2,917 Norwegian Escape Cruise Reviews

We bid on and upgrade suite and got it.. it looked the same as a regular suite with double the size balcony and bathroom.. 3 of us in the room so it was comfortable. Mark took care of our room.. he was great and brought us anything we ... Read More
We bid on and upgrade suite and got it.. it looked the same as a regular suite with double the size balcony and bathroom.. 3 of us in the room so it was comfortable. Mark took care of our room.. he was great and brought us anything we needed right away.. we tipped Mark everyday, which we always do on a cruise, and Mark made sure we were in need of nothing! Great experience.. We were traveling with 6 family members... all of us enjoyed something different.. My teen girl loved encore.. a place she could meet 13-17 year olds.. and spent lots of time with these kids as the days went by... The cigar lounge was our favorite place to go after dinner with my husband and adult sons.. we thoroughly enjoyed all the men and women we met there.. Learned how to play craps with my oldest son! Great late night entertainment...Met the same dynamic group of people every night..So fun! My husband enjoyed the hot tubs in the quieter part of the boat.. he also loved the water slide that drops the trap door under your feet and away you go fast through a tube over the side of the boat and back again.. We all wanted sun... it was spring break, super small pool,, lots of drunk obnoxious 21 + year olds crammed around a large bath tub.. 2 days of this until we found H2O at the front of the boat with water falls to walk through when you get hot and perfect place to talk and read... Honduras was our first stop.. We all did a snorkel and kayak tour.. Our guides were awesome.. the fruit and food were delicious Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I received a really good offer from a travel place and had never sailed Norwegian so thought I would try it. The food and the service were both awful. We tried several restaurants and each time the food was luke warm at best. We actually ... Read More
I received a really good offer from a travel place and had never sailed Norwegian so thought I would try it. The food and the service were both awful. We tried several restaurants and each time the food was luke warm at best. We actually had to go to the buffet after leaving one restaurant because my husband never got his meal. Our room steward never cleaned our room until late in the afternoon even when we were gone all day. He never vacuumed and rarely replaced the coffee or tea bags. They broke my husbands suitcase and after being told I could use my onboard credit for gratuities. I was charged the full amount and told I couldn’t. I lost $100.00 in onboard credits because of misinformation. Do not recommend this cruise line. It took us hours to go through embarkation. While this cruise took place during the beginning of the Coronavirus, the ship sanitization process was very unpredictable. We couldn’t play mini golf, but the casino was wide open and machines/chips were not sanitized. Overall the worst cruise experience I have ever had. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Plain and simple - disappointing. To say the least we were very mislead. This was not a cheap vacation and we didn’t expect it to be, but we also expected it to be at least worth what we paid. We chose this cruise because it matched our ... Read More
Plain and simple - disappointing. To say the least we were very mislead. This was not a cheap vacation and we didn’t expect it to be, but we also expected it to be at least worth what we paid. We chose this cruise because it matched our travel dates, budgets, and it had a great itinerary. We loved the idea of freestyle dining. No set times, no dress codes, and we didn’t have to eat at tables with strangers - this was the best part about NCL, Freestyle Dining. The port staff in Miami were very rude and rushed us through without allowing us to ask questions. We arrived in our stateroom to have it not be the stateroom that we booked. Guest relations was able to get it situated. Our steward was very sweet, however I was in complete disbelief at how incredibly rude, unfriendly, and unwelcoming the staff on board was. I was literally yelled at numerous times for asking simple questions. The restaurant staff in the specialty restaurants were extremely professional and good at what they do. The buffet was a nightmare. The food is odd - absolutely terrible in complimentary dining rooms (and all serve the same food at the same time, including the buffet) - absolutely outstanding in the specialty restaurants. The bartenders were slower than snails. Inside bartenders were more attentive than outside ones. They couldn’t care less outside, and the “cocktail servers” hid in corners and talked most the time. We were usually right in schedule or early arriving into ports which was nice, however tendering was a total nightmare. Some of us waiting over 4 hours and most people with excursions canceled. It was very disorganized, there was no communication from the directors - it was the equivalent to waiting in an airport terminal for a very delayed flight. What a way to spend vacation. The excursions were well worth it, but any cruise line utilizes them so I don’t feel NCL deserves the credit for these. If you visit Roátan, I highly recommend Jolly Roger Catamaran and Snorkeling - these guys are a blast and it’s an absolutely great time! There were people of all ages from early teens to 70s. Mandy, our Cruise Director, as well as the rest of the entertainment staff were great. Mandy was the only Crewmember on board to even stop and ask our how our day was. She was so personable and really kept us entertained. There is ALWAYS something going on at all times of the day and night. If you aren’t much for excursions or want something more low-key and private, I highly recommend day passes to the Mandara Spa. It is so relaxing and quiet. They were $246 per person but we used our moneys worth. Unfortunately it closed early the last night of the cruise without notice, so I was very disappointed when I went to get my last steam room session in. The ship was clean and there was a lot to do. Unfortunately due to the Coronavirus, our amenities were limited to literally the pool, casino, and shops. Everything else was closed the entire cruise. The water slides, minigolf, shuffleboard, ropes course, all closed and no staff anywhere to tell anyone. I get the circumstances, but it was a bit insane and nobody was even apologetic. All in all, we probably will not be back to NCL after this. We were also really looking forward to our first time on NCL with this cruise, to take advantage of the CruiseNext for our group cruise coming up, however as good as the deal was, I wouldn’t waste my money on this line. I did not feel valued or welcomed hardly at all on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Sailed for the first time on NCL in a Haven Penthouse Balcony room. The NCL embarkation and disembarkation processes need a lot of work. Although we were pretty much escorted through the throngs of people it was still a little bit ... Read More
Sailed for the first time on NCL in a Haven Penthouse Balcony room. The NCL embarkation and disembarkation processes need a lot of work. Although we were pretty much escorted through the throngs of people it was still a little bit convoluted. We arrived about 10:15 am and there were already at least a thousand people in various lines waiting to board. I can see why people get upset over the process as there were not nearly enough employees to assist those standing in long lines. The Haven experience is wonderful and the Haven restaurant is elegant and welcoming. The staff there are the best and special kudos to Griffin-the greeter who I think has never had a bad day. He was friendly, cheerful and caring-simply a great employee. The Haven pool area has a small sitting pool with chairs in it and a 4 ft deep little lap pool. There is also a dry sauna just off the pool deck and plenty of chairs near the pool and on the deck above. The service in the Haven pool area was also great with drinks and lunch brought to those hanging out there. The Haven bar area was spacious and elegant. The bartenders were the best with a special shout out to Shah-who makes the best lemon drop martini we have ever had. The rest of the ship is vast with bars everywhere that will soothe your taste buds. We really liked the Adults only Spice H2O sunning area on the rear of the ship. There were plenty of chairs there and a waterfall cavern to cool you off We ate at three specialty restaurants-steak house, Japanese and Italian and all were very, very good with great service. The Haven restaurant dinners were scrumptious but the menu was the same every day. Having said that the menu included filet mignon, surf and turf, prime rib, rack of lamb, sea bass, etc. You could literally have lobster every nite if you chose to. The breakfast in the Haven was the best-steak and eggs(actually filet mignon and eggs) and the pressed coffee was the best! We thought the entertainment was just Ok. The two main shows were After Midnight and Choir of Man. Both shows were high energy with outstanding performers. We really enjoyed the Choir of Man and thought it was one of the best shows we have seen on any of our 25+ cruises. The rest of the entertainment was merely ok and nothing really stood out. We only took one excursion-Tepanyaki Beach on Roatan. It was a very relaxing beach day and the beach vendors were kept at bay by the security personnel. The beach there is beautiful and there are a variety of water activities you can choose from. We had no problem with the tendering process but heard that it was a nightmare for some of the guests. All in all a very nice cruise experience and we will try NCL in the future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We book a cruise with our adult children and our grandchildren during spring break each year. We choose Norwegian because of the kids sail free offers and the number of activities available for the little ones. This year the cruise was not ... Read More
