2,743 Norwegian Escape Cruise Reviews

A group of six of us, three couples, chose this cruise to celebrate a birthday and an anniversary. The overall cruise was OK, not impressive and I never had the feeling that Norwegian went out of his way to impress their customers. We ... Read More
A group of six of us, three couples, chose this cruise to celebrate a birthday and an anniversary. The overall cruise was OK, not impressive and I never had the feeling that Norwegian went out of his way to impress their customers. We have been on more than 40 cruises and while there were many parts of the screws that were nice they were also many parts that were very frustrating. The transfer that we were required to buy because of our reduced airfare was a complete disorganized disaster. We did finally make it to the pier only to find that the embarkation process is also not very organized and difficult to endure. I think additional information and personnel at the pier to let passengers know which line to go in and to help manage expectations would be very much appreciated by passengers. The immigration process that we went through at Bar Harbor was also a complete mess. There were almost no Norwegian employees out to direct people and give proper information. When you have the Muster drill you have an employee at every stairway on every level to help give directions even half that much effort for the immigration process would’ve made things very much smoother and make passengers less reliant upon the information gotten from other passengers to be in the right Place. The food and the Brazilian steakhouse was excellent! The food in the Italian restaurant was also very good. The rest of the food on the ship was passable but lacked excitement, imagination, And originality. This was a Canada and New England cruise, so the weather was cold and very few people hung out at the pool and for this reason possibly I think the boat Felt more crowded than usual. Overall while this was an enjoyable week it is not a cruise that I could recommend to a friend or relative. I am also somewhat frustrated with Norwegians advertising and pricing schemes where there is nothing actually free as advertised but everything has a cost associated with it or required purchase such as the transfers that accompany the free or reduced airfare. The mandatory tips that I paid on my drink package or more than I would’ve paid had I not had a drink package and just bought the drinks out right. We didn’t use the excursion credit for each port because of the cruise lines cost for the excursions, they seem to be much higher than what we could accomplish on our own making the $50 credit irrelevant. The ship in our cabin were very nice but Norwegian as a cruise line is not one that I would recommend somebody go out of their way did take a cruise on unless they had a specific itinerary in deed or ship that you’re interested in. I think there is a better value, better customer service and a better product available elsewhere . Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because the itinerary of cruising upper New England and Canada to view the Fall Colors appealed to us. We are recently retired and have enjoyed cruising with Princess and Celebrity, so we expect to cruise regularly in ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the itinerary of cruising upper New England and Canada to view the Fall Colors appealed to us. We are recently retired and have enjoyed cruising with Princess and Celebrity, so we expect to cruise regularly in the future. We decided to give Norwegian a try. Big mistake. Embarkation was disorganized and confused. Once on board the problems and disappointment continued. The massive ship felt crowded everywhere. We had problems with our onboard account (Norwegian lost our credit card number and deactivated our account without our knowledge), the food in the crowded dining rooms was bland and uninspired (my guess is they want you to visit the Specialty Restaurants for an additional charge), and the food in the buffet wasn’t worthy of a Golden Corral. They were pushing drink packages so the ship was full of drunk, rude people. And rather surprisingly, many of the crew seemed very unhappy, some even surly. If you’re considering cruising, there are much better choices out there. I cannot imagine ever cruising with Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose the cruise because it was going someplace that we haven't been to three times before, not because of the ship. The housekeeping staff was fantastic. With that said, I'm glad this was our 4th NCL cruse for me and fifth ... Read More
We chose the cruise because it was going someplace that we haven't been to three times before, not because of the ship. The housekeeping staff was fantastic. With that said, I'm glad this was our 4th NCL cruse for me and fifth for my wife and not our first NCL cr,uise. That's how I know NCL can do better. I've heard lots of complaints about NCL's Garden Cafes. I thought they were all bogus. I've enjoyed all of them except for this last one. (What happened to the omelettes made to order? All the Escape had was premade omelettes. And they weren't even omelettes. They were just scrambled eggs folded over, nothing inside. Yuck. Those made to omelettes are the high point of cruising and they totally screwed that.) The cigar lounge had a better view of the ocean than the Gem's, though, for the only other positive aspect of the cruise. I will never again sail on a ship that big. (A lady bumped into me and actually apologized, explaining that she doesn't have good peripheral vision on her right side. My only thought, was "Lady, people have been bumping into me for the past 5 days and you're the only one to offer an excuse!" It was like bumper cars in there except they were using people instead of cars.) Getting off the ship at cruise end was horrible. Their color coding scheme to schedule departures didn't work at all. They made it *seem* like all 4000 people were trying to get off the ship at once. That boat should be renamed Titanic and scuttled. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The trip was definitely uneven starting with the loading process. We waited online for about 1.5 hours to get on the ship and found that most of the employees were not helpful at this point until someone complained to management and they ... Read More
