2,878 Norwegian Escape Cruise Reviews

The ship's is in great shape and has many top deck activities. I enjoyed the aft top deck where they had a bar, hot tubs and showed movies on a giant screen at night. The food was average, long wait for average steak at cagneys. ... Read More
The ship's is in great shape and has many top deck activities. I enjoyed the aft top deck where they had a bar, hot tubs and showed movies on a giant screen at night. The food was average, long wait for average steak at cagneys. The buffet was typical, could always find a seat. The public decks 678 were always crowded, they held many shows in the atrium as it seems they could have used another lounge or two. it was always noisy and crowded. The casino was open to the other spaces so the smoke permeates the adjacent spaces. Comedy club was standing room only book once you're on board! They did have a second arcade near the atrium which as very underused, with bowling, pool, darts plus some arcade games. Strangely the bowling alley was a nice quiet area. Crew and service was average I think they needed more bar servers long waits to get drinks with everyone having the free packages. great ship for warm weather cruises not so much for colder weather when you'd want some indoor space. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Food republic (NCL Escape) During my cruise on NCL Escape January 25, 2020 I enjoyed dining here on multiple occasions. The dining room is open and roomy. The main feature is a glass wall with sprawling views of the ocean and sunsets. ... Read More
Food republic (NCL Escape) During my cruise on NCL Escape January 25, 2020 I enjoyed dining here on multiple occasions. The dining room is open and roomy. The main feature is a glass wall with sprawling views of the ocean and sunsets. Stools are also available at the counters overlooking the chef’s preparation area. Plates are as advertised with 4 choices included with a dining plan- you eat very well. If you don’t have the dinning plan, I ordered a la carte, very affordable good quality/price. Perfect for solo travelers or sharing in groups. I love sushi and wasn’t disappointed, it was fresh and of excellent quality. I mostly ordered maki/rolls with salmon, shrimp and tuna. Squeaky clean open kitchens. I enjoyed conversation with hard-working but engaging chef (Wayan). Even on the busiest evening there was no wait, food was on the table in minutes. An important part of this experience was the Maître D (Edelyn Tuzon), always greeting patrons at the reception, polite, courteous and efficient. This lady remembered my name and last order every time, very helpful with explaining the menu or the use of the tablet. (for those afraid of technology, no worries the maître D and servers will assist with everything or a paper menu is available). All around fantastic experience, a cut above the rest, I would highly recommend. Mandara Spa Barbershop and Thermal Suite aboard the NCL Escape (January 25, 2020) Amir is the best barber! Very nice experience. Amir was courteous polite and attentive. Took the man facial with haircut that also included a vigorous facial, neck, arm and shoulder massage. Easily surpassed all my expectations, I’ll be back! Used the thermal suite pass throughout the week, relaxing, peaceful & quiet, views from the large windows are spectacular, the water features, especially the juts in the T-Pool help relive aches and pains. I recommend and will be taking on my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Pros: Very clean boat and warm, friendly attentive staff. They treat you like gold. Casino is large and fun. In general, the entertainment was good. We saw a great comedian and enjoyed the dueling pianos. Staterooms are nice and ... Read More
Pros: Very clean boat and warm, friendly attentive staff. They treat you like gold. Casino is large and fun. In general, the entertainment was good. We saw a great comedian and enjoyed the dueling pianos. Staterooms are nice and comfortable. Great Stirrup Caye and Belize private islands were nice and fun with plenty to do when ported. Cons: This boat is very crowded. Expect to be jam packed into every elevator. Pools are tiny and very overcrowded. Impossible to find lounge chairs on pool decks as well. Hard to find open seats at buffet during breakfast and lunch times. They just put too many people on this ship and after a week of being constantly overcrowded it became annoying. Food is ok, not great. Speciality drinks are ok, could be better. Costa maya and Roatan Honduras ports were terrible unless you paid for an excursion. Basically just a crowded shopping mall. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
After waking up on day 2 to our daughter having a fever and painful chest cough....we were told to test her for the flu ($49) and test was positive. They did not have any Tamiflu for children available but suggested my husband and I should ... Read More
After waking up on day 2 to our daughter having a fever and painful chest cough....we were told to test her for the flu ($49) and test was positive. They did not have any Tamiflu for children available but suggested my husband and I should purchase 2 boxes of adult Tamiflu ($418/ea), which we did. Charge to see the Dr was $159 and we were quarantined to our room for 24hrs but I quickly doubted this was a correct diagnosis as my daughter was alert, running around our cabin eating snacks and for dinner ate an entire bowl of mac and cheese and drank plenty of fluids - this wouldn't be normal for someone experiencing the flu! The next morning I took her back ($49 for follow-up visit) and sure enough she tested negative ($49). After a total medical bill of just under $1200 USD that I now have to fight with my insurance for reimbursement, we bumped into another patient who interestingly enough was also diagnosed false positive for the flu within the same time frame we were at the clinic. She and her husband are ER nurses and fought with the Dr. to give her antibiotics for what she suspected was Strep. Turns out she was right and within 24hrs was feeling 10x better. I hate to make accusations, but I really think the Dr. on board falsely diagnosed my daughter to make more money for himself, the ship and/or pharmaceutical company. All that said, it took 3-4 days for her to break her fever and once she did we had a blast. Mexico was amazing and we'll most likely go back to stay on land at an all-inclusive resort. Staff on the ship were fantastic and very accommodating! Entertainment was ok, but Royal definitely beats NCL on this. La Cucina and Teppanyaki specialty restaurants were my favorite but the main dining room/buffet offered so many tasty options that we chose to eat breakfast and lunch there every day. Water slides, mini golf, and arcade were also lots of fun. Overall, I like Royal ships better but service and food were 10x better on NCL. Just be cautious if you get sick, it will cost you a pretty penny! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our second cruise on the Norwegian Escape and we have previously cruised on Princess and Celebrity. Based on 3 cruises in total we are pretty sold on NCL. However, it isn't for everyone. Embarkation: We had the air ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Norwegian Escape and we have previously cruised on Princess and Celebrity. Based on 3 cruises in total we are pretty sold on NCL. However, it isn't for everyone. Embarkation: We had the air option, so took the transfer to the terminal offered by NCL. When we arrived at the terminal, it was clear that there were A LOT of people who showed up either early, or at the same time as we did, which was a little past 11am. I looked at my watch to see how long it would take to get through. We were on board by noon, and felt like the line was moving quickly the whole time. It certainly didn't feel like it took almost an hour to get through. Smoking: The first thing we did was look for the smoking lounge...hubby is a smoker. This is where the ship has changed since our first sailing and is an opportunity for NCL to improve. There is no longer an outdoor smoking area on 6-7-8. I booked our cabin near the elevator/stairs on deck 9 to make it easy for my husband to get his nicotine hits. I understand why NCL wants to limit smoking, and I wish this wasn't something I had to worry about, but