We book a cruise with our adult children and our grandchildren during spring break each year. We choose Norwegian because of the kids sail free offers and the number of activities available for the little ones. This year the cruise was not as worry free as usual because of the virus scares throughout the world. We did not cancel because our cruise was before the Norwegian offers to give passengers credit for a future cruise, and our children did not have CFA insurance and would have taken a significant economic hit. Overall, we had a good cruise. There were many good things but also some "misses." Embarkation was terrible for us. We arrived at the port at 12:30, went quickly through the temperature screen, security, etc, but then my husband and I were in line to board the ship for over an hour. We did not make in on board until after 2:00. This delay was in no way related to the virus because we had already completed the extra screening prior to getting into the line. We went straight to Taste for a bite of lunch. We finished a quick lunch, went to our mini suite, met our steward, and unpacked our carry-ons before the muster drill. Our room steward kept our cabin clean and we were pleased with him. I wouldn't say that he went above and beyond, but he did a nice job and responded to my request for additional coffee packets promptly. Personally, I do miss the towel animals a little and think not having them removes a bit of the fun. I know I could have requested them, but I did not. My children requested them for their cabins because they have little ones. They asked for the children so I hated to also ask for adults. I felt it was important for the little ones to have that experience. We gave him a nice extra tip for doing the animals. Perhaps Norwegian could do towels for all guests just one night during the cruise so guests could have that experience at some point during their voyage. Our first port was Roatan, and we did a private excursion there, which turned out to be our favorite day. We visited the sloth sanctuary before splitting our group into 2 parties. Half went snorkeling while the others went to Las Palmas Beach. Both groups had a wonderful time, and we returned to the ship with time to spare before our scheduled departure from the port. We had to tender at the private island, but that tender went fairly quickly and efficiently. We rented clamshells, let the kids splay in the splash pad area, spent time on the beach, and really enjoyed the time there. The tender back to the ship was also not excessive. We chose to stay on the ship at Costa Maya but planned to go ashore at Cozumel. That is one decision I would change now if I were making new plans. Cozumel was a disaster so I wish we had gone ashore at Costa Maya. I will address that in more detail later. We ate at Cagney's, Teppanyaki, and LaCucina and enjoyed all three. We had amazing waiters at Cagney's and LaCucina. Suma at Cagney's went above and beyond trying to please one of our picky diners. The chef at Teppanyaki was quick to make the show as special as possible for our three year olds, and I would not hesitate to rebook at any of those specialty restaurants. One real positive that I saw was the effort that the crew was making in sanitizing the ship. Cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning was observed all day in the common areas and hallways. You did not enter a restaurant without using the hand sanitizers. No salt shakers or condiments were on tables without request so contact between other passengers were avoided that way. Tables and chairs were disinfected between use. I think Norwegian was doing their best in that area. We are not big buffet lovers, but the one morning we needed to eat at the buffet because of an early port time. Turns out that was at Cozumel so it was a mistake too, but the buffet was not self serve. Everything was done to keep people safe from germs and the virus. The one big negative on our trip was the stop at Cozumel. Norwegian could not dock on the day we were there so the plan was to tender. That was a disaster. When we discovered we were tendering, we immediately reacted and secured Tender Tickets for Tender # 1 never dreaming how bad it would be. We thought we were in good shape with an early tender until we reached the theater to wait and saw what was happening. One whole side was filled with people waiting who had priority tender, and they had not boarded yet. No one was boarding because there weren't enough tenders, and of course, they had to sanitize them after every trip over and back. I understand that the sanitizing slowed the process down, but what we experienced was ridiculous, and it was not all because of sanitizing. There were not enough tenders, and even without the sanitizing, there would have been long delays. They called Tender Groups 1-3 at 8:30, and we were still waiting at 10:00! When we asked if they had any idea of how much longer it would be, they had no guess except maybe 45 more minutes. We'd booked a private excursion, but we were going to miss it so we finally gave up, forfeited our excursion deposit, and left to let the kids enjoy amenities on the ship instead of waiting for a tender. Lots of other people left too. They were still calling tender numbers at noon and were only half way through the list. I think Norwegian needs to re-evaluate the itinerary during this cruise shutdown. If the ship can't dock at the pier in Cozumel, perhaps they need to change their order of the ports, and if they know you will be tendering there, they should let you know in advance so you can plan accordingly. They knew about the tendering before we sailed because someone told me they were doing a bi-weekly share of the dock. One week tender; next week dock. We tried to salvage the rest of our day, but this is a problem that they need to solve. We also experienced shutdowns of mini golf, ropes course, etc. due to sanitation, which made the few days hard on our little ones. Some of that I understand, but golf clubs, golf balls and bocci balls could have been checked out with equipment sanitized between uses. They could have checked them out at the same spot that was signing out pool towels. Interestingly enough, bowling was open. That is a "for fee" activity so I guess those balls were safe for guests to handle but not golf balls and clubs. We returned to Miami under a cloud because of the virus, but disembarkation was super simple for us. We never see a reason to try to get off the ship early so we get luggage tags for 8:30 or 9:00, depending on what is available. This time it was 8:30. We vacated our cabin at 7:45, went to Savor, had a nice breakfast, and went to the line at 8:40. It moved quickly, and we were off the ship, in our cars, and on the way home by 9:30. I want to close by once again saying how hard the crew on this cruise worked at trying to keep the ship free of the virus. I truly feel sorry for them during this time because they will suffer income loss and are probably worried above loved ones just like the rest of us. Even if Norwegian pays them, they will be missing out on tips. We stopped for lunch on our drive home, which is about 6 hours. What we saw at the restaurant was far more concerning than ANYTHING we experienced on the cruise. Of course, now we are on a 14-day quarantine just because we were on the cruise. My kids can't work, kids can't go to day care, etc. Good news is that we are now 8 days post cruise with no symptoms. I'm thankful we were able to go on this cruise, even if it wasn't perfect. I look forward to a future cruise when all the craziness is over, but I will reevaluate whether or not I wish to port in Cozumel. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We thought we would try Norwegian Cruises - really liked the route and got a great deal on a mini suite. I had visions of a large cabin and large balcony - not so much. Cabin was well appointed but indistinguishable from balconies on ... Read More