The trip was definitely uneven starting with the loading process. We waited online for about 1.5 hours to get on the ship and found that most of the employees were not helpful at this point until someone complained to management and they came and started to direct the lines. If all of your paperwork is printed out, there is no reason that people should take more than 3-4 minutes at the counter. Cases that become more complicated should be directed to a different help desk. Most of the people working on the ship were wonderful. They had very positive attitudes. I didn't expect the overall sleezy feeling that people were always trying to sell me something. For instance, I went to a lecture on metabolism not realizing until after 40 minutes they were now going to try to sell me a product to help cleanse my system. Most talks ended up being some type of sales pitch. I truly enjoyed the Thermal Suite but resented the blatant lying about how many passes they were selling. When I bought my pass, I was told there were 20 passes left and the limit was 120. A couple of hours later, I went back for a raffle and again heard how there were only 20 passes left. Then I realized that they were also selling day passes as the cruise went on. To be honest, I only felt crowded once during my time there, but the unnecessary lying seemed foolish. Another major issue was communication. I wanted to get off at Bar Harbor a couple of hours before my tour which started at 12:50 from inside the ship. I was discouraged by the crew saying they would not be responsible if I didn't find the group off of the ship (turns out very easy to find them)- hence I stayed on the ship. Other people I met were told sure meet the tour in front of the ship and yet others were told that they could absolutely not leave the ship. Overall, the food was fine and the staff serving were exceptional. As stated- it was a very up and down experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have sailed on 22 cruises decided to take in a little cold after the hot summer we had in Maryland. We got a great Casino price so we took this one. This was our 5th NCL Cruise in the past few years. The Ship is beautiful and clean. ... Read More
We have sailed on 22 cruises decided to take in a little cold after the hot summer we had in Maryland. We got a great Casino price so we took this one. This was our 5th NCL Cruise in the past few years. The Ship is beautiful and clean. Staff was wonderful. Cabin was to small, we opted for inside since the temps would be to cold for BC tried to bid to OV but none was available. Dining was just so so. Nothing made us want to get more of anything. We did not go to the extra ala cart dining rooms, just the compliminary ones. The ala cart prices have gone crazy. Comedy club was good, we saw the same guy three nights, the production shows were great, After Midnight, and Choir of Man. It was a port intensive cruise, we stopped four ports four days, two sea days. Canada was very cold this early in the year. We did two ship excursions, hop on hop off in St. John, not impressed. Halifax did the harbor hopper, freezing cold, it was to windy to go on the water, so instead we got a condensed version of the town tour. Tour guide and driver were great, just not alot to see. Because of the cold we did not find enough to do on ship days, or after being on shore. It was bingo, deal or no deal, or casino. This was a much older crowd and slower thats for sure, we think the average age must be 60. There were only 80 children on this sailing. I think we might wait again before sailing in NCL to see if they make a few changes. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We really enjoyed the cruise. Just wanted to commend Norwegian's staff for the time they took to get us on board. We had forgot our passports and they worked hard to help us get on board. I wish I had gotten their names. The only ... Read More
We really enjoyed the cruise. Just wanted to commend Norwegian's staff for the time they took to get us on board. We had forgot our passports and they worked hard to help us get on board. I wish I had gotten their names. The only grip I have is the entertainment was not up to standard of what Norwegian usually has. Ports were great. Staff friendly and helpful. We did not do any excursions but enjoyed just walking in the ports. Food was great and service was great. The Atrium could use some more seating if they continue to do events there. It was very packed. I did miss the open area at the back to eat outside but understand that as the crowds are large and in the event of inclimate weather there would not be enough seating. Will be cruising next fall through the panama canal from Los Angeles to Miami Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Ship as chosen for the New England, S Canada experience.. Loved the outside decks for walking and relaxing. Staff was very polite, friendly and accommodating.Good choices of food and restaurants on board. Size of the ship meant a lot of ... Read More
Ship as chosen for the New England, S Canada experience.. Loved the outside decks for walking and relaxing. Staff was very polite, friendly and accommodating.Good choices of food and restaurants on board. Size of the ship meant a lot of walking and stair climbing and long waits for elevators. Wished a free WiFi service could be provided to contact friends on board. A bit hectic embarking and disembarking the ship because of the number of people on the ship, especially on the NYCity port in finding luggage and busses. Small pool for the size of the ship. Larger areas for the entertainment shows. Health office was closed for several hours during the day. Frustrated always in finding our room with the number of rooms on the ship. Enjoyed the ports and the daily newspaper informing us of the events of the day. We were blessed with great weather and calm seas. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
New England/Canada Staff is top notch however I have traveled on Royal Caribbean and was disappointed with the amentaties Norwegian offered. Restaurants were hard to get reservations for. MargaritaVille was only open 12:00 to 5:00 ... Read More
New England/Canada Staff is top notch however I have traveled on Royal Caribbean and was disappointed with the amentaties Norwegian offered. Restaurants were hard to get reservations for. MargaritaVille was only open 12:00 to 5:00 which was disappointing because you were in port doing excursions at that time. The buffet was average. At times would wait 10 minutes or more just to get a soda compared to Royal Caribbean were you had a cup if you got the drink package and could access soda at all times. Not many activities compared to the ship's I have traveled on with Royal Caribbean. But as I said at the beginning the staff was excellent very friendly and helpful. If not for the staff I would have been totally disappointed with cruise. Talked with many others on ship and most shared the same thoughts. If I would have cruised with Norwegian first would have been happy but traveling another cruise line first and knowing what they offer let me a little disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Most of our cruise was an excellent experience! A few negatives: the specialty restaurants and the luggage pickup at the terminal, as well as the shuttle to the airport! The service was great in all areas except for two of the three ... Read More