I have a suggestion: Why not eliminate smoking in the casino, and have an outdoor smoking area near the casino? This is something that Celebrity does and it works well. (We travelled with folks who are as addicted to black jack and one arm bandits as they are to ciggies and they were very happy with the Celebrity situation). The added bonus to this is that the inside of the ship doesn't stink and the non smokers (and ex-smokers who are worse than non smokers like me) won't complain about the smell. To carry on the travels with smoker so I can give smokers some tips theme: There is a Cigar Lounge on deck 8 by the 5 O'clock Somewhere bar. It is for cigars only. Even if you are there with a cigar smoker, you will be scolded for lighting up a cigarette. When the casino is open, there are many places for smokers to light up, however, you must be gambling. I began calling the casino smoke breaks the $20 cigarettes, until the second last day of the cruise when he won almost $200...that covered his smokes. The two other places to smoke are on deck 17, at the upper pool bar and at H2O Spice. My advise for smokers, is to book your cabin on an upper deck and take the stairs up. I enjoyed hanging out in these areas as they are outdoors and I never felt like I was getting smoke in my face. Cabin: We had a nice balcony on deck 9--9766. I like the convenience of being able to use the stairs to go to dinner, drinks, entertainment and chose this location because we didn't have to go too far down the narrow corridor to get to our cabin. We made it a habit to only use the forward stairs/elevators to avoid that corridor. Our cabin was as expected. Our housekeeper, Clemente, was unremarkable. Requests took about 24 hours to process, but I did get a bathrobe eventually and he did deliver an iron on the second request. Our housekeeper was nearly the only person I encountered who didn't seem engaged in delivering a great vacation. To our surprise there was a bottle of bubbly in our cabin as a thank you for returning to the ship. That was lovely, we didn't drink it, but it was very nice. Communication: As mentioned before our housekeeper was unengaged. The other area of improvement that I can recommend is communication/chain of command/handling guest requests. I found that I got a few, this isn't my problem/job messages when making a request. First was of said iron. When I ask our steward for it, he said that I had to call 00 to get the iron. I called down there and they said ask housekeeping. When I dialed housekeeping, "no problem ma'am" and steward delivered it within minutes. Second was that I booked the Wine Lover's Lunch for the Friday online before we left. I changed my mind and went to the desk to cancel the show. I went to the line for restaurant reservations, and was directed to the long line for customer service. I waited in that line and was told I needed to go to the box office, which was closed. The box office has very limited hours. I tried to reach them by phone the next day, but the call didn't go through. I dialed 00 and was told that they were closed. I explained what I was trying to do, and they took care of it and the refund was issued as OBC. Why this didn't happen on the first or second ask I don't know. Food: We ate on breakfast in the MDR and it was a bit of a disaster. I don't know what happened but it felt like it took over 30 minutes from the time we ordered to the time the eggs and toast arrived. Same for the table next to us. I think maybe the order wasn't entered properly/at all??? Anyway, the manager was very aware of the situation and apologized profusely and offered pastries while we waited. It was a good recovery, but we decided to stick to the buffet for breakfasts. We eat a little later than most and found the buffet to be great for breakfast and lunch. Service and views are fantastic. For dinners, we ate at Cagneys, Le Bistro, Moderno and the MDR. All were great. We went to Le Bistro twice, but on the second try, we decided it was too loud so we went to the MDR. We were seated right next to the aft window and loved looking at the wake all lit up by the ships lights. The musical entertainment in the MDR was good with a wide selection of genres. We almost danced, but the food came so we enjoyed that instead. We ate at Cagney's three times...obviously we like our steak. Only improvements I would make on the food/selection is to lay off the salt. Some dishes were over seasoned to my taste. There are salt shakers on all the tables, so it is easy for a diner to add if they like it saltier. I also felt like the vegetables were a little light (at the buffet too). However, whenever I asked for asparagus or broccoli, or lettuce...no problem it was added to my dish. Bars: As mentioned we spent most of our time at the pool bar and H2O Spice. Edmundo, from India, was AMAZING. Edmundo, from the Phillipines was great too, but the other Edmundo made our trip. He recognized us and whenever he saw me on my own he would ask for Mr. David. He delivered our drinks quickly and checked in at the right times to make sure we were good. We are tippers. Edmundo got $20 on day 1, and then a few bucks here and there each day. We tipped him extra at the end of the cruise too. He earned it by delivering surprising shooters, and granting my vague drink wishes (something fruity, but no bananas and not too sweet). The parties at night at H2O Spice were great fun. I danced and danced until it rained and they moved the party in doors. Entertainment: See H2O Spice parties. We also attended the Choir of Men, I loved, hubby isn't a musical guy, and one of the comedy shows. We both enjoyed the comedy show. We also attended the captain/chief engineer talk on the Friday. That is fascinating and I recommend that you attend to learn more about the function of the ship. Management: The F&B manager greeted us on the second day of our cruise and checked to make sure we were happy. This is part of the management playbook. I saw managers/officers pouring coffee, wiping tables and engaging with guests quite frequently, especially in the first few days of the cruise. It was nice to see the "suits" doing some grunt work. I think it translated into the overall excellent service we received. Deepak, the GM, spoke with us and made note of our room. The next day some chocolate strawberries were delivered to our cabin with a nice note from him. Nice touch. Ports: Loved Roatan--we booked a private driver prior to the cruise and had a great day. Do get out of Coxen Hole...the island has lots to offer and is way prettier, nicer, richer than the port of Coxen Hole. Belize--we walked the island and had a VERY expensive beer. The pool was lovely, unitl someone fouled it and everyone had to get out. Costa Maya--we had a lazy day on board with the whole ship to ourselves...I made it in the pool since it wasn't busy. Cozumel--again booked a private driver for a different kind of adventure. Hubby fell in love with Cozumel which was really surprising. Disembarkation: We choose to walk off the ship ourselves. I think we left the cabin around 715 and we were off the ship and in a cab by 735. It was unbelievably fast and efficient. A huge improvement over our Celebrity experience. Great job NCL!! Who this cruise isn't for: Do not even bother to consider this ship if you love pools and swimming. There are lots of sun loungers, and some shaded areas, so you can lie out pretty easily, however, if you want to get wet, you will be disappointed. If drinking and partying isn't your thing, you might not like this vacation either. If you like a mimosa, or bloody Cesar at 9 in the morning, you will have lots of company. I am not sure how a "clean vegan" would do on the ship. The buffet did have some nice Indian options at all meals, but I am pretty sure some of those options have dairy. I didn't see a lot of plant based protein. Overall: We had a fantastic vacation! Other than the smoking thing...I did miss out on some of the action on levels 6-7-8 because he really could only smoke on 17 and the pool situation (really NCL, you need bigger/more pools! I LOVE aft infinity pools, so cool.) I couldn't find fault. We will be back. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Con: Cruising on the Escape I was left disappointed. One pool for over 4,500K cruisers and on sea days way too crowded as people were stepping over people. In most bar areas the bartenders were so busy with all the drink package cruisers ... Read More