We thought we would try Norwegian Cruises - really liked the route and got a great deal on a mini suite. I had visions of a large cabin and large balcony - not so much. Cabin was well appointed but indistinguishable from balconies on Celebrity or RCC. Service and food were hit and miss. We really enjoyed the Manhattan Dining Room where the service and food quality was better than Taste or Savor (which was odd considering they have the same menu.) Loved O'Sheehans Pub, we ate lunch there every day and food quality and service always good. Shows were quite entertaining - thought the idea of the Supper Club was brilliant - but the food there was bland (altho service good.) NCL has a very loud and somewhat raucous crowd, so we purchased passes to the VIBE private lounge. Definitely worth it - quiet and super pleasant - but not cheap at $209 USD per person. Only one hot tub, and it was broken. We could not figure out the stateroom attendant. Seemed nice enough, but brought a power bar when we asked for an extension cord for my husband's CPAP machine; this was weird given he said he had worked on cruise ships for 10 years and that he was a 'suite' attendant. Ports of call were ok - Honduras you pretty much had to book an excursion, and the excursion staff person was completely not helpful when we went to ask questions, so we ended up just getting off the boat and walking around. Belize and Harvest Caye was really good - although unlike the other islands owned by cruise companies (coco caye and labadee) you had to pay for everything - if you wanted a drink or something to eat, be prepared to pay for it! Tendering to the ports was a complete nightmare, some groups waited a total of 4 hours (2 hrs each way) to get off in Harvest Caye or Cozumel. To be fair, this was due to the extra cleaning required for corona virus. The absolute worst part of the trip was getting on the ship. My husband had injured his ankle prior to the trip and requested a wheelchair. We called NCL and confirmed that a wheelchair/escort would be provided upon our arrival at the pier. This did not happen and no one knew what was going on; my husband ended up walking onto the ship with me towing all of our carry on bags. Not fun. And made worse by the lack of helpfulness of NCL representatives. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Because NCL hasn’t told anyone this, Margaritaville is longer existent on this ship, and we booked in February (it was removed before we even booked). We tried to upgrade rooms and had no help from Norwegian or the website although ... Read More
Because NCL hasn’t told anyone this, Margaritaville is longer existent on this ship, and we booked in February (it was removed before we even booked). We tried to upgrade rooms and had no help from Norwegian or the website although we kept getting emails to upgrade. Our cruise rep, Brandon, was supposed to call us the day before and did not. So we made attempts the day before sailing and the day of departure to contact him with no success. We tried to ask at the terminal but the woman was so rude and rushed us through she wouldn’t let us ask questions. Our stateroom was wrong and not what we booked. We also were supposed to have a cake in the room which we never received. Everyone other than the cruise director, Mandy, and our steward, Michelle, the staff was miserable. Mandy and Michelle always had smiles and great energy and always stopped to ask us how our day was. Aside from 2 servers from a restaurant and the stewards on our deck, nobody even looked at you. They charge you tips and service fees ($15 per passenger per day) in addition to the ones already paid. You get yelled at by guest services for asking questions like I did this morning when I called to get charges removed (the guest services rep yelled at us and hung up). I get better service at Waffle House. O’Sheehans - wow - the service is slow and they ALWAYS forget you, as well as your meals sometimes (happened to use twice out of the 3 times we ate there). Taste and Savor are the same restaurants with different atmospheres but are pretty much the same. We went to the Manhattan room the first night and I ordered the beef dish with curly potatoes - which meant frozen curly fries. All of the complimentary dining rooms were the same menus and food that were on the buffet, the only difference was the sit down restaurants served it to you. I highly recommend all the specialty restaurants, I did have some of the best meals I’ve ever had when dining in them. We waited 4 hours for tender boats in Cozumel. They took away every amenity on board except the pool and casino with no compensation or explanation (if you questioned them you were yelled at). The ship is clean and well maintained, but the one outdoor adult pool is smaller than my bedroom. We purchased week passes to the spa and had amenities in there taken away after day 2 of 7. No apologies, discounts, or refunds. The bartenders at the bars outside are slower than snails. They do not serve whoever is next and you have to fight to get drinks. The cocktail servers leave the bars and go stand in corners away from everyone with their trays pretending like they’re working. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We enjoyed our cruise very much. This was the next-to-last sailing before the COVID 19 shut down NCL, and we approached it warily. We observed no especially stringent sanitation efforts, other than an inescapable sing-song "we are ... Read More
We enjoyed our cruise very much. This was the next-to-last sailing before the COVID 19 shut down NCL, and we approached it warily. We observed no especially stringent sanitation efforts, other than an inescapable sing-song "we are washee you" in the buffet, which got real old real fast. We're casino creatures, and found the one aboard quite the best we've ever encountered at sea: large, good spacing between machines, tolerable noise, payouts about as expected. Good luck finding a cocktail server. More often than not, we had to go to the bar to get our own drinks. TV offerings in the cabin were inadequate (especially compared with those on the Royal Princess on which we'd recently sailed): not much other than news unless you want to fork over $10 for a movie rental. Portions in Cagney's Steakhouse were obscenely huge. My prime rib could have fed a family of four. Ridiculously wasteful. I suggest NCL offer a more modest portion at the diner's option. We had a dining package and were able to eat in four of the upscale restaurants--Cagney's, Le Bistro, Ls Cucina, and Bayamo by Blue Lagoon. The only real standout was Bayamo, but what a standout it was! As an appetizer, I had the crab cake, which was sensational. Main course was the filet, literally fork-tender and perfectly cooked. And, oh, the brussel sprouts! Words fail me. The bread was soft and delicious, made with mascarpone and caramelized onion, and by itself worth the price of admission. The restaurant manager, Sandra Brown, was kind enough to get me the recipe (now I just need an occasion to make bread for 50 people). Most reviewers, it seems, wax poetic about the Choir of Man show, but I found it slightly off-putting--mostly unfamiliar songs, and a kind of forced levity among the performers, who are undeniably talented. On the other hand, After Midnight at the Cotton Club had me applauding wildly. The performers--all--are exceptionally talented, and the staging and costumes were terrific. One performer sang a wordless lament the memory of which still gives me goosebumps. The (maybe) dying art of tap dancing was forefront. I went to see it twice, and would gladly go again. I found it odd (and not a little disrespectful) that quite a few people walked out mid-performance. After Midnight. Cotton Club. Harlem. What didn't you get? Maybe I'm wrong. Hope so. Don't miss the crew staff talent show. Because of an NCL promotion (children cruise free!) there were children in abundance, but most were quite well behaved. The only time I got knocked down was by an adult. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
One of the main reasons I chose this crusie was the Free at Sea promotion that included the drink package. I find that purchasing this separately almost doubles the cost of your cruise. Although I originally booked one of the cute looking ... Read More