Most of our cruise was an excellent experience! A few negatives: the specialty restaurants and the luggage pickup at the terminal, as well as the shuttle to the airport! The service was great in all areas except for two of the three specialty restaurants. The food experiences were great except for, again, two of the three specialty restaurants. The excursion people were seldom available except in remote areas, and only at very limited hours. The four excursions were decent, although Halifax left a lot to be desired. Bar Harbor was definitely our favorite. NCL was great about sanitary conditions, but when one of the entertainers (magician) announced he had the flu, we were concerned. And, sure enough, my husband got sick on our last night, and now I have the same crud! Would I go on another NCL cruise? Although I enjoyed most of it, I cannot answer that right now! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We went on this cruise for my in-laws 60th wedding Anniversary, we anticipated it would an older crowd and we weren't wrong. The cruise staff was fantastic, the passengers weren’t your typical rowdy pool crowds. Finding deck chairs ... Read More
We went on this cruise for my in-laws 60th wedding Anniversary, we anticipated it would an older crowd and we weren't wrong. The cruise staff was fantastic, the passengers weren’t your typical rowdy pool crowds. Finding deck chairs at the pool was no issue. Our Cabin steward Rod was amazing,. This was our second time on the ship, it is showing some wear but still a great ship. They are trying to control the smoke smell in the hallways around the casino, however it is still very noticeable. Howl at the moon is a must, sad this isn’t on the newer ships. The food was really good, especially Carney’s, LaCucina and Teppanyaki. We really didn’t have a bad meal on the ship. If there was a downer to the cruise it was the whale watching in Bar Harbor, save your money. We knew it wasn’t a guaranty to see one however when we were talking to one of the workers she had said the whales were staying out further away. The meeting time was 11:45, when we arrive at 11:30 they had boarded all the independent paying customers and all seats on the top levels were already taken. We ended up standing for the first 2 1/2 hours. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We came in on Thursday from PDX and stayed in Newark at the ex-Hilton (now Doubletree) Newark Penn Station as we needed two hotel rooms and NYC at this time was bit too expensive. The hotel needs some work even for a Doubletree, so a newer ... Read More
We came in on Thursday from PDX and stayed in Newark at the ex-Hilton (now Doubletree) Newark Penn Station as we needed two hotel rooms and NYC at this time was bit too expensive. The hotel needs some work even for a Doubletree, so a newer hotel would be better. I note that local taxi drivers still refer to this as the Hilton so you may need to use both names to end up at the right location if coming from the airport. We spent the Friday and Saturday seeing some sights - 9/11 Memorial, Battery Park, Central Park, a Broadway show along with various eateries. In hindsight, the time and experience traveling via PATH and NJ Transit to/from NYC were pretty overwhelming for some of the family, so it would be better to stay in Manhattan with the extra costs and avoid the hassle on any future visits. Use of the MTA subway is recommended so cut down on time spent traveling between places. I had made a reservation with the Dial 7 limo service to take us the Manhattan Cruise Terminal which arrived on time and only took about 30 min for the trip and we got to MCT around 10:20 AM. It took about another 15 minutes to move the last block because of all of the departing passengers on the previous cruise. The bags went out of the trunk and onto the porter's cart in about 30 seconds and we were in the short Latitudes check-in line in just a few minutes. Check-in was very smooth, got boarding group #11 and found a seat at 10:45. Boarding was announced at around 11:00 and we were on board, in the Taste MDR by 11:30 or so. Cabins were ready just after 1 PM and luggage showed up a couple hours later. We had a forward portside balcony room (12144) and a non-connecting studio (12505) on deck 12 which was just perfect as its about halfway between the public decks on 16-17 and 6-7-8. Anything more than 4-5 decks is really too much to hike although I could do more especially as it always seemed that I'd go down 6 decks then have to go back up in short order. Both rooms were perfectly fine in size and for storage needs. The elevators were busy the first few days, but it seemed that they were easier to use later in the cruise, maybe cause more tended not to use them if you didn't have to. Anything less than a few decks you could easily beat via the stairs. The ship is well laid-out but it took a few days to keep what was forward or aft straight (had to keep checking the deck plans in the app). I do miss a full wrap-around promenade deck but the lifeboat deck (7) was ok if you didn't mind cutting through the stair lobbies. Virtually no kids on this cruise, never saw anyone on the water slides or in the main pool (kids pool was closed) but the hot tubs were used a lot. No problem finding loungers just about anywhere (pool deck, Spice, etc) anytime. The NCL app installed fine but we never got the message service to work (I had my charge removed as it kept crashing and was unusable for this function, however, viewing deck plans, account review it was just fine) . One cabin had the internet package which worked just fine throughout the cruise. I had problems trying to reserve anything through the TV in the cabin - you would pick something but you could never get it to confirm (this was because it was sold out even though it appeared that it wasn't). Managed to lock everything up once and needed a connection reset. By Monday evening , everything reservable was sold out (Theater, Headliners, Supper club, etc) so we had to live off events in the bars and the Atrium which worked out just fine in all regards. MDR service was prompt, not rushed and excellent all around and the food was very good although by the end of the all of the good eats were wearing on us. Le Bistro was excellent as always (ate here twice) but La Cucina was a disappointment. I had pizza which was ok , but the wild mushroom risotto was pretty inedible. We had the SDP but the studio traveler did not, but they only had to pay for one entree once and everything else was fit onto ours - so we tipped extra when this occurred - it sounded like this was normal procedure with a 3rd). Also ate at Food Republic for a lunch for variety which was also good. The buffet could be a madhouse at times , so we tended to go early or late night, use the Margaritaville overflow buffet , or used the regular or free breakfast room service (did this a couple