Con: Cruising on the Escape I was left disappointed. One pool for over 4,500K cruisers and on sea days way too crowded as people were stepping over people. In most bar areas the bartenders were so busy with all the drink package cruisers it was hard to get a drink without waiting in line. The customer service was unfriendly and reflected a lack of communication skills. The dining room staff were so busy they were not able to offer personal connections with each guest. The meals were not that great with almost the same options every night. The gift shopps offered more jewerly and high ticket items rather than NCL apparrel and small items most cruisers might actually want. Pro: The embarkment and dissembarkment was wonderful almost walked on and off with little wait. Two thumbs up! Ship was clean with plenty of activities going on for both adult and children. The Garden Cafe was pretty good for breakfast and lunch with plenty of food selections and ample seating. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Our first cruise last year was on a smaller Royal Carribean ship, and we loved it. The only down side we found was that there weren't enough activities or entertainment for our age group (mid 50s). This is why we decided to try a ... Read More
Our first cruise last year was on a smaller Royal Carribean ship, and we loved it. The only down side we found was that there weren't enough activities or entertainment for our age group (mid 50s). This is why we decided to try a much larger ship with another company. We had read many reviews and a large portion of these were quite negative. We were quite apprehensive and a bit disappointed ahead of time of what we might experience; however, we were pleasantly surprised. Yes, it takes at least an hour to embark on the ship, but remember that there are 4600 passengers to process. Disembarkation was very fast and efficient. We were through the doors and outside with your luggage within less than 5 minutes. We had paid for a transfer bus directly to the Miami airport, and that too went smoothly. A 10 minute wait for the bus, but that's nothing really. We had read so many reviews complaining about the food on board, but we loved all of the food. Yes, the Garden Cafe, which is a buffet, isn't as good as all of the other restaurants, but the selection was still varied and pretty good. We dined at Cagney's Steakhouse, Le Bistro and La Cuccina and were treated to top quality food and service. Some reviews complained about how rude staff was. We did not experience this whatsoever. Yes, some of the employees don't smile all the time, but we were always treated politely and with respect. Our room was exactly as in the photos on-line and spotless. Our purser Harold was in our room more than once every day to ensure everything was perfect. Great size and nicely designed bathroom with lots of storage. That is a huge bonus. Lots of closet space with room to hang up clothes and lots of shelves as well. Suitcases fit nicely under the bed. We really liked all of the entertainment. The shows were "broadway" quality. Choir of Man was superb and although After Midnight wasn't our type of entertainment, the qualify of the singing and dancing was top notch. The comedians were hilarious and had us in stitches every time. The cruise director Jacky was AMAZING! All of the game shows he MC'd were hilariously funny and very entertaining. There is always something to do for everyone. A few things we didn't like was how small the adult poor area was and that there were never enough lounge chairs on ALL levels. We had to get up before 7:30 - 8:00 to reserve 2 lounge chairs. On the plus side, people who reserve chairs but don't show up for hours have their belongings removed. An employee goes around every 30 minutes to 1 hour and if a lounge chair is still empty, he puts a red sticker on the chair. If on his next round the chairs are still unoccupied, the person's belongings are brought to Guest Services. Another thing we didn't like was how little seating there was available in the Atrium. There are MANY activities that take place in the Atrium, and there are very limited seating options. Perhaps they can do something about that soon. The water slides were fun, as was the rope course and the mini golf. We were scared on the rope course because it is on the 17th floor and you are walking across a tiny plank right over the edge of the boat. Yikes! Of course, the drinks were fantastic. Try the Pain Killer and the Mango Knockout if you like fruity drinks with Rhum. You also have to try some of the Mojitos at the Sugarcane Bar (a.k.a. Mojito Bar). They are delicious. A few tips: Bring magnets because the ship walls are made of metal. We hung bathing suits, jewelry, belts, etc. on the walls with magnets. If you are a water drinker, you can drink the tap water in your room; however, if you would rather not, there is ice and water available at Margueritaville and in the Garden Cafe. They don't want you filling your water bottles, but lots of people still do it. You can buy a water bottle package, but it is very pricey. I think each bottle comes out to $4.00 - $5.00 U.S. each. Overall, it was a wonderful experience and we will definitely try Norweigan again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
A little background on me: This was my 11th cruise, and I have been on several different cruise lines in the past (Carnival x3, Celebrity x3, NCL x1, Princes x1, Royal x2). So I hopefully have a good variety of experiences to draw from, ... Read More
A little background on me: This was my 11th cruise, and I have been on several different cruise lines in the past (Carnival x3, Celebrity x3, NCL x1, Princes x1, Royal x2). So I hopefully have a good variety of experiences to draw from, and you can use this review to get an idea of what to expect onboard the Escape. I'm going to try to mention the things that stood out to me as good and bad about my experience on the ship. If I fail to mention something it's likely because whatever it was didn't strike me as significantly better/worse than any other cruise. So here goes nothing... ---THE GOOD STUFF--- General layout of the ship: - I found the escape relatively easy to get around and generally easy to get from place to place without too much confusion. This is a large ship, so being easy to get around was a plus in my mind. Embarkation/Disembarkation: - I was worried that a large ship with over 4000 passengers would be horrible getting on & off, but I was pleasantly surprised. -Getting on the ship was relatively painless, even with a brief delay because the cruise terminal experienced a computer problem. This of course was not related to the ship, but I mention it because if this had not occurred, I'm sure this would have been one of the fastest boarding processes I've gone through. - Getting on/off at the port stops was easy and quick, and standing in lines was minimal. - Disembarkation when the cruise was over was fast and easy. We elected to carry our own luggage (we always do this), and the whole process took less than 15 minutes. They had the customs officer on the boat, and used facial recognition to match you to your passport. This was the first time I had done it this way, and it's a big improvement over the old way of standing in lines to show your passport to someone at a desk. Water activities (not pools/hot tubs): - There are five water slides on the boat; 1 for little kiddies, 1 very tame one for all ages, 1 large slide that you ride an inner-tube type inflatable, and 2 fast slides for teens or older that drop you almost strait down. I personally love water slides, and was pretty happy with them in general. The only downside is there can be a line for the large slide that you ride a tube... it's the longest slide, and they don't let you go until the person before you is completely out of the end, so on days at sea, you might wait 5-10 min to go down. The Buffet Dinning: -I found the buffet dinning area to be very well organized compared to other ships I've been on. It was easy to maneuver, lines were pretty much nonexistent, and the food was easy to access (I've been on ships where you needed to be a contortionist to reach things). Even when very busy, we didn't have much