One of the main reasons I chose this crusie was the Free at Sea promotion that included the drink package. I find that purchasing this separately almost doubles the cost of your cruise. Although I originally booked one of the cute looking studio rooms, I ended up upgrading to a balcony room and really enjoyed my time with NCL. Embarkation was a bit of a challenge because the previous cruise had docked a little later than expected and the terminal building was being shared with a large ship from another cruise company, so the wait times were extended by quite some time. We were lucky and got to the terminal early, so our wait time was not as long as some of my other fellow cruisers who had to wait 3 hours or more to board. I think when NCLs new terminal gets built, embarkation times should be more efficient. I also think that NCL should make sure that they install speakers in the back part of the upper waiting area of the terminal since we had to keep running into the front section to hear when our Group Number was called. Had we not done this, we may have missed boarding at the appropriate time. The NCL Escape is a beautiful ship that is not very long, but is relatively tall. There are 2 sets of elevators that go to differing levels, so if you are wanting to go all the way up, be mindful to press the buttons for the lifts that go to the floors you want. There are staircases located near each set of elevators. There are maps on each floor at the elevators so you could easily see where you are as well as interactive panels closer to the stairs that also allowed you to book shows and dinner reservations as well as act as wayfinding devices. Even though there were almost 5000 cruisers on board, the ship did not feel crowded. I did not really spend much time in the Garden Cafe area where the buffet was, but enjoyed all of the other restaurants that we ate at with O'Sheehan's being a favourite complimentary restaurant, although the food at all was very good. I loved the Freestyle dining which allowed you to dine whenever you wanted which made the cruise feel less regimented and more relaxed, although we did book our dinner reservations early throught the online NCL website. Our favourite entertainment included the amazing Choir of Man, the fabulous Howl at the Moon dueling pianos (Rhonda, Jarren and Steve are all fab!!!) and the Wine Lovers Musical lunch show. The other shows at the Supper Club were also enjoyable as were the other entertainment throughout the ship. Although we missed a port due to high winds, I really enjoyed the itinerary of this ship and had a great time on all of my excursions. The staff at Guest Services and the Shore Excursions desk were also friendly and helpful when their services were needed. Although I would have preferred more pools on the ship, I did like that there were several hot tubs scattered about. I also really enjoyed the spa area with the heated loungers and thalossotherapy pool and sauna and snow room and thought the extra cost was worth it. The waterslides were wild and the ropes course was challenging, but safe and fun. Because of the positive experience we had on this cruise, and the amazing Free at Sea promotions offered, as well as the amazing customer service from everyone I encountered, NCL may have just gained another loyal customer! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Chose this cruise to hopefully miss spring break but discovered it was Canada’s spring break. Very crowded and rowdy crowd. Tried to find quiet places and all the designated quiet areas were full of unruly screaming children. No rules ... Read More
Chose this cruise to hopefully miss spring break but discovered it was Canada’s spring break. Very crowded and rowdy crowd. Tried to find quiet places and all the designated quiet areas were full of unruly screaming children. No rules were ever enforced. Embarkation was a nightmare. Some people were in line for over 3 hours before getting on the ship. Not sure if Corona screening played a part. But I doubt it. All of the specialty restaurants were superb. The buffet was good for lunches. Except again, children using their hands to get food. Unacceptable. Entertainment was fabulous. Choir of man was amazing. We love dueling pianos and went 3x during the week. The Carol King tribute was also very good. The spa was very annoying with the constant attempts to lure you in. We had the spa package and loved the thermal suites. I had a manicure which was no different from any one I could have gotten at home. Plus it chipped in 2 days. $ 55 was waaaaay overpriced. Stateroom just ok. Blah decor. Dark brown and green. Balcony nice.neighbors really noisy. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Escape is a beautiful ship! We loved mostly everything and definitely recommend it and especially a balcony if you can. It was so nice to go out every morning and have coffee on our own balcony. The beds were very hard and caused my ... Read More
Escape is a beautiful ship! We loved mostly everything and definitely recommend it and especially a balcony if you can. It was so nice to go out every morning and have coffee on our own balcony. The beds were very hard and caused my back to hurt but thankfully the trip was so amazing that I was able to get used to it. If you have some sort of small pad that will fit in a luggage, it might be a good idea if you have back issues. Food: Teppanyaki was amazing!!!! We probably would've used our 3 specialty dining credits here had we known how good the food and entertainment was. We also loved Moderno but didn't really have a good experience at Cagney's. The server seemed rushed and it just felt like an ordinary dining room experience, instead of a specialty restaurant. The filet Mignon was good but tasted just as good at Moderno. The waterfront dining was beautiful! Lunch and dinner was good at the Garden cafe but the main dining rooms were just ok, nothing spectacular. We loved the set up in the Manhattan with live music as you dine. Water: This is our biggest complaint!!! We have sailed with multiple different cruise lines and usually you are able to bring at least a small amount of water on board. Norwegian will not allow any water at all and in our opinion, they really didn't make it convenient to get complimentary water either. It should be more accessible throughout the ship and on their private island in Belize. There was no complimentary water anywhere on there private island in Belize! If you had to purchase it, it was $7.50 for a bottle. Thankfully, one of the bar tenders had pity on us and gave us cups of water. I have never been on a cruiseline's private island where they didn't provide water. If I had known this, I would have definitely filled up more containers before getting off the ship. It wasn't really convenient to get off and on due to tendering so go prepared with plenty of water/snacks unless you're planning to purchase them there. Entertainment: After Midnight was phenomenal!!! First musical I've ever seen with a live orchestra! My husband said Choir of Man was awesome too! Just make sure to make reservations as soon as you can because they fill up fast. We missed out on the Escape show because it filled up, so definitely reserve all shows and dining as soon as you can. Overall, our trip was amazing!! Ship is beautiful and clean. We loved Daniel Johnson's monkey and sloth hangout in Roatan, Dennis gave us an incredible tour and allowed us to customize it to our preferences. We tried Allegro all inclusive Resort in Cozumel which was wonderful but the food was just average, they definitely could have incorporated some authentic mexican cuisine here, instead it was more basic American dishes. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Have been on other mega ships and they were nice. This ship had great shows. Choir of men was fabulous and so was After midnight. We loved howling at the moon and went to 3 of their shows...so much fun singing along. The supper club was ... Read More
Have been on other mega ships and they were nice. This ship had great shows. Choir of men was fabulous and so was After midnight. We loved howling at the moon and went to 3 of their shows...so much fun singing along. The supper club was nice, menu was beef with no other choice. We liked the buffet for breakfast and lunch, had a million choices and everything was tasty and fresh. Ate at O'sheehans for dinner the night they had Cuban pork. The meal was awful, no flavor to the meat, and it was dry. Platanos were dry and hard, like hockey pucks! The black beans were edible. Main problem with this ship was the lack of space in the public rooms. In the atrium they brought out folding chairs which made matters worse because they impeded flow of traffic, and the lines for the service desk were also in the way. For the amount of passengers the pool was a joke. Not much bigger than a typical backyard pool. Ridiculous! Good luck getting a lounge or even a chair. Another case of poor planning. This ship needs a major rehab to make the public areas and pool larger. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
As this is a potentially longer review, I'll put the bottom line up front: NCL Escape has a great mix of spaces to cater to different cruising needs, especially some quieter areas (my preference). Staff on this ship were cheerful ... Read More