times for the free OJ to mix with the Latitudes bubbly). Also used the free service on disembarkation day to avoid the assumed crowded buffet which worked out great. Bar service was frequent although we only had 7 drinks total so we just paid individually and extra tipped. All of the staff were very friendly from stewards to officers which just made the whole experience that much better. This NCL Escape crew is leagues above our past NCL cruise - and makes this ship tops in our book. I also want to note that many staff went out of their way to give excellent service to us - from MDR and specialty venue waitstaff to our room steward. I had obtained a good number of $5 bills that we used to give extra tips for service like this. On the laundry bag special day (Wednesday) we somehow managed to flip the do not disturb switch on versus the make -up room before we went out. I got back at 2 pm and changed it but feared that we'd probably get charged extra for the laundry as it had to be in by 3 pm and it was after 2 pm . Our steward got the laundry back the same evening when we got back from dinner 4 hrs later - and it was still just for $20. Not sure how that happened as it wasn't supposed to be back until Friday but maybe there wasn't much demand. We took shore excursions in most ports as we had double credits although all ports were very walkable. I took a couple hours to tour Portland via foot including a most excellent lobster roll at Highroller Lobster Co. We visited Acadia NP and ate lunch at the West St Cafe - an excellent choice and not busy versus other venues. At Saint John we did our own thing and toured around visiting local sites, the City Market , the Gravy Train Poutinere ...Halifax was also a walk-around after one tour was cancelled to the Maritime Museum, the Citadel and the Public Gardens. Disembarkation was also smooth - we had NCL transfers and our group was called early at 9:15 and were were on the bus at 10:15 . Finding the right bus in the slow moving queues at the MCT exit was probably the worst part but it was efficient. We still had to cool our heels at EWR for a few hours before our flight home. All in all a most excellent time was had! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this cruise to do something "different" than the warm weather carribean. I personally loved this cruise, it was relaxing and laid back. We had perfect weather, so this was a huge bonus I wasnt expecting from my ... Read More
I chose this cruise to do something "different" than the warm weather carribean. I personally loved this cruise, it was relaxing and laid back. We had perfect weather, so this was a huge bonus I wasnt expecting from my research. New York city was, well NYC, so crowds and traffic were as expected. One tip...you will be charged nyc tax on all drinks while in the port, even with drink package. Tread carefully there, it adds up fast. The Escape holds almost 5000 people but I honestly didnt feel the crowds my whole time on the ship. We went to shows and restaurants and shore excursions and never felt "over crowded". The ship must be spaced out well enough to keep this from happening. We had an aft balcony on floor 15..which was loud with chair scraping noise from the garden cafe right above it. Doesnt bother us, but if you like quiet dont book a room on deck 15. The balcony had amazing views since it is so high up. our cabin was very comfortable and my bonus was a small coffee pot in the room, no more dragging myself in jammies upstairs for my first cup of coffee. Loved that feature. Several hot tubs on board, never had to wait to get in, didnt use the pool since it was a bit cooler. Nice quiet areas on the decks. We didnt use them, but mini golf, water slides for adults and kids and rock climbing available on ship. The ports were very interesting and we found the people in maine and Canada welcoming and warm. I personally like Bar Harbour the best with a tour through Acadia national Park, ending in a lobster bake which was delicious. I found the food on the ship good and well prepared, we didnt go to the Speciality restaurants, chose to spend that money on shore at local places. Every place we went accpeted us dollar, but gave change back in Canadian. We didnt travel with any children, so no feedback there. Getting on and off the ship was pretty typical of any other cruise ive been on. some ports are easy, some not so much. I would go again on this cruise, but maybe would change my departure city. Not a huge fan of NYC. I am booked again on the Escape for a baltic sea cruise, so I do love the ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
NCL does an outstanding job of hiring. I'm not sure where they find all the smiling faces, but it sure makes for an enjoyable experience onboard. We took four excursions. Three of them were great (Lobster Boat, Carriage Ride in ... Read More
NCL does an outstanding job of hiring. I'm not sure where they find all the smiling faces, but it sure makes for an enjoyable experience onboard. We took four excursions. Three of them were great (Lobster Boat, Carriage Ride in Acadia, and Maple Syrup Tasting); one was only fair (Lunenburg). The later was just not to my interest, nothing actually wrong with the tour. We only went to one show onboard ("After Midnight") and it was excellent, high energy with a talented cast. The food was better than I expected. I would particularly recommend Moderno, but only if you're hungry. The specialty restaurants were very nice, but so were the complementary options. My favorite is the Manhattan room. There are many entertainment options onboard while at sea and while in port. If you have nothing to do, it's because you choose to do nothing--and that can be fun too. We will be taking another cruise on the Escape at the end of this month. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
By far the best cruise we have ever been on !! Normally we cruise with Royal Caribbean but will be sticking with NCL from now on. We travelled on Sept 22nd to Canada and New England and had an absolute ball. Fantastic ship, lovely food, ... Read More
By far the best cruise we have ever been on !! Normally we cruise with Royal Caribbean but will be sticking with NCL from now on. We travelled on Sept 22nd to Canada and New England and had an absolute ball. Fantastic ship, lovely food, excellent entertainment, the staff were fabulous and nothing was too much trouble for any of them. Alvin the cruise director is the best we’ve ever seen by far, so funny and really made everyone so welcome. The game shows were hilarious as were the 70s and 80s dancing comps. We had an aft facing balcony cabin, normally we would have a suite and spend a lot of time on the balcony, but because the entertainment was so good on the Escape we only used our cabin to sleep in ! I can’t really pick out any part of the cruise that was the best as the whole of it was fabulous and we really can’t wait to go back on this excellent ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise based solely on the itinerary as we wanted a relaxing cruise to Canada. The ports did not disappoint as we found good things in all of the ports, especially going to Peggy’s Cove in Halifax. If you like lighthouses, ... Read More