trouble finding a place to sit, and the crew were very fast in cleaning up tables after someone left (this too has been a problem on other cruises). --- THE NOT SO GOOD STUFF--- Pools & Hot Tubs: - There are a total of 2 pools and 4 hot tubs, unless you spend a boatload of money to stay in a "Haven" room and have access to their private pool/hot tubs. - Of the two pools available to normal people one is a small kids pool in the kids area, and the other is a average size pool (for a boat) for adults only. This boat has over 4000 people, they won't all fit in a roughly 15x20ft pool. I enjoy getting in the pool on days at sea, so this was a major disappointment. Most of the time it was almost impossible to even get close to the pool since there were usually over 100 people in/around the pool, most sitting on the edge waiting for someone to get out of the pool so they could get in. Because of the terrible overcrowding, I managed to spend a total of 10 minutes in the pool the entire cruise. Waiting to get in, and not being able to really move around once I was in the pool just killed it for me. - There are only 4 hot tubs available for average people, two next to the main pool, and 2 more in the adults only area at the back of the boat (called H2O I think). The ones by the main pool seat about 8 people max unless you like to be touching each other, and the ones in the H2O area held about 6 max comfortably. Sitting in the hot tub is one of the things I look forward to on the cruise, so having so few available meant I was only able to get in on two occasions, for about 10 minutes each. Because there were so few hot tubs, people would camp next to them, and basically sit in them all day long excluding anyone who didn't want to force their way in. As an additional negative, the temperature of the water in the hot tubs is not hot at all, more like warm bath water (which is probably why people were able to sit for hours in the tubs). The Main Dinning Room (Dinner only) - Well... what can I say... basically, compared to my 10 previous cruises, this ship had the worst food offerings I've ever experienced. It was painfully clear that they have decided that the food is where they are trying to save the most money and cut corners. It was obvious that the the identical food used in the buffet area was being recycled/repurposed in the main dinning room. What sounded fancy on the menu, was usually just a reworking of the same food served at lunch earlier that day. Whatever salad was on the menu was just some version of the same components from the buffet, even down to how the vegetables cut. The "Pad Thai" served at dinner seemed to be the same Asian noodle dish served earlier that day for lunch, just with some peanuts sprinkled on top. The main meat served was chicken, usually two or three of the dishes per night. The beef that was served was generally tasty, but the closest it ever came to a steak was the "sirloin medallions" served the last night of the cruise, which were about two inch circles of meat, and could have been just about any cut of meat. We were also very surprised by the stunning lack of seafood on the menu. There was usually one offering of "seafood" which was always some kind of fish (no shrimp, no lobster, no crabcake, no oysters or clams). This fish was also prepared in the worst possible way, ie. baked in an oven and allowed to boil in it's own juices. So the one night I got the fish it was described as "broiled bluefish," but it didn't taste like any bluefish I had ever eaten, and it was clearly not broiled. My wife got the "trout" that was served the next day, and it was indistinguishable, both in appearance and taste to the "bluefish" served the day before. It is my suspicion that both the "bluefish" and the "trout" where some other less expensive fish like tilapia. - In my opinion, the mediocrity in the main dinning room was purposeful. What they wanted you to do was go and pay extra at one of the 10 or so specialty restaurants on board. This is the first and only time in 11 cruises that I felt like the only difference between the buffet and the dinning room was that I was served my food instead of getting it myself, and on top of that, the food on every one of my previous 10 cruises has been far superior in quality as well. Shows/Entertainment: - Well... you have to sign up for every show on the ship, and there is an app that you can download to your phone that allows you to do this. Unfortunately, the phone app only allows you to sign up for something 24 hours in advance, but you can sign up for shows on any day of the cruise on the TV in your cabin... This information is not given to you, and you are encouraged to do everything on the phone app. We found out that enough people on board knew about signing up for things on your TV so that by the second day of the cruise, every single show on the boat was booked through the end of the cruise. Also, some of the venues (comedy club for example) are small, seating fewer than 200 people... on a ship with 4200 passengers. Even the main theater seemed small compared to some past ships I have been on (I confirmed this by looking at pictures from some of my past cruises on much smaller ships). Interestingly, the casino was massive, and the onboard shops were very spacious... it makes you wonder if perhaps the entertainment venues might have been larger if there weren't 10 specialty restaurants, a huge casino, and overly spacious shopping areas... but what do I know. BOTTOM LINE: So would I recommend this ship... Well, if you've never cruised before and don't know any better, sure. You don't know what to expect, and you will have a good time. For someone who has been on more than a few cruises... I would NOT recommend the Escape. I'm sure that like me, you will notice the deficiencies, and it will detract from your experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
It's a very large, highly populated ship. The pool area could and should be bigger to accommodate the 4,000 plus guests. It's shoulder to shoulder in the pool area but there's a very busy bar and it has a great vibe. And ... Read More
It's a very large, highly populated ship. The pool area could and should be bigger to accommodate the 4,000 plus guests. It's shoulder to shoulder in the pool area but there's a very busy bar and it has a great vibe. And they seem to handle the crowds well, with the exception of booking entertainment reservations. I confess, this was our sixth cruise, three on Carnival and three on NCL, and this was the first time we've had to make reservations to see the shows. The comedy shows were booked "sold out" before we even got on the ship. Frustrating, to say the least. They've turned the on-board entertainment into the "Game of Thrones" where only the fit survive. Book early or miss out. I guess my preference would be that they hold the most "in demand" shows in the big theater. But no. They hold the comedy shows in the comedy club, which is vastly undersized. Why not move the comedy shows to the big theater instead of excluding so many guests who want to see the comedians but don't want to stand in-line on "stand by" in hopes of getting in. Guess that would be too logical. The dining reservations were largely booked as well. Fortunately we booked those before the trip and enjoyed some fine meals at La Cuchina, Le Bistro and Teppenyaka. The crew was by and large, top shelf - eager to please and always very friendly. It's a big ship and a big crew and for the most part, everyone was great. The food was excellent. Service in The Manhattan dining room was slow both times we ate there. It was much faster and more efficient in Taste and Savor dining rooms. We enjoyed some good lunches at O'Sheehans but the menu is a little limited so it's not an every day "go to." Our favorite bar was "Five O'Clock Somewhere" outside on the Waterfront. There we got to know Kamal Jeet,aka "K.J." from India. He was a great server and treated us very well. All-in-all a great cruise. Getting on the ship and off the ship at the end was quick and easy. They have a good system. We love NCL and find that for the money, they offer a great product. We'll cruise NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I went on this cruise to celebrate an important birthday and to try out the Studio offerings. The Studios are located on three decks: 10, 11, 12. I liked the studio cabin with the lights and window, it was cozy; the Studio Lounge was an ... Read More