As this is a potentially longer review, I'll put the bottom line up front: NCL Escape has a great mix of spaces to cater to different cruising needs, especially some quieter areas (my preference). Staff on this ship were cheerful and helpful with very few exceptions - and some were especially great at making travelers feel welcome. Port calls went smoothly for us (although one port was cancelled due to wind/wave conditions) but weren't really what we had chosen this itinerary for, as we had been to most of them previously. We chose this cruise partly for the ship, the embarkation port and the calendar. [TIMING:] We needed a break from New England winter and tried to pick a week that was after the school vacations, but before college spring break, so as to avoid lots of kids and/or drunken college students. That plan was mostly successful except that I learned that much of Canada takes their winter school break a week or 2 later than New England, so it seemed about 1/3 of the cruisers on this run were Canadian families. This never presented a problem as the ship is well arranged so that louder groups tend to gravitate to the pool deck and the atrium, leaving H2O Spice and the Waterfront for those of us looking for relaxation. There was only one afternoon that this broke down when a group of young adults decided that they would relax on the Waterfront and supply their own bluetooth speaker so that EVERYONE around could enjoy their selection of music. [SHIP] We chose the Escape (a Breakaway+ class) because we had previously sailed on the Breakaway and Epic and were looking for a ship that had the Waterfront (missing on Epic) and that had an H2O Spice area (present on both). As we looked at ship choices, that immediately ruled out the Encore - what was NCL thinking on that design when they dropped the H2O in favor of laser tag??!! In any case, we were pleased with our selection. The extra 200 people compared to Breakaway didn't make a noticeable impact on crowd size, though there didn't seem to be a huge difference in quantity of any other on-board offerings (apparently the "plus" in Breakaway Plus means "plus 200 people") Overall- The good: We had a great cruise - in spite of the ongoing country-wide health concerns. The NCL staff did a great job at taking care of us and was very friendly and a surprising number were able to remember us and greet us by name (not just those with whom we had frequent interaction). Choice of on-board food options, bar options [mostly - see below] , entertainment and activities provided a great selection for all types of travelers. The selection of beers at the District Brewhouse was good. Though I enjoy IPAs, I was glad that the selection wasn't IPA-heavy and had a good choice of other styles. Disembarkation (we did self-disembarkation) was very quick and painless. Maybe 15 minutes from the start of disembarkation till we were on the curb. Tendering (at Harvest Cay) worked out well with almost no wait - we chose a very early tender. I had heard that later tender groups had more significant delays. The bad: Embarkation was a mess because the previous week's sailing arrived in port about 3 hours late. Nothing much could be done about the crowds and lines that ensued - and we didn't really sweat it because it was clear that NCL was doing the best they could. Besides - who wants to start off a vacation all worked up? We just smiled and waited patiently - as did most people in the crowd. A few of the little ones had meltdowns, as could be expected, but we all eventually got ourselves onto the ship. Our embarkation was probably 90-120 minutes. Sometimes the dice don't roll your way... The other [admittedly VERY minor] problem that I wanted to comment on was the selection of bars - or specifically bar menus. Both Epic and Breakaway have a Shakers Martini bar. That offers a great alternative to all the sickly sweet boat drinks (loaded with pineapple, lime mixer, coconut...). Unfortunately, the Escape doesn't have Shakers. It wasn't until our last sea day that we solved this problem - I downloaded an NCL drink recipe list and found a willing bartender to make Shaker's "Citrus Gem" for my wife. Special shout out to Reynaldo at Mixx Bar. [Note to NCL drink manager if you read this - please add something like Shaker's drinks "Aviation", "Citrus Gem", "Cucumber Basil Twist", etc to some one of the bars' menu] Overall - a good cruise - would do it again. Possibly looking at Bliss or Getaway next (but still miss Shakers - which neither of those has, either) Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Embarkation was the worst I have ever seen since I started cruising (1979). Three and a half hours in line (made Disney & Universal envious w/their lines) and no water available along the way. Only once you were in the final area did ... Read More
Embarkation was the worst I have ever seen since I started cruising (1979). Three and a half hours in line (made Disney & Universal envious w/their lines) and no water available along the way. Only once you were in the final area did the Platinum Priority Boarding show up. Almost missed my muster drill as a result. No worries, I still got scanned. I chose this cruise based on I wanted to try the Breakaway Class from NCL, and the pricing. I chose not to upgrade dining on this cruise, and for the most part it was a great decision. Most of the dining was great, and where they failed, NCL worked harder to improve (AND they did~!). I've been to all of the ports (Roatan - you need to book an excursion to enjoy this island; Harvest Caye - no zipline, and the tendering created issues for those unable to take steps to the tenders - they stayed on the ship. Costa Maya cancelled due to rough seas and high winds. Cozumel - always fun to ride along the loop on the scooters visiting the bars on the beaches). The ship (Escape) is considered a port (destination) to me, IMO; the pool was so full there was no room to even sit on the pool's edge. For Escape's "Dance Club" was in the Skyline Lounge - right next to the Casino - talk about poor design. Other ships have a dedicated area that actually looks like a dance club - both the pool and the night club need some rethinking NCL. While onboard, they transitioned Jimmy Buffet's Magaritaville Dining and the 5'O Clock Somewhere Bar to the American Diner and The Pour House (no more karaoke?) So these two venues were shut down mid-cruise. Cabin wise, I was in an inside cabin (10417) that was very comfortable and quiet. The filtration system on Escape (in the common areas) should be inspected because it does not work~! The smell of smoke permeated from the casino area throughout the other areas of the interior of the ship. O'Sheehans was excellent (service and food), Manhattan Room (MDR) also a great place for excellent food as was both Taste and Savor. On night one, the buffet had prime rib and it was really good. No complaints on food and service (one minor issue resolved). Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
After waiting 4 hours just to get on the ship, my expectations were pretty low. Finally got on about 4pm and rushed to get food. Staff was trying to rush us to leave for the muster stations but people were still getting onboard. Finally ... Read More
After waiting 4 hours just to get on the ship, my expectations were pretty low. Finally got on about 4pm and rushed to get food. Staff was trying to rush us to leave for the muster stations but people were still getting onboard. Finally announced that muster was delayed until 5:30pm. Odd that staff was oblivious to the lengthy embarkation. They were so disorganized that they couldn’t even get all passengers onboard in time for the safety brief. Also recording room numbers for towels on paper then not recording returned towels. Really not efficient or organized. Food was okay. Pool wasn’t great as it was busy and cold. As well as only having 1 pool for families. The inside room was tiny although the bathroom was very nice. Really no storage so we were living out of a suitcase. Evening entertainment was mediocre although Choir of Man was very good. Daughter just turned 18 and absolutely nothing for that age group. They had a 18-25 meet and greet but my daughter isn’t going to hang out with people who can drink. Not an appropriate age mix. Also missed one of the ports (Costa Maya) which was disappointing and the revised schedule for the day was underwhelming at best. Received a phone call morning of disembarkation that we had a credit on our account. Luckily we had time to go to customer service as it was money from the excursion we missed when the ship couldn’t dock. Paid out in cash with no proper receipt for us to look at. Not sure what would have happened if we hadn’t been available to collect our cash. The Norwegian Escape Is really nothing special and there was an enormous amount of lining up and waiting. Royal Caribbean is far superior. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was my 2nd cruise and I enjoyed myself however there could be many improvements. First off, the logout page for the wifi only seems to work once in a while so I probably wasted 30-40 minutes just trying to logout of my sessions.  ... Read More
This was my 2nd cruise and I enjoyed myself however there could be many improvements. First off, the logout page for the wifi only seems to work once in a while so I probably wasted 30-40 minutes just trying to logout of my sessions.  Their app is also buggy as many messages did not go through.  I would send somebody a message and when I found them an hour later, the message was never received making it hard to coordinate things. Sometimes the app just wouldn't load at all as well. When it did work, it was great to communicate with my family who was also on the ship and to quickly find out what's going on however I'd say it only worked 75-80% of the time. I also had a $50 per port excursion credit that was not credited to my account so I had to go ask for it to be added otherwise I would have been charged the full price. The pool is very small and you always have a long wait for drinks to the point where almost everybody ordered 2 drinks at a time so they wouldn't have to go again for a while. The entertainment was ok however I expected more from the reviews.  Many people walked out from "After Midnight". The lounge entertainers were good but all seemed tired and had no energy or stage presence which made it hard to get into it. The only thing I found exceptional was the "Choir of Man" show and the food.  We did the Tepanyaki and Brazilian steakhouse which were both amazing and a different experience.  We also did Bayamo which was also very good.  O'sheehans was great for a quick bite when needed. I also ended up getting a complimentary bottle of wine and strawberries for some reason which was nice. All in all, it was fun but I would probably choose another ship next time I cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We received a promotion through tour company from our time share. We rejected sales pitches much to their dismay, cruise paid so no worries about canceling. We have been on Celebrity & Carnival this was our fifth cruise in 10 years. ... Read More
