom which was ready around 1pm. Our room was fine. We had a family mini-suite with a bunk bed. The bathroom was huge with a double sink and tub/shower. Bed was a king and very comfortable. I also found there to be more storage space than on other ships. Overall we were very happy with our stateroom. The best part of the ship was, without question, Splash Academy. The counselors were very fun, super engaging and very professional. They had a theme night every night (Pirate night, Glow night, Survivor Island night, PJ night) and the kids LOVED being there. They went every night and a couple of times during the day. We also enjoyed the family activities they hosted on Great Stirrup Cay. Lots of fun!! Dining: This was probably the worst thing about the ship. We have noticed over our last few cruises (we’ve been on about 15 cruises since 2002) that overall quality in food in non-a la carte restaurants has suffered. Not a surprise to anyone, I’m sure. But this was shockingly bad. In the entire week we had 1 good meal. Full disclosure –we did not try any of the ALC restaurants because we’ve done them before and didn’t think there was much value. The Garden buffet was ok. That’s it. Breakfast was ok. Lunch was ok. Dinner was ok. Late-night was ok. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t close to good. We did Taste and Savor 4 nights. Overall the quality was poor. We had 1 good meal (my wife had pallela and I had a NY Strip), otherwise the food was cold or underseasoned. The service in the 2 main dining rooms was below average, at best. We also ate lunch and dinner at O’Sheehan’s. This was confusing to me. People rave about the Prime Rib…it was not good. It was a big piece of meat, that’s for sure, but it came with a baked potato that had no butter and a tiny dollop of sour cream (asked for both and they never came). The Fish and chips were tiny and flavorless. The wings were hot but had an odd flavor (tried buffalo and thai chili). We did have lunch, which was ok. The hot dog my son got was actually really good. Aside from that it was below-average pub food. A note on the service…you can definitely tell that the waitstaff is not motivated at all while serving food at no charge. Entertainment: We saw 2 shows. Both were excellent. The Company Men are not to be missed. A quick show but highly entertaining and they had a great sound. For The Record was awesome. Granted – my wife and I grew up on John Hughes movies so we knew every word to every song and got the plot. Note: heed the warning of not bringing kids. DEFINTELY not appropriate! We also watched the Not-So-Newlywed Game with Dave, the CD, who was really great. Public Areas: Despite being a massive ship, it feels very crowded. All public areas always felt crowded at all times of the day. The only time we didn’t feel that way was when we walked outside on the Waterfront in the evening, which we very much enjoyed. Activities: The Aquaracer (Blue) water slide was a lot of fun for everyone. The yellow slide was good for the kids. We did the Ropes Course on the final day, which was awesome. A couple of notes on the ropes course: I am not sure why they continue to put these on ships. They are almost never open due to the wind…it’s always windy. Second – if your child just sneaks over the 48” mark they have to do the regular course and can’t do the kids’ course. Luckily both of my kids are fairly athletic and got through it, but they did get stuck a couple of times. Finally – there is a HUGE difference doing it in port before sunset and at sea in the dark. The former was very fun. The latter was difficult and cold. Overall, though it was a ton of fun! The other activities (basketball, mini golf, movies, etc) were all pretty standard and fun. Ports: Our first port was Grand Cayman. It was cancelled due to the waves being too high for tenders. It was disappointing because we had an excursion to the Turtle Farm planned. We had an extra sea day, which was windy. Falmouth was next. We had never been there and didn’t plan on getting off the ship. But we did hop off for a couple of hours and wandered around the shopping area (see: tourist area) for a couple of hours. We didn’t get outside of that area so I can’t really comment on the port. GSC was next. We had good weather, which is always a hit or miss. It made for our best port day. We did the family activities with the ship staff and had lots of fun (water balloons, dodge ball, etc). We got chairs on the left (east?) side of the island and swam and had a very enjoyable beach day. It didn’t feel crowded at any point. Tendering to and from was smooth. Last stop was Nassau. We had a disappointing experience with the company we rented a 4x4 jeep from as they did not have a vehicle available for us. (I’ll spare you the details – but we did get a refund). We have been there several times so we just sort of walked around, did a horse and buggy ride (meh) and bought a few souvenirs before getting back on board. So unfortunately our 2 excursions didn’t happen so it was definitely a let-down. So I would say that overall the trip was very good – not great. I would recommend the Escape to families as there is plenty to do and a great children’s program. One thing we ALWAYS do is take advantage of the Cruise NEXT credits, but I think we may be giving other cruise lines (RCCL, Disney) a chance the next couple of times around. The NCL experience is getting a little stale for us. Thanks for reading and I hope this review helps! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
As a frequent NCL Cruiser we chose Escape mainly due to the Itinerary, unfortunately this changed due to hurricane damage, not NCL's fault. The first impression was wow, Escape is a beautiful ship. We arrived at the port of Miami at approx ... Read More
As a frequent NCL Cruiser we chose Escape mainly due to the Itinerary, unfortunately this changed due to hurricane damage, not NCL's fault. The first impression was wow, Escape is a beautiful ship. We arrived at the port of Miami at approx 11am and were on board within an hour. We had a good look around and were very impressed. As there are so many reviews of Escape I will jus do a quick PRO's & Con's..... PROS: Beautiful modern ship, The shows After Midnight and Brat Pack where superb. Main restaurant dining rooms Taste, Savor and Manhattan were superb, no waiting, great choice and considering the size, service was ok, Menu was varid and a really good quality of food served. The choice of bars was fantastic if a bit crowded. Public areas and choice of entertainment were very good. O'sheehans seemed to be the most popular bar. Breakfast was also offered and a bit less crowded. The Garden Cafe was a bit of a dog fight for seats depending on your dining timing but the quality offered and consistency of quality is commendable. I Just wish the majority nationality in general had more class and manners, I never heard a please or thank you anywhere on the ship, also I never heard after you! Great quality staterooms (Mini Suite), fantastic bathrooms with large shower and double size sink. Outstanding comfortable bed and a nice size balcony. Kept very cleen by our invisible room steward. Loads of wardrobe space. Service was professional and on the whole good. I think that the size of the ship reduces the personal touch. Great Stirrup Cay was superb, dont miss this stop. CONS: Main pool area is way, way too small. Obviously created a larger Haven area and squashed the rest in. 2 small pool bars that where miserable bar tenders could not even raise a smile. The H2O adults only bar was the worst, too small and miserable inept drinks being served. I actually had a Pina Colada that was undrinkable.No pool and no where near enough sun loungers. Had the worst dining experience at Cagney's. To big, to loud and I hate to say this but allowing drunk, loud customers dressed in shorts and T shirts devalues this up charge restaurant. In short if NCL continue to allow people to abuse a very relaxed dress code, you will get what you wished for. Service was slow (1 hour wait for main course) fragmented arrive of food and sides resulting in cold food. We complained and had a reduction in our check. My Biggest dislike....NO NIGHT CLUB. Calling a bar (Skyliners) the club is ridiculous. Tagged onto the Casino and the size of a postage stamp was laughable,the music played by the DJ was terrible and did not play to the age dynamic in the bar. Having had three cruises on Epic where much more thought has been given to night life and pool space I am not sure what they were thinking of. Also no where to go for young adults so they just sat in O'sheehans. Oh and another thing...the internet connection is diabolical, to charge for it is outrageous. Be the first company to offer free wifi then no one can complain. In summery, we had a great cruise, I would probably choose Epic for my big ship and Jade for a more intimate experience before I would return to Escape. A very impressive ship but to many faults for my vacation buck. Read Less
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