I went on this cruise to celebrate an important birthday and to try out the Studio offerings. The Studios are located on three decks: 10, 11, 12. I liked the studio cabin with the lights and window, it was cozy; the Studio Lounge was an excellent addition (needs more pillows). The lounge was convenient for coffee, meeting other solo cabin mates and meetings. I was surprised to only meet a handful of people there! On this cruise, even though Studios were sold out - never saw/met many of the other members. Luckily, during the first few hours, met a group of friendly people who ended up being available for group activities e.g. dinner, dancing, shore excursions. There was also Cruise Critic meetings on board which were mostly couples and a few singles. I haven’t cruised in quite a while and noticed that the crowd events: pool, Atrium, entertainment was repeated often, daily and the volume at these activities is still very LOUD. There were only a few spots on the ship where is was actually quiet and space was limited. On board entertainment consisted of television game shows e.g. Deal or No Deal, the Newlyweds Game, etc. Some of these were fun; some were ridiculous and I felt sorry for the “contestants”. The theatre and comedy clubs were GREAT. We saw After Midnight and The Choir of Man both were excellent, especially Melba Moore singing Stormy Weather. The Zip Line at Harvest Caye, their private island in Belize, is excellent, as was the Mayan Temple tour in Costa Maya. Food was OK. Options were flexible which is nice - no set dining times/tables. Room service food was the best, oddly enough. One big disappointment was the Medical Services. I injured my leg, filed an accident report and just wanted someone to take a look and possibly treat me. Instead I received an unwelcome lecture about how much it was going to cost. I was warned by others that it would be very expensive; $199.00 just to see a doctor, no nurse was available for consultation. They made it clear they wanted to be paid! Guest services recorded the accident and told me there would be no charge which the medical staff strongly disagreed with. I was bounced back and forth until free medical service was denied. Guest services offered me a free dinner instead! Warning: the medical department does not accept medical insurance and all charges do directly to your ship account. They told me if I had the ship insurance I would be reimbursed. I ended up buying medical wrapping tape, Ibuprofen and treating myself. Thankfully, it resolved enough for me to walk again while onboard. However, I had to cancel many activities for the rest of the cruise. Overall, I met some lovely people and accomplished my goal of zip-lining to celebrate my birthday. I also had a great shore excursion in Costa Maya learning about the Chacchoben pyramids. I met some great people in the Studio Lounge and hope to keep in touch for future adventures. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My family and I just returned from our cruise on the 'Escape'. Unfortunately, for Norwegian, we have cruised before and had a great ship(MSC Seaside) to compare this voyage to. I would, however, like to give the crew a big hand ... Read More
My family and I just returned from our cruise on the 'Escape'. Unfortunately, for Norwegian, we have cruised before and had a great ship(MSC Seaside) to compare this voyage to. I would, however, like to give the crew a big hand as they all worked hard to make this a memorable experience. Special mention to Alma Clarito, Aliea Puey, and Emelia Baldovino for making our trip so special. Also, thanks go to Angelo Cabanas ,Gerald Castillo, and Capus, Richard, Ketut, and Gunawan. Oh, and the tiny Filipina with braces who always poured my cognac. We had fair weather and smooth(mostly) sailing. There were some nice stops on this trip. Animals, Beaches, snorkeling, and always lots of Shopping and EATING!!!!! I did, however, find the cruiseline to be quite expensive for things such as add-ons, like Spa, Salon, specialty dining and shows, and simply crazy for photos too. I found MSC to be more reasonable, and I will try other lines in the future, but, all-in-all, we had a good time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Food was average for cruise line but did not offer lobster in main dining room or other included options. Lobster was offered in the a la carte restaurant (Gagneys) but it was extra cost ($19) on dining package. Staff were very good, ... Read More
Food was average for cruise line but did not offer lobster in main dining room or other included options. Lobster was offered in the a la carte restaurant (Gagneys) but it was extra cost ($19) on dining package. Staff were very good, clean rooms and pleasant waiters. Poorly organized cruise all around. With over 4000 guests how is a 800 theatre to accomodate? Good luck seeing any of the entertainment. Cannot reserve shows before boarding and by the time you get on ship all shows are sold out, you have to wait in line to see if people don't show up. I pre booked all my excursions only to have one cancelled the night before as they overbooked. How is that possible if pre booked? Getting off ship was a nightmare, 2.5hours in hot sun waiting for Fort Lauderdale bus. ( they changed our flight from Miami to FLL). No NCL staff outside to direct guests at all. Not enough outside seating, only found chairs on pool level and deck 8. Book with Celebrity or Royal Caribbean save the headaches. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
As you read this review, just keep in mind that I am in no way a seasoned cruiser. This is my fourth cruise in just about 20 years. My first cruise was in 2002 or 2003 and my last cruise was in 2013. This is my first time cruising with ... Read More
As you read this review, just keep in mind that I am in no way a seasoned cruiser. This is my fourth cruise in just about 20 years. My first cruise was in 2002 or 2003 and my last cruise was in 2013. This is my first time cruising with Norwegian Cruise line. It in no way was a bad cruise it just seems that it was poorly planned. This was the first time we decided to book a pre-night stay prior to the cruise and also with the perks that we got we got the free airfare. Norwegian cruise line set up the hotel stay at the Pullman Miami airport which was a very nice hotel. It had a 24 hour pool and had a nice restaurant the rooms were nice the location was nice. It was in walking distance to a grocery store, restaurants, pretty much anything you would need. We were set up to get the shuttle from the Hotel to the pier at noon the day of the cruise. We had an awesome bus driver who stopped and showed us some things along the way and then took us right to the port and dropped us off. This is where it got a little ugly. We waited For over two hours in line just to get on the ship. Not only was the wait long but there was no benches there were no places to use the restroom. The majority of it was in the shade but it was also in the heat of Miami. Now what I’ve been told is that’s not the cruise lines fault that’s the ports fault but all in all this was not the first time that they had thousands of people trying to get on the ship at one time it should have been better planned. The other issue was we had someone in our party that just had a knee replacement not too long ago and it was very difficult for her to get around and stand in line for two hours especially when there were very few benches around. It also seems that no one who works for the cruise line was available for questions they had no idea what was going on they did not tell you any information about how long you would be in the line or what you needed. Again, overall poor planning on their part poor planning on a cruise lines part to get us to the port so late and poor planning just in general with the port for the set up for people waiting to get on the ship. The other issue was we have done our research the people in our party were very seasoned cruisers and it at all costs they recommend avoiding the buffet on the first Day because they would be very busy. So we decided that we were going to go to one of the dining rooms to eat as soon as we got on the ship. However once again very poor