We received a promotion through tour company from our time share. We rejected sales pitches much to their dismay, cruise paid so no worries about canceling. We have been on Celebrity & Carnival this was our fifth cruise in 10 years. Hubby just retired so we drove from Iowa and to POM I watched videos and due to good timing we arrived for embarkation at 10:15. Trying to drop off our luggage proved interesting, we kept getting waived off of NCL area after 2nd time around Disney porter got NCL and he said he would stay with the luggage until it was on the ship. He was given a generous 25$ tip for 2 suitcases, luggage arrived at our cabin at 4pm. We had a 3 hour wait to board! Some fool tried to stowaway we later heard. I embarked by wheelchair some other senior citizens had a very very difficult time in line! There aren’t many chairs. Our cabin was a balcony 15714 best thing about NCL was a nesspresso coffee maker! Otherwise this was the smallest balcony & cabin we ever have had, no way 4 adults would be comfortable. Staff were fabulous the friendliest, we have experienced. Best cruise critic meeting, free beer, cider appetizers, most staff attended we have Ever been too. 2011 Celebrity had a great one on the Eclipse, this surpasses that. We got free champagne and chocolate covered strawberries delivered free to our room. Loved all the complimentary restaurants, Cagney and le Bistro excellent, la Cucina had issues, noisy, confused new staff delivered wrong orders, food cold sat too long, toughest Veal I’ve ever had, offer to exchange but I declined hubby almost done , by that time I wanted to leave. These were free perks we received. Rough seas for Costa Maya port closed. Some confusion about going on and off ports for mobility impaired and which elevator to access. Other cruise lines have staff situated at elevators to give priority access. I’m glad we tried NCL we will have to see if we try again, not sure the bigger ships are as comfortable. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I chose this cruise based on departure port and date. I really didn't care where it was going. The ship was nothing fancy. In fact, if I didn't know I would have thought it was a refurbished ship. My room balcony was blah... ... Read More
I chose this cruise based on departure port and date. I really didn't care where it was going. The ship was nothing fancy. In fact, if I didn't know I would have thought it was a refurbished ship. My room balcony was blah... brown/beige rug with dirt stains, brown curtains that were ripped, a linoleum bathroom floor with stains ? hair dye. and brown cabinetry.The sofa was so dirty and worn out. I asked for a flat sheet to throw over so I could sit on it. I photographed all. The bathroom counter had a rust stain and the shower with hair in the drain. Great shower pressure and plenty of very hot water. But to top all off the first nite I lay on grit??? I collected it up on paper back book and took a photo to show room steward who got defensive. It appeared to be large coarse salt particles!!! I told him this isn't up for a debate just please change the sheets and get hair out of shower stall. The balcony very small. Only room for two small upright chairs and very small table. Room was never made up to late in afternoon after 2 pm just when I returned to relax a bit. I rarely, if ever, saw the room attendant. No towels animals in which I could care less about except I relied on them for extra towels to use after showering. Gone are the chocolates on your pillow. The entire fleet appeared overworked and grumpy . In fact I witnessed an employee (woman) yell at a passenger! I was shocked. The buffets looked dried out and not attended well. If an item was gone platters not replenished or removed! The two "washy washy" guys at entrance to Garden Buffet sang and played Tamborine much to annoyance of older guests.If this cruise ship cared about hand washing so much then why only two very small sinks at the entrance of buffet for 4 thousands guests???? I observed many strange reactions to some odd practices by this fleet. The restaurants were average not bad not fabulous. The artwork some of the best at sea. The embarkation/debarkation worst of any of my 20 plus cruises. The tender procedure strange, long lines to wait in big theater for two large boats to offload 4 thousand people! The shows were average at best some better than others. Dinner shows with Carole's Kings very nice. With so many cruise choices I would avoid this ship. Ceilings low elevators small and dark painted black and red. Pool area horribly cramped and industrial looking. Pay extra, go to an upcharge designated sunning area without a pool but guaranteed a nice lounge chair for the day. Of note no outside eating venues. Must go inside for piece of cardboard I mean pizza or salad. There was nothing that would bring me back except escaping the cold on a last minute cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Beautiful ship and friendly crew. The entertainment is top notch. Food was good, but not spectacular. The boarding process took nearly 2 hours even though we had paid for priority boarding. 1st Tender Port: was told to wait in the ... Read More
Beautiful ship and friendly crew. The entertainment is top notch. Food was good, but not spectacular. The boarding process took nearly 2 hours even though we had paid for priority boarding. 1st Tender Port: was told to wait in the main dining room for our group to be called (again we paid for priority boarding). Waited almost 2 hours. Was an hour late for our shore excursion. Took another hour to board the tender to get back. Very unorganized. Had breakfast delivered to the room each morning. Was never correct. Asked for cereal. Received a box of cereal and milk, no bowl. (Just one example) Crew was courteous and helpful but not engaging. We Passed many crew members in the hall. Barely received a hello. Other cruises go out of their way to Stop and ask how your day is going. Ship is VERY LOUD. Band in the casino was so loud we could barely talk. Band in the Manhattan dining room was quieter but still very difficult to talk to our friends. Music by the pool was incredibly loud. And yet they make fun of Carnival as a rowdy party ship. The pool is very small (only one small pool for over 4,000 guest). An hour wait to use the water slides. Theater only holds 800 people. Shows book up very quickly. Most people we talked to only got to see one or two shows and missed the rest as they were “sold out” even though they were free. Overall a disappointing cruise on a beautiful ship. I’ll stick with slightly smaller ships or a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Other family members chose it for convenance, there were 23 of us, we flew U.K to Miami to join them complete with my wheelchair. Boarding was made easy for me staff were helpful, the cabin which had a walk in shower was a long way ... Read More
Other family members chose it for convenance, there were 23 of us, we flew U.K to Miami to join them complete with my wheelchair. Boarding was made easy for me staff were helpful, the cabin which had a walk in shower was a long way from the lift, the very narrow corridors were stuffed with cases this made using the wheelchair almost impossible, this proved to be a theme for the week when it was not cases it was housekeeping carts, embarrassing and upsetting at times. The dining and stateroom staff were very helpful and kind, the food was great, entertainment was good. We chose the cruise partly as four stops seemed good and chose disabled friendly excursions, however it was made clear to me after I boarded that I could not get of at Belize as tenders are required to get there and they are not disabled friendly, I was not impressed but again the staff and one manager were great. Others in my party did not seem impressed with that stop and one of the kids was bitten by jellyfish. The place I really wanted to visit was cancelled due to a port strike, so only two out of four stops happened. Lots of disabled toilets available, they have press button doors I got out of the chair to go into the toilet my husband pushed the button the door swung back and floored me leaving me bruised and shaken also embarrassed. The children loved it and had fun one child had a birthday and was given a lovely cake and the staff sang happy birthday, they were good with the babies. Given we travelled 4000 miles to get there I would not repeat the experience but it was fun and an adventure and we met great people so no regrets. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose Norwegian Escape because his itinerary and packages included . Having the balcony is a must and thermal Spa this will get to be well relax and enjoy your trip. The only drawback is the amount of people using the pool and the ... Read More