We chose this cruise based solely on the itinerary as we wanted a relaxing cruise to Canada. The ports did not disappoint as we found good things in all of the ports, especially going to Peggy’s Cove in Halifax. If you like lighthouses, it is the best one to visit. Bar Harbor was also awesome, and we were lucky to have great weather the whole time. We had a cabin on Deck 11 which was average at best. I would say most everything about the ship was average or below, except that we very much enjoyed the Howl at the Moon dueling pianos shows and karaoke. This was my first NCL cruise, and I was surprised about the below average quality of the meals. The buffet was disappointing, and the main dining room choices were not much better. The two biggest issues with cruises in general are crowds and pushy sales gimmicks. We experienced both. My wife got a massage at the spa, and she said from the moment she went in she was pressured to get more services and buy products. The Atrium was used for all the game shows and events, and it was way overcrowded almost every time. Other than for the itinerary, I would not recommend this cruise Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Returned yesterday from New England 8 Day Cruise. Where to begin with issues. First, our Mini-suite is more like a coffin with a bath, not nearly as nice as RC Jr. Suites. Day 2, locked out of cabin (as were several others on our deck). ... Read More
Returned yesterday from New England 8 Day Cruise. Where to begin with issues. First, our Mini-suite is more like a coffin with a bath, not nearly as nice as RC Jr. Suites. Day 2, locked out of cabin (as were several others on our deck). Guest Services could not resolve keycard issue until following morning causing us to use a credit card to keep the lights on and locked in room overnight. Then, 6th set of replacement cards did not work when re-boarding ship at first port causing us to be told to stand aside and wait for GS to come down to clear up matter. But, GS did call 4 days later to see if we resolved the issue. REALLY? Next up reboarding tender in Bar Harbor had to use a 2 step plastic stair (similar to starting block for diving into pools with no rail or banister, just 2 NCL staff standing next to it). The dock floated twice away from the boat while strattling the top step one leg on step and other on boat. Almost falling into water 2x. Thankfully fellow passenger held me and assisted me on board. When reporting safety issue to GS and told by rep and her supervisor their pat answer to every issue "sorry for your concern" and that guests are told in advance there are 15 steps with railing to get on to ship. Yes, true when getting onto ship, however, not when getting back on to tender. She could care less and did not comprehend the issue. Next up TV remote did not work, when speaking with GS was asked if we tried to turn it on and if we had the lights on? Really, no I am in a dark cabin groping for the phone to call you. then, our shore excursion cancelled for Halifax (due to climate change protest) late in the morning, no announcement, only message left in cabin. Leaving us sitting in hot room for 1 hour only to be told it was cancelled and no other options available. Thanks. Specialty Bars - Mojito, Margaretville and District Brew had very limited hours. Visited several times only to be told to come back tomorrow. Again, thanks. Bathrooms adjacent to busy venues such as theatres on decks 6 and 7 could be cleaned more frequently as they are extremely busy areas especially in the evenings. On a positive note, the entertainment was outstanding especially The Knights, Choir of Men and Howl at the Moon. Brazilian and Italian Specially restaurants were very good Steakhouse not so much. Dining Room food selection was nice, well presented and favorable. Waitstaff were fantastic in all restaurants and bars. Activities staff were entertaining and nightly parties fun. Excursions to Portland, Bar Harbor and St. John were well coordinated with fantastic guides. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was an extremely average cruise, and by the time we were done, I felt like our "good deal" had become "a little too expensive." I have written a very detailed review below, but if you want a TL;DR here you go: The ... Read More
This was an extremely average cruise, and by the time we were done, I felt like our "good deal" had become "a little too expensive." I have written a very detailed review below, but if you want a TL;DR here you go: The service was horrible, the food was one step above hotel catering if you paid extra and right at cheap convention center quality for free dining, the wine is overpriced but delicious, the shows and entertainment are excellent but require extra fees and/or reservations, the spa is worth every penny, the ship is too big for comfort, and the app is garbage. On, and expect to smell cigarette smoke everywhere but your stateroom and the main theater which was super gross. We booked on a promotion which offered the ultimate beverage package and 3 upgraded dining options at no additional charge (but plus the gratuity for the packages) and we prepaid our general gratuities. More on the beverage package below. The initial cost for 2 adults splitting a balcony room was about half of the cost for 2 adults in an inside room on our preferred cruise line (DCL) for a similar itinerary. Ship: The ship itself is in good shape and things were in good repair and good working order. The crew could be seen working to clean and maintain the ship daily, which is a good thing. There are eight elevators at the banks located fore and aft, but no easy way to access the center of the ship. Wait times for the elevators could range from a few seconds with empty cars to a 10-15 minute wait. I thought the ship was too big- it was difficult to make plans to meet people and I almost never just "stumbled" on folks I had met at other activities in the evenings- things were just too big. This also means all the relaxation areas were constantly full- it was difficult to find seats on the Waterfront or in the bars at night. The overall decor of the ship is mid-range casino glitzy, if you're into that kind of thing- I prefer classy or elegant. The main atrium, which is not where the LED chandelier in all the pictures is located, looks like a 1990s living room done in taupe and boring. The three story centerpiece with the light was a design mistake- while it is striking to look down from the waterfront interior shops or up from the ground floor restaurants, the middle is open to the