planning the dining rooms are only open until 2 o’clock and the buffet was only open until 230 well when you get there and stand in line for two hours and your shuttle was set to depart at 12 o’clock you pretty much get on the ship exactly at 2 o’clock. Once again poor planning our only option at that point was to go to the buffet (which closed at 2:30) which luckily was not too crowded most people had already eaten. From there we had no problem getting our bags they were delivered to our room fairly quickly we enjoyed A couple of the perks on the first day like free champagne lots of raffles just little things like that. Even though the ship is so huge we really didn’t seem to have too many issues getting around. From there on all the meals we had were delicious no issues with that the bars were great the bartenders were great everyone on the cruise line was fantastic they were all happy and really genuinely seem to enjoy their job. I have been on cruises before where people were nice but it was almost like customer service and was like they had to be that way. This cruise they really seemed to enjoy what they did. We saw a couple shows, the choir of man was the first show that we saw that was the best show by far.We also saw after midnight which to me was mediocre I didn’t think that it was that great of a show. We watched the show that kind of gave you a preview of the different shows a soon as I got on the ship that was nice and we also watch the crew talent show up which was fantastic. They would be better off getting rid of after midnight and having some of the people who are in that crew talent show do the actual entertainment because they were amazing. Our cruise stopped at Honduras, Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel. We booked an excursion in Honduras, but unfortunately due to the terrible weather it was canceled. Cozumel was a tender port so we ended up not getting off the ship because we didn’t want to have to deal with that. Some other people in our party did and they had a great time. We took advantage of being on the ship when a lot of people were not on the ship. Some other things to keep in mind were there were really only a couple pools which the pools themselves were not crowded at the hot tubs were constantly full you could not get in a hot tub unless you got up at 6 o’clock in the morning or if you were in there on a busy port day. We ate at a couple specialty restaurants including Cagney’s, la Cucina, and LeBistro. I loved Cagneys the best it had great food and the atmosphere was very nice. They also came around and took your picture and we got great Pictures that night. Took advantage of the gym that was on the ship very very very small compared to other ships we have been on especially considered the huge amount of people that were on the ship another thing we are disappointed with was the size of the theater the shows were good but the size of the theater was so tiny if there are 4000 people on your ship you expect her to be bigger. We were on a ship half the size and the theater was double the size of the one that we were on. It was difficult to get some reservations, including escape the big top. We got on the ship right away and tried to make reservations and it was already booked up apparently. We booked a balcony mini suite. The rest of the people in our party just booked balcony suites. The difference was mediocre the balconies were mostly the same size and the room itself was a little bit bigger and the bathroom is bigger. We barely used our balcony because we didn’t have lounge chairs on the balcony. There were just regular chairs so we didn’t really have much of a use if they were lounge chairs we probably would have use it more often. The only reason we did the balcony was to get the free perks. Overall except for Sea days, you had no problem finding a lounge chair and there are multiple decks that had lounge chair so it wasn’t very difficult. And they did keep track of people who left their belongings there for more than an hour. It was interesting to me that they wrote the time down in a little round sticker and stuck it to the chair so if they hadn’t returned within an hour of the time that was on that sticker they would take their belongings away. That was really nice because there were some days especially sea days that it was very difficult to get a lounge chair. Some other things we were disappointed in is other than the parties that were going on and like the trivia there was very little to do I was surprised because we have been on much smaller ships that offered much more things like scrapbooking classes or jewelry making classes or tons of different kinds of dance classes this did not offer that. They did offer some different classes that you could take like exercise classes but if you want to take like a yoga class or a spinning class those were all up charges. Our cruise director’s name was Jacky, he was very nice but to me he seemed very fake you could tell that he’s been doing this long enough that he knows what to say. We have been on other cruises That had better cruise directors. Was also disappointed that there was very little interaction from the captain we’ve been on cruises where we saw the captain multiple times had multiple opportunities to take pictures with him and I think I saw this captain once or twice. I know this is a long review but I feel like it’s important for people to know certain things that stood out to me. All in all the top things that I can offer advice is number one there’s no conditioner in the bathroom number two there is no body lotion offered in the bathroom and number three I would never again let the cruise line book our flights or our transportation. The worst was after getting off the ship. We had no problem getting off the ship, was off by 945 like we needed to be based on our flight time but our flight wasn’t until 630 at night so we end up spending a lot of time at the airport. But I truly believe that is because they want you to book an excursion in Miami. We had no desire to do that so we sat at the airport for hours. When I go on another Norwegian Cruise? Probably not. I have been on celebrity cruises be in the past and they were much nicer than Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The process for the muster and Haven on-boarding were HORRIBLE. Once past those, the Haven and overall cruise experience was fantastic. Norwegian ... we pay extra for the Haven, why do you cram Haven people into small hot rooms as ... Read More
The process for the muster and Haven on-boarding were HORRIBLE. Once past those, the Haven and overall cruise experience was fantastic. Norwegian ... we pay extra for the Haven, why do you cram Haven people into small hot rooms as part of the on-boarding and why do you schedule way too many people to fit into the theater for the muster? Please fix those processes. Once past that, loved the cruise and the Haven. Dining in the Haven was wonderful. Great food and service. Massages in the Haven were some of the best I have ever experienced. Food in the Garden Cafe was not all that great. Certainly not as good as other ships I have cruised on. Show 'Choir of Man' was by far the best show I have seen on a cruise. Comedian Mike was very good. When cruise was over, loved that they allowed us to lake our own luggage if we wanted. It awllowed us to leave the ship very quickly with no delay. NCL app used while on ship eats up an iPhone battery and there are many features missing ... like a simple map of the ship or ability to find the location of a place on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Getting on the ship was a breeze. Minimal wait in line...the lines were long but they went fast. Walked off the shuttle and right into security line then straight onto the ship. The ship itself was beautiful and clean. Every crew ... Read More