We chose Norwegian Escape because his itinerary and packages included . Having the balcony is a must and thermal Spa this will get to be well relax and enjoy your trip. The only drawback is the amount of people using the pool and the jacuzzi is like having a human soup, it is pack all day long. The food is OK the ship had with multiple restaurants for different taste I recommend the drinking And specialty packages. In any of the restaurants they Desserts are no bueno, pastries tasted and looked like been defrost the day before and then served to the passengers. Asian food was great with multiple plates presented but at the same time very spicy(hot). Shows were great with full of talent. Must see the dueling pianos show they sound the best. Multiple activities around the ship were very good. We enjoy our cabin which have the balcony this was great . Plenty is space for our 3 suitcases and clothes for two the bathroom was small but enough space to put all your wife’s things and yours . Regarding Excursion, be beware of Roatan . That Island sucks it is very poor and below average beach. The best was Harvest Caye (cabanas) and Cozumel, Chankanaab natural park great snorkeling time and beach relaxing time. My complains is your drinking and food plan can not be use at their private island were a bottle of a draft beer will cost you $9 ..... Enjoy your trip and Escape Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We sailed from Miami on a 7 night Western Caribbean cruise. This was our first cruise ever. 12 family members went with ages ranging from 55 to 2. This was our first cruise ever. Everything was just amazing. Ship was fully booked and for ... Read More
We sailed from Miami on a 7 night Western Caribbean cruise. This was our first cruise ever. 12 family members went with ages ranging from 55 to 2. This was our first cruise ever. Everything was just amazing. Ship was fully booked and for 4000+ passengers the embarkation and disembarkation was quicker and smoother than expected at each port. The freestyle food was good and at least two nights the crew accommodated our religious dietary restrictions without prior notice or us asking at all. They prepared for us a special meal which was delicious at no extra costs. The ship had a complimentary daycare for 3 and up and a nursery for younger kids which was anything but a typical daycare. My kids had a blast and would want to go everyday which made our trip even more enjoyable. Even with the ship being fully booked and our three room being scattered throughout the ship due to last minute booking and sail away option it was not much of an inconvenience as far as communication (via in-room and ship wide phones), seating availability at dining, entertainment, pools, slides and other activity venues. We timed everything where the rush would be minimal. There was never a dull moment and it was difficult to find a lull moment. One incident I would report is that the ship skipped a port due to local issues at Costa Maya, however, that was not an issue as we docked at Cozumel for two days and it was great! Our cabin was cleaned twice a day and the staff was extremely professional and kind. The freestyle dining was great as we ate at odd hours of the day. I can’t imagine it getting any better! Would definitely recommend this cruise line and ship and looking forward to going again soon! One of my children experienced motion sickness the last night or maybe it was too much ice cream, however, he vomited in the middle of the night and staff showed up in less than 10 minutes cleaned/sanitized the room, replaced the mattresses and sheets right away. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was my very first cruise. I can say I went into it feeling very nervous and overwhelmed. I tried to make sure I had done all my research on all the ports prior to sailing to ensure it was a worry free vacation. We arrived to port ... Read More
This was my very first cruise. I can say I went into it feeling very nervous and overwhelmed. I tried to make sure I had done all my research on all the ports prior to sailing to ensure it was a worry free vacation. We arrived to port at 12pm on a rainy day in Miami only to find a massive line up, in which parts of it left you standing in the rain. It took approximately 2.5 hrs to board the Escape. Upon entering I was blown away by its beauty and pure size- I couldn’t wait to explore! I quickly learned that the lineup I dreaded having to deal with to board would follow me wherever I went on the ship- food, drinks, washroom, you name it. Which quickly becomes frustrating when you are trying to have a relaxing vacation. On our first sail day we went to go to the pool, only to find it was a sea of bodies in the pool and no chairs to be found. Sadly the Escape has a pool not much bigger than the average backyard pool that is somehow supposed to fit +4000 people. I was very disappointed to know I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere close to the pool. Our first stop was Roatan and we chose to do the Jolly Roger Catamaran and Snorkelling. Everything was perfect. The staff were friendly, and very helpful when teaching how to snorkel. And the Reef was absolutely stunning! Second stop was Harvest Caye, Belize. I was very interested for this stop as I knew the island was owned by NCL and operated by locals. We chose to not do an excursion that day and just explore and relax on the island. What I was not aware of is that our food and drink package are not included on the island. 2 daiquiri’s were a whopping $25! It was refreshing to have a large pool to sit next to as this was my first day being able to go in a pool on our vacation. After lunch we decided to go back to the ship as it was too expensive to be buying drinks when we already had paid for a very costly drink package. Third stop was supposed to be Costa Maya but unfortunately got cancelled due to a local strike. In turn we had a half day at sea as they continued onward to Cozumel. Having over 24 hrs in Cozumel actually worked quite well as we were able to do extra exploring and not be in a hurry to get back to the ship. We went and swam with the dolphins and stingray. It was a 5 min cab ride to the aquarium. Overall it was an amazing experience! The highlight of the cruise was the food. Le Bistro was hands down my favourite restaurant. Most of the staff throughout the ship were friendly and very attentive. The only staff member I can complain about was a bartender at the Mojito bar. We went there every night before dinner and he was always straight to the point and we witnessed him yell at various customers. If NCL is reading this, I would say their app is very helpful when on-board and we caught ourselves always referring to it. You can message fellow passengers through it for a very expensive price. I would like to see them change that so you can message your family members on the cruise through the app for free. Overall it was a great trip and I was able to bring home lots of amazing memories. I do feel like I could use some time away from people though. Personally I would not recommend Harvest Caye but Roatan and Cozumel were lovely. If I go on another cruise it will have to be with less people and more pool options. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our second Norwegian Cruise. Our first was out of Manhattan in 2014 on the Breakaway to Bermuda. We made use of none of the specialty restaurants, ship sponsored shore excursions or drink packages. In spite, we enjoyed it and ... Read More