casino...and that means the cigarette smoke goes everywhere- into every restaurant, bar, and venue open to decks 6, 7 and 8. Truly disgusting. Dining: The food is about cheap hotel catering quality for free dining. I was underwhelmed by the quality of the food and there were no innovative or interesting regional offerings or signature cocktails in the paid restaurants. O'Sheehans food comes from the buffet. The upcharge dining at Cagneys was pretty delicious, at Modern Chiaroscuro was mediocre, and at Teppanyaki was very salty (even for someone who loves soy sauce.) Margaritaville isn't work the charge- don't waste your money- it is buffet food on a colorful plate. The buffet had lots of variety for lunch, themed dinners each night, and a standard breakfast rotation with made-to-order omelets, amazing french toast, cold waffles, and the usual assortment of hash/potato/scrambled eggs/bacon/cereal/etc. It closes at the same time as the restaurants, so forget late night nosh or second dessert. Room service has a flat additional charge of $8/order (plus gratuity) except continental breakfast, which is free. The cheesecake was a standout surprise- order it every chance you get if you love NY-style cheesecake, and also the tiramisu. Otherwise, nothing stands out enough to recommend it. The service in the regular dining rooms was slow and inconsistent- we were not impressed. There was always a fifteen minute + wait to be seated as well. Dining package: if it is free, take it. Otherwise, plan on adding $300-$400 to your tab to enjoy actual cruise-level dining variety and experiences. The service is slightly better and more entertaining in the upcharge dining rooms, but still not to my standard for 'fine' dining. The alcohol package. So, Norwegian changed the package the week before we sailed and offered to "upgrade" us for $90 more (plus gratuity) to the NEW premium plan. Basically, they marked up all the single malt scotches and higher-end liquors to be $25-30 oz instead of $15-20, moved most of the bold reds to bottle-only (not included on package) or marked up the by-the-glass wines from $10-18 a glass to $15-35/glass. There are a slew of really mediocre table wines at $9/glass and then everything is either by the bottle, or outside the package limits without the new upgrade. This was very disappointing, and terrible customer service considering our booking terms. We used our drink package for traditional cocktails. Do yourself a favor and just order everything a double- trust me, you might get a single serving of alcohol if you order the doubles. If you order all doubles, the package is worth it. If you order all doubles and drink lots of wine and nicer liquor neat (which is not diluted, yay!) then upgrade your package. Definitely visit the Mojito bar and make sure you visit the bar INSIDE Margaritaville on deck 17 for good margaritas- don't be fooled by the crappy "5'o clock somewhere" bar on deck 8- their menu is not the same and it is subpar. The wine on the ship is pretty great, but very overpriced. Sign up for tastings if you can. The Macallan "Experience" tasting is a great way to get 3-4 oz of scotch for 20 bucks and you can order it any time at Tobacco Road. Head's up- the actual tasting is sponsored by Macallan and it shows in the spiel- do your own research before you pay asking price for any of the "special" scotches on sale. I drink whisky all the time- the flight was a great deal, but that's it- the rest is marketing gimmick and markup. Smoking: seriously, who allows smoking all over ships these days? Norwegian, apparently. Smoking is permitted in the casino when it is open, and the casino is open to all three floors due to the atrium and the rotunda. It pollutes everything. There is also smoking on the forward port side of the pool deck and apparently also in Spice H2O, which totally ruined the adults-only section of the ship. Again, prepare to shell out an additional $200 to access the Vibe Beach Club if you want access to a pool deck that doesn't smell like smoke. Spa: Beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful. Well worth the upcharge, I spent 2-3 hours here every single day. I can't recommend it enough. The water therapy pool was a lot of fun and surprisingly effective. The sauna, sanarium and steam room were excellent (although the aromatics in the steam room are STRONG.) I didn't really notice the salt room working that well and a lot of the crystals had degraded, but it was warm and pleasant. The snow room was AWESOME but they closed it on our last full-sea day. Kind of lame. I did receive a therapy treatment and the treatment rooms are beautiful, clean, serene and tasteful. The spa was easily the best part of the ship experience. Housekeeping: Our experience was awful. Our housekeeper rarely came by the room and often explained to us she would have to finish our room the next day because she ran out of time. She refilled washcloths and pulled the sheets straight- and usually removed the dirty dishes- but that's it. When we wanted towels, pillows, refills for the coffee maker, or anything else we had to call and ask for it. This includes missing refills for toilet paper and tissues. There were never fun surprises at turndown. DCL now uses the bed blankets for the 'animals' to save on waste with clean towels- we were luck if our beds were made. The blankets were "put away" by her after the first night and we never saw them again (even when they were needed.) It felt like cheap hotel housekeeping, and we did not tip extra. Ports and Excursions: Meh, this was a rough itinerary. We went to Portland (Maine), Bar Harbor, Saint Johns (NB) and Halifax. Other than Bar Harbor, none of these towns are really ready to accept cruising visitors and they are not easy walking towns unless you like to climb hills. Halifax was definitely my second favorite port but I wish I hadn't disembarked for Saint Johns. I look forward to returning after a few years as they grow their cruise market. The lobster in every port was well worth finding. Entertainment and Activities: The shows are fantastic, but they cost extra and/or require reservations. Reservations don't work well with free-style dining. My travel partner had good luck walking up to shows and waiting for cancellations to see things- I don't have time to wait around for stuff like that. I can't recommend the Wine Musical enough- it was amazing!! It also cost $30 (including tip) per person, so there's that. All of the 'fun' stuff in OSheehan's costs money. Bowling is $6.50/person (not per game.) Outrageous. Skiball, table hockey, pool, mariokart, and basketball range in price from $2-$5/person. The ropes course got rave reviews from my family. The minigolf was frustrating at sea (but hilarious- make it a drinking game!) and usually closed in port. The pools and hot tubs were always crowded except late at night or early in the morning. There were plenty of