Getting on the ship was a breeze. Minimal wait in line...the lines were long but they went fast. Walked off the shuttle and right into security line then straight onto the ship. The ship itself was beautiful and clean. Every crew member we encountered had a bright and sunny 'good morning' or 'good afternoon' for us. Every. Single. One. The bartenders and servers in our favorite hangouts (waves bar, spice) learned our names and fave drinks on day 1 and never forgot. We had the beverage package so there was much to be consumed. We were not that impressed with the dining on this ship. Embarkation day we did Teppanyaki, which was FABULOUS, but the rest of the trip the food was mediocre. Moderno, which is supposed to be a brazilian steakhouse, actually had the nerve to attempt to repeatedly serve med-well done filet and steaks? I was saddened they would do that to filet mignon and i had to specifically ask for med-rare and rare meat. Also they kept coming around with chicken, bacon wrapped chicken, pork sausages...I nearly forgot I was in a STEAKhouse. Taste and Savor both had identical menus and seemed to mirror the buffet. We ate most meals at the buffet just because of timing. We spent most of our time on the higher decks, outdoors, so not a lot to say on the activities. We had reservations for Choir of Man and After Midnight, but apparently we are wimps and our afternoon naps turned into overnight sleeps on most nights. We watched recaps of some of the cruise director game-show type of activities, and they looked like they were a blast! We skipped the first port, Roatan Bay, due to a very rainy day and lots of wind and cold. Harvest Caye was nice, but not much to do on that island if you were not zip lining or laying in the sun. I have read other reviews that the beach was full and no chairs to be had- our observation was that though there were a lot of people, there were MANY beach chairs open and plenty of space for all. We loved the little shops and the locals were very nice. Mayan chocolate shop is a must to stop at! In Costa Maya, we did an excursion to Kohunlich Mayan Ruins. 2 hours each way in a nice air conditioned bus (with a bathroom in the back), and a very sweet and knowledgeable tour guide. The 'lunch/snack' provided was less than impressive, it was a banana, bottle of water, tiny baggie of nuts, and a chocolate cookie roll. The ruins themselves were amazing. We were allowed to climb on the buildings, explore the 'rooms' and take tons of pictures. The masks temple was awesome and well preserved. I had read reviews about bug bite issues, but even with no bug spray, we did not encounter any bugs or mosquitos. Maybe it was the time of year? Note that this excursion is an all-day affair, and they will drop you off with less than an hour before the all-aboard time for the ship. It was pouring rain by this time so we just headed straight for the ship through the vendor market. In Cozumel, we walked off the boat through the port shopping gauntlet. Every shop in the port terminal had at least one person trying to pull you (sometimes kicking and screaming) into their shop. They use free tequila, free jewelry charm and the like. I couldn't even go to the restroom without them accosting me when I came out. We made it through and crossed the street to this cute little outdoor mall that had a hard rock cafe and a Diamonds International (DI) along with some local shops. We had intended to purchase some jewelry and a high end watch, however the DI employees did not even look up when we walked through. I guess if you're not there with the ship's port shopping person, you are not worth their time. We also saw a cool booth outdoors where you could sit and get a fish pedicure. Basically put your feet into a small fish tank while you sat down, and they nibble on your skin. Kinda gross but neat to watch. We found a cute flea market next door to this area, and some other shops. It was Mexico, so all prices were negotiable and we did pick up a few small things there. We ended up going back to the port terminal shops, and found the Effy jewelry store. The employees there were wonderful and they definitely *will* negotiate on prices (they knocked another $300 off mine when I asked), though they don't give you that impression as Effy is an American based company. After choosing our purchase they threw in several additional items free- the standard turtle necklace used to lure tourists in, but also a manufactured sapphire necklace/earring set, coral-type bracelets, and some bottles of amazing almond cream tequila. Great people, very accommodating and when I checked online for the items I bought, it confirmed I got an amazing deal vs what i would pay for the same thing in the USA, saving $500+ the taxes we would have been charged at home. If you are looking for higher-end watches, you will need to go at least a mile away from the port terminal or deal with the DI people just outside the terminal. None of the vendors in the terminal sell Tag, Hamilton, etc watches. I will say that the ship itself had a nice selection of Hamilton and Tag watches, and hubby found one (OK, 2) he loved on the ship. The prices for those brands are pretty fixed by the manufacturers and negotiating is not likely (and if someone is willing to deeply discount, you should severely question the authenticity and/or age/condition of the piece). So we paid 'normal' price for his watches, BUT no taxes so there was a few more hundred saved. Overall we had a great time, met some wonderful people. If only the weather had been more cooperative! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Okay. Not our first cruise. Every place has a different way of conducting business. But this is the worst week of my life! We went as a big group for my grandmas 80th bday bash. 16 of us. Wont make this to long cause this week seemed like ... Read More
Okay. Not our first cruise. Every place has a different way of conducting business. But this is the worst week of my life! We went as a big group for my grandmas 80th bday bash. 16 of us. Wont make this to long cause this week seemed like it would never end! Getting into the boat and off no organization what so ever. Everytime we had a question different info each time. Food disgusting! Even where u had to pay extra! Crew awful and rude! Dont depend on getting in contact with anyone. Room service, housekeeping, operator no one your on your own.! Best way to describe this expensive trip and we were priority the whole time was a dirty hotel on water! Sheets were stained and not even fitted sheets. The bed we slept on was more like a roll out bed horrible. Would never go ever again. You want a quality get your money's worth cruise Disney, its not just for kids the food is amazing where ever u go! Even the free food best food ever! Disney all the way! Super clean staff is great u call someone dosent even have to ring there is someone! Service is outstanding! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My husband and I just returned from our cruise with two friends. We drove to Miami on Friday and arrived early on Saturday so we could park at the port. Embarkation was easy and they had our cabins ready by 1:30! The weather did not ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from our cruise with two friends. We drove to Miami on Friday and arrived early on Saturday so we could park at the port. Embarkation was easy and they had our cabins ready by 1:30! The weather did not cooperate but we had a great time anyway. We thought the food was excellent and the servers was very attentive and well trained. We ate breakfast and lunch in the Garden Cafe buffet, with the exception of one breakfast in Taste restaurant. There were many delicious choices, including a small selection of Indian specialties. My husband especially enjoyed the waffles with banana topping. Dinners in the Manhattan dining room were outstanding because of the romantic atmosphere, attentive wait staff, delicious food, and excellent entertainment. We saw both of the big shows in the Escape Theater. After Midnight was enjoyable and the performers were quite talented, especially the tap dancers. Choir of Man was an amazing, energetic experience that was different from anything we’d seen before. We actually saw it once early in our cruise, and we returned to see the last show on the last night, which turned out to be their last show on the Escape. (They are beginning a U. S. tour.) We were sad to leave this beautiful ship and are looking forward to the next time we see her. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this ship due to Ship size, relatively newer ship and great teen programs. We had to only cruised on Disney cruise ship and we were a little nervous to choose Norwegian Cruise Line because the service on the Disney ships are so ... Read More