This was our second Norwegian Cruise. Our first was out of Manhattan in 2014 on the Breakaway to Bermuda. We made use of none of the specialty restaurants, ship sponsored shore excursions or drink packages. In spite, we enjoyed it and rebooked on the Escape our of Miami in Feb 15, 2020. Pros: the staff, to include general manager and assistance general manager were easily accessible and accommodating. Very much so! We had a small problem and called Duncan, the assistant GM and he was fabulous. Our problem wasn’t solvable, but Duncan spent a lot of time sorting the issue out. The staff was beyond gracious and friendly! The ship was immaculate. There were so many people on board, but we never waited in line to eat, see a show or play the slots, or just get around the ship. Pretty impressive feat. A large vessel with a small bouy feel to it! Our Steward was a hard working man named Mario (although I believe his actual name was Olayao). He was in and out of our cabin three or four times a day keeping it clean and comfortable. He was the Steward for 12208. Another noted worthy staff memeber was a waitress, Lourdes, from Cagney’s steakhouse. She may be the finest waitress I’ve ever had. Friendly, prompt, professional, courteous. Norwegian is lucky to have Duncan, Lourdes and Mario! They are the reason we will cruise again with NCL. The cons: Belize’s Harvest Caye is a manufactured island, I believe solely for NCL. It was expensive and offered no real local feel. Everything was touristy and artificial. Don’t get me wrong, it was a beautiful little island, but felt a little like a low budget theme park. It should be part of the meal and drink package, particularly if it is solely a NCL property. Because we dropped anchor rather than moor pierside, the liberty launches (tendering vessels) were madness boarding on each end. The lines getting off the ship were decks long and the lines getting onto the liberty launch back to ship was a quarter mile long! It took 2 1/2 hours to back aboard. The wait was all on the harvest Caye end. Boarding from the liberty launch was pretty quick. The lines on and off the ship were a challenge. Specifically boarding on the first day. It took literally 3 1/2 hours to get aboard. Made me wonder if the Haven is worth the extra money? Once aboard, the ship absorbed the people very well. We were very impressed by that. Our stateroom had an adjoining stateroom with my son and daughter, but we had different stewards. This seemed odd, but we accepted it. I tipped both Stewards on day one handsomely in hopes that great service would follow. In Stateroom 12210 (The children) that did not happen. We didn’t see the steward but once or twice the entire week. On the last day he was making up the room for the next guest while we were at breakfast and our things were still in the room. Mind you, that was at 7am. Ridiculous!! I guess he was going to try and get off the ship between cruises. I get efficiency, but not rudeness. He didn’t remember our names, nor the names of my children. Plainly, he stunk! I tipped him zero when we left. Can’t remember his name! NCL should be aware of him. He was terrible. In sum, the food, drink, entertainment, restaurants, relaxation, friendliness of staff, accessibility of ships officers was beyond our expectation. When I was offered a assistant GM’s card, I never expected to use, but moreover, NEVER expected the wonderful attention he gave our concern, the follow up by him personally with a phone calls and then an invitation to air it out with someone if we felt the need. None of which was our intention more desire. The crew was fantastic. I cannot overstate that. This is a top shelf sailing company! Money well spent and a lot of value for our dollar! I chose to rate the individual categories based on our stateroom, not our children’s. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Background and booking: (Summary at bottom for shorter read) We are a couple in our late 20's form the UK who did our first cruise with Royal Caribbean Oasis of the seas in September 2019 and the NCL escape is now our second. We ... Read More
Background and booking: (Summary at bottom for shorter read) We are a couple in our late 20's form the UK who did our first cruise with Royal Caribbean Oasis of the seas in September 2019 and the NCL escape is now our second. We really enjoyed Oasis of the Seas and the Mediterranean so we had our doubts when booking this cruise as we thought it couldn't live up to our previous. We knew we wanted to cruise the Caribbean and we did look at a few options on various lines (RCL, NCL, MSC). We finally chose this cruise as the free at sea offer for premium drinks package and 3 x specialty dining options for £99 each seemed like really good value. Cabin: Even though we booked a sail away inside stateroom, we were given a disability access room which gave us extra space compared to the standard inside cabins which was a nice bonus. The room was modern, came with a large dressing table / desk space and plenty of plug sockets (Mainly US but one EU). The room had some nice lighting options which was appreciated and the clothes drying line in the shower was a nice touch. Much better than our inside cabin on the Oasis of the Seas as it was a disability access cabin but standard cabins would have been smaller than OTS. We were on deck 15 just below the Garden Cafe which was a nice location as getting to breakfast and spice H20 were 1 and 2 flights of stairs away. We only heard noises from the buffet a couple of times just before we slept. Dining: I think dining is NCL's strong point. The Garden Cafe buffet offered a good variety of food which was changed every day. The headliner from the buffet would be advertised around the ship during the day to help you decide where to dine that night. We chose, Cagney's, Moderno's and Food Republic as our specialty dining choices and all were great. I especially enjoyed the sushi at Food Republic. It was amazing this was all included in the free at sea offer. O'Sheehans also needs to be mentioned as this is a great 24/7 eating spot. On RCL you had Sorrento's but O'Sheehans offers more. Food in the main dining room food was good. I especially liked the beef and the variety of options available however the one complaint I have was with the "Country Fried Chicken" which was disappointing. The chef really needs to review this dish. Waffles at the breakfast buffet were like crack. The Ship (Public areas, layout, design): The ship is clean, nice and modern and has a less cheesier design choice than RCL (I'm talking about fake tree's, statues etc). The main pool was crowded as we expected based on our research so we chose to find loungers at Spice H20 or at the front of the ship. We never had an issue with fining loungers around 10am on sea days, but I suppose if you were a bigger group, this would be harder. The elevators were frustrating as they seemed lazy. If you called for one and watched the numbers on all of them, only one or two out of 6 seemed to ever be moving. Not too much of an issue as the wait never seemed too long but this would become a problem at certain times (After shows / breakfast). The waterfront was a nice feature of the ship and is always quiet compared to the rest of the ship. If I was to redesign the ship I would put the internet cafe in the library and extend the atrium. Embarkation: Embarkation day was absolutely fine. Queues as normal and the ship was well presented for arrival. What was an issue was getting off at some ports when we needed to tender. You had to book your tender and they all say 12pm giving you no idea on when you needed to be ready by. My advise is to just pick the lowest number as this would let you on any tender after it anyway. Entertainment: Choir of Man 5/5 - Very entertaining show. I don't want to spoil it for anyone but it is a must watch. The lads were funny and the cast actually ended up at Yaya Beach in Mahahual where we were. Howl at the moon 5/5 - super entertaining alternative to a piano request bar. The guys were funny and talented and we had a really good time watching them. After Midnight 3.4/5 - The singers voices were amazing and dancers were really talented but the show overall didn't really have any story line or context so it felt a bit dragged out as everything was from the same genre/era. I do want to put emphasis how talented everyone was though. Value for Money: I would prioritize booking with NCL again as long as the free at sea upgrade offer remains. Because of this, I feel that NCL offer the best value for money in comparison to other cruise lines. Service / Staff: Service was top notch as expected. Everyone was smiley and friendly and happy to have a conversation with you. Bars can be slow at times but this is because everyone is ordering mudslides or cocktails that take longer to make. The bar staff actually do a great job to take as many orders at the same time as possible but what would be nice is to have some additional bar staff. Having stools right on the bar is a pain point of mine as I hate it when people sit and drink at the bar when it's busy. It's inconsiderate and makes it harder for anyone else to make an order. Our cabin steward was great and always kept us up to date and greeted us all the time. I've seen people complain about not getting towel animals but come on, It's 2020 - do we really to need carry on with this cheesy unnecessarily expectation? Jackie the cruise directory was professional and also funny. He did a great job entertaining everyone but also keeping everyone informed, lifting moods and getting everyone pumped up for a party. Wifi: We purchased the social media package as this offered unlimited usage and allowed us to contact each other as well as friends and family at home. As we are from the UK, roaming wasn't going to be available when off the ship. Signal strength and speed varied throughout ships location, and where you were on the ship. Nothing to write home about but at least you could write home. Summary: Great value for money cruise which managed to exceed our expectations after cruising with RCL OTS. Free at sea upgrade offer sets NCL apart and the staff and service on the ship was top notch. Highly recommend this ship unless you want to loose weight. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Norwegian Escape Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 5.0 3.9
Service 3.0 4.0
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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