sunny chairs, but I think that is because we were in cold-weather ports the whole time. The water slides received great reviews from my family. At the end of the day, you're still on a cruise ship and that is awesome. We accepted the lower service and expectations as the cost of booking a cheaper cruise. I may sail Norwegian again, but it will be to sit in the spa. The entertainment was pretty great, but the reservation system was difficult to work with given the lack of assigned dining. I got tired of getting charged for every little thing (six dollars a person to bowl. Seriously- A PERSON.) and it was frustrating that things were always crowded. I never really found a 'space' for me to hang out in like I have on other ships and adventures. Personally, the extra cost for that sense of personal service is really a worthy investment. Your personal travel style will greatly impact whether or not this bothers you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Too crowded at times, not personalized, nothing out of the ordinary. We normally have at least have one night where lobster is offered in general dining on cruises with other carriers and it was not offered on NCL. We feel that NCL pushes ... Read More
Too crowded at times, not personalized, nothing out of the ordinary. We normally have at least have one night where lobster is offered in general dining on cruises with other carriers and it was not offered on NCL. We feel that NCL pushes specialty dining a lot to make more money rather than put money into regular dining. Regular dining was good, just not exceptional. We did always go to buffet dining for Breakfast but very crowded and no place to sit and the waiters were really not interested in serving us. We had to ask them for coffee, etc. They were not very friendly either. On other cruises the crew was always very friendly. etc. It just seemed like they were lacking in enthusiasm or whatever to wait on anyone. Maybe they are just too tired of waiting on everyone, too many people. It seemed that way all throughout the ship. Your cruise director was fantastic! Alvin was really the best! We urr were part of the Jimmy Sturr Polka Group and that was difficult also, since other than the last day of dancing, the room we had was way too small and crowded and not comfortable at all for the number of people in our group. It was not a safe environment at all! It felt like when y ou take a bunch of people and stuff them into a room and keep shoving them in until you can't get anymore in! Very disappointed in that!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go to Bar Harbor Maine. We like sailing out of New York City. We were on the ship by 11:45 am. The ship was completely full and many times this presented a problem. There was plenty to do on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go to Bar Harbor Maine. We like sailing out of New York City. We were on the ship by 11:45 am. The ship was completely full and many times this presented a problem. There was plenty to do on the ship with the entertainment being the best. I was happy that the casino had a non smoking section. The food at the restaurants was hit or miss. The only extra pay restaurant we went to was the Modeno and that was very good. The service was also so so. One things that really bothered me was because the ship was so crowed that people were waiting to get in the dining rooms and because of this, I felt like I was really rushed to finish my diner and leave. The other problem with the ship was the lines to get on the elevators. We had a balcony cabin that was kept very clean as was the rest of the ship. The week we were on the ship, Guy Harvey was on it with his daughter and they different types of presentations. He is the person that painted the hull of the ship. The Man of Choir show was the best show that we have seen on a cruise ship. We liked it so much that we saw it twice. We booked all four of our excursions with Norwegian and they were all good to very good. The cruise was not as good as an Alaskan cruise but I would still recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and thoroughly enjoyed every stop, especially St. John and Halifax. I can’t wait to go back. Service was very good. Food in the main dining rooms was, for the most part, only OK, but the ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and thoroughly enjoyed every stop, especially St. John and Halifax. I can’t wait to go back. Service was very good. Food in the main dining rooms was, for the most part, only OK, but the buffet was quite nice for breakfast and afternoon meals and snacks. I would like to have seen more berries and legumes for salads. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly (we handled our own baggage). Easy off and on in ports of call as well. Our standard balcony cabin was adequate and clean. Shows were very good. While the itinerary was fantastic, the availability of shore excursions was limited. We were only able to book our top choice in one port and sometimes even our second choice was unavailable. That being said, our excursions did go very well. I would definitely do this cruise again or perhaps do the one way trip to Montreal or Quebec City. I was not sure that I would like cruising in cooler weather, but this was the nicest cruise I have ever been on! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I love to cruise on Norwegian and this cruise put us at the Platinum Plus level. We live in Brooklyn so we have no problem travelling to the ship. We like the New England cruises because of the great lobster in Maine and the ... Read More
My wife and I love to cruise on Norwegian and this cruise put us at the Platinum Plus level. We live in Brooklyn so we have no problem travelling to the ship. We like the New England cruises because of the great lobster in Maine and the wonderful, welcoming people in Canada. We had no problems boarding but as Platinum members we generally are allowed to board slightly before the other cruisers but that didn't happen this time. Disembarkation was the best we ever had since they used facial recognition so we didn't even have to show our passports. We just picked up our luggage and walked right out. No line whatsoever! The Escape is a huge ship so we made sure to get a room near the elevators which cut down a lot on our walking. Since there were only two banks of eight elevators each on the ship we thought they might not have enough elevators but after our sailing day we had no long waits at all. We had a balcony room and it had enough room for us and our luggage. The sink and shower worked fine and there was no noise to disturb us. We enjoyed the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet on our first at sea day and had a lot of fun with the slot pull afterwards. We saw two great shows: A Chorus of Men and After Midnight. We played bingo twice and won one prize. We ate at four specialty restaurants and enjoyed all of them, particularly the seafood one. There were no problems at any of the four ports and the tendering to Bar Harbor was smooth. All in all a great vacation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The service was wonderful. The ship is big and clean bur you would never know there was 4200 guest aboard. Elevators were plentiful. The cruise was to maine and Canada out of NYC. The weather was superb. The ship had plenty of space ... Read More
The service was wonderful. The ship is big and clean bur you would never know there was 4200 guest aboard. Elevators were plentiful. The cruise was to maine and Canada out of NYC. The weather was superb. The ship had plenty of space for those who wanted to stay at the pool or quiet time to get sun and be in the jacuzzi. Our cabin was a balcony and had enough space for the 2 of us. It was cleaned every day and we had midship so we could see right and left. The food was superb especially the specialty restaurants. We enjoyed the steak at Lo Bistro and Cagneys. La Cucina was great Italian food and we sat outside which made us feel that we were ocean side. The best was baymo superb fish food with real lobster. The best part of the cruise was the service. All of NCl ships should take lessons from the Escape personnel. They could of not be nicer and efficient especially the director of food and beverage. What a staff. We have cruised often and will return to the Escape. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My sister and brother in-law talked my husband and me to join them on a cruise. We picked the NE and Canada hopefully to see fall foliage. A bit early for that but had great weather through out. We arrived a bit late so had to go ... Read More
My sister and brother in-law talked my husband and me to join them on a cruise. We picked the NE and Canada hopefully to see fall foliage. A bit early for that but had great weather through out. We arrived a bit late so had to go directly from airport to ship. We however got a nice view of New York from our ship. Statue of Liberty was breathtaking. Our stateroom with a balcony was very comfortable. We used the balcony a lot (as my sisters room was right next door). Wish we would've known there was storage room under the bed - our closet was packed! The entertainment on the ship was very good. The comedians were the best. Didn't care for the band that was supposed to sing renditions of my favorite bands. The Choir of Man was very good also. I personally would not do as many excursions again. Some got rather repetitious. I don't like long rides and I am not much of a history buff. I liked it better when we walked around the ports and talked to the people. Much more interesting! And the food - what can I say - they had everything I could possibly want. Also had lots of fun doing activities on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Haven private restaurant...5 star food and menu , but..same menu every day...3star service.. Bayamo specialty restaurant. 5 star stellar food and menu, best service onboard! LeBistro specialty restaurant , a close 2nd to Bayamo! ... Read More
Haven private restaurant...5 star food and menu , but..same menu every day...3star service.. Bayamo specialty restaurant. 5 star stellar food and menu, best service onboard! LeBistro specialty restaurant , a close 2nd to Bayamo! LeCucina Italian specialty restaurant, 4star food / menu 41/2 star service , crowded...loud Carney’s steak specialty.. 1star food, buy your beef from any other outlet, company should review beef quality, portion, and train the waitstaff to a specialty standard.. Bar service excellent... Great balance and variety on entertainment! Bar selection good but a little aggressive to up sell, tho beverage package is underwhelming for selection Wine choice on beverage package is embarrassing...average $10-$12 inferior choices Though Reidel wine glasses available! They should offer a wine/ beer beverage package!!! Spa and Fitness center ..absolutely fabulous Butler and housekeeping service outstanding! The haven is unmatched on any large ship choice being able to deliver personalized service!,,, Embarkation to the haven ..5 star service... The tipping and service charges questionably NOT Passed on accordingly to staff,,, A double dip system set up to enhance NCL profits, but helps the stock price! ** disclosure this review coming from a retired professional from hospitality field**** Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
There was a major problem on this cruise: SMOKE from disgusting cigarettes. There was smoke from the casino that permeated all 3 floors of the area by the restaurants, floors 6,7 & 8, by the Tobacco Rd bar (The cigar room was there), ... Read More
There was a major problem on this cruise: SMOKE from disgusting cigarettes. There was smoke from the casino that permeated all 3 floors of the area by the restaurants, floors 6,7 & 8, by the Tobacco Rd bar (The cigar room was there), by the jogging track where it went by a bar ( I was walking and had to breathe smoke), by the Le Bistro. Also there were not enough seats to listen to the guitarist by Tobacco Rd,and smoke by H2O bar and hot tub. We even smelt the dam smoke when I opened our balcony door. You could even smell the smoke in the Atrium area. When we got out of Le Bistro (which was mediocre and ridiculously small portions) the smoke hit you in the face. We would of spent more time gambling if it were not for the fact that it was hard to breathe with all of the smoke. When we were in the hot tub by the adult pool, young parents were bringing there below five year old's in there. There was nobody to supervise and watch for this and get them removed. I do not need to be in a hot tub with kids splashing. This ship was too crowded and had inadequate elevator service. You literally had to wait for multiple elevators to pass before there was enough room to squeeze in one. There was elevator congestion for most of the cruise. We did not have these problems on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. We have been on ten cruises, 3 of them NCL. We will never take another unhealthy air NCL cruise. We have to wash the smoke smell out of out clothes. There was also the constant smell of dried urine from the toilet. I just searched the net and this another common complaint about the ship, in addition to the smoking. I constantly told the steward about it and he used cleaning supplies to mask the smell but it did not take care of the problem. I am going to add this to my social media postings, so potential cruiser's will know what they are getting into. NCL falls far short of Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. We will never plan a cruise on NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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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