We chose this ship due to Ship size, relatively newer ship and great teen programs. We had to only cruised on Disney cruise ship and we were a little nervous to choose Norwegian Cruise Line because the service on the Disney ships are so great. However in Seattle exceeded our expectations. The ship is beautiful clean and the service was excellent. The bartenders are very attentive however it did usually take a tip or two for them to remember who you are but once they learn who you are they are very friendly. We loved Erin and Michael at the pool bar. This is the busiest part but they were always able to seek us out when we needed something. Our state room attendant Eddie was fabulous. We saw him several times a day and he always asked if there was anything that we needed and if we were having a good time. The specialty dining package is excellent and all the food was top notch. Top choices were duck, veal, lamb, prime rib and filet mignon. Our favorite meal was at Cagney’s steakhouse with EdRed as our server. We also met the head of food and beverage Kuvik who took the time to send us some chocolate covered strawberries to our room complementary. They also decorated our room one night as a nice surprise. The casino was large and had ample games but I wished they had some more current slot machines. The temperature on the ship was always perfect and never too hot and never too cold. The hot tubs and pool temperatures were perfect. The ship was a little bit crowded due to a New Year’s Eve but it never felt that way unless at a large event. Yes it was a little bit smoky around the casino but it wasn’t horrible like some past reviewer‘s say. My kids loved the teen program however I still found it difficult to pull my 15-year-old son away from his phone. Internet was spotty but when we were able to get it to work it was mostly at port days. There were some Internet charges on our account even though we had the unlimited Internet package. It was approximately $40. I tried to go to guest services to get this resolved and they kept telling me to go to the Internet manager. Every time I went to the Internet manager no one was there. I eventually just gave up. We loved the thermal spa. Entertainment seemed quite good but I would’ve preferred a little bit more variety in the entertainers. There seem to be quite a few college football fans that were pretty disappointed that they were able to stream two of the ball games but none of the others. I really wish that Norwegian Cruise line could get ESPN on their package. It was frustrating to be at port and see the screens of two other large ships that had the games on. Overall the escape seems to be a great ship and offer something for everybody. I saw a wide variety of age ranges and people enjoying all of the activities. I would definitely sale on this ship again but being so crowded it will be a while. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This cruise was chosen for a 40th birthday as well as new year's, let's just say there was very little celebrating. The pros - cagneys is great, best food and a great steak. Rooms are average for a cruise, and it didn't ... Read More
This cruise was chosen for a 40th birthday as well as new year's, let's just say there was very little celebrating. The pros - cagneys is great, best food and a great steak. Rooms are average for a cruise, and it didn't seem overly crowded. The cons - staff was rigid, many complain about how they are treated by officers and worried they will be sent home. Some work 14 hour days 6 days a week (yes their choice I know). Food was TERRIBLE. Let me emphasize this. Day 1 had some sushi, 1 bite and something was off. Dinner at Taste, a lukewarm dish rag steak with enough gristle to bungee off the ship. No one could understand why I wouldn't eat it. Breakfast and lunch options are there but again, the quality of the food is just pitiful. I'd expect more for a cruise we paid 3x the amount to go on since it was new years The pools are nice but same goes for all, good luck finding a chair. Spice is good to relax during the day. Spa service is good with the normal upcharges offered. Entertainment is interesting, there were some shows we didn't see. I found it interesting the movie of the glow party that was shown showed many people, when we went up to the deck, maybe 50. This is my 6th cruise and 2nd on Norwegian (harmony was the 1st), and I can honestly say, I will never be back on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I read tons of reviews before my trip. First, my cruise was excellent! Very pleased with Norwegian, the staff, the food, and the room (balcony). Exceeded expectations. I traveled with my two young adult (21 & 23) daughters in December ... Read More
I read tons of reviews before my trip. First, my cruise was excellent! Very pleased with Norwegian, the staff, the food, and the room (balcony). Exceeded expectations. I traveled with my two young adult (21 & 23) daughters in December 2019. Next, the ports (which is what I wanted help on for my cruise). Roatan: I booked directly with Infinity Bay (driver they arranged for us was good & it’s very beautiful resort). There are other places along beach that are less expensive and probably fine, but not as nice. (Infinity Bay is gorgeous, food just okay). I would recommend the beach but not other areas or port itself. I would definitely recommend going with boat excursion or place that received good reviews. I would Not just wing it in this port. A couple riding with us got dropped off at some snorkeling place — white caps on water & a drizzling day. I felt bad for them because the place looked like a shack & clearly it was not safe to be in the ocean on our day in port. Note: Cab drivers in all ports try to talk you into other options. We always stuck to our plans because I had researched places ahead of trip. Harvest Caye: No worries. Get off boat, walk to pool or beach & enjoy. Fish tacos are excellent at main restaurant. Costa Maya: Reserved AI at Jaime’s Blue Reef resort. Wonderful! Great staff! Only issue was cab ride back. Long lines of people & cabs were full. I recommend arranging to & from transportation if possible. Or head out way early. If there are other ships in port, the cab situation is a problem. I think they don’t pick up at cab stands so they can charge more than regulated fares. We almost missed our boat and yes, I paid $12 instead of $8 because we needed a ride. The $ isn’t a huge deal, but feeling panic about getting back in time is not fun. We had allowed about 30 or 40 minutes and just made it ... after walking the streets trying to find a ride. Cozumel: Went to Paradise Beach ($3 to get in & must spend $10 on food or drinks). Best decision of the trip! Beautiful!! We loved it. Some comments in the reviews I read didn’t apply (i.e I saw posts about sand fleas and on my trip in December, it was breezy 77• and no bugs at all. So my concerns about needing Deet were unnecessary). If you travel in July, that may be different. Our favorite shows: Howl at the Moon (no reservations needed) and Choir of Men. Great! We also saw two comedy shows that we reserved on the first day. After Midnight was just okay. Go early to shows that sound good in the atrium to get seats. We liked the dance contest, salsa dance class, and couples game show. Moderno Brazilian restaurant was our favorite speciality restaurant- Excellent!!! Taste & Savor & Manhattan all had really good free options & yummy desserts every night. Cagney Steak was our next favorite speciality restaurant. Tons of great food at both of these speciality restaurants and I highly recommend them if you have the food package. Cagney is ala carte if someone not on food package goes - so I got Caesar salad for $7 since I wasn’t on the dining package & my daughters were. My daughters both had the drink package- great decision for obvious reasons. I had to make sure it was in their names and not mine - since I registered all of us. That took a phone call to straighten out before the trip. Don’t wait to solve issues on board - the guest services line can be long. They do have lost & found items there - where we retrieved our water bottle & jacket. Overall rating: I highly recommend NCL!! They go above & beyond to offer a positive experience!! I didn’t go on any shore excursions, but would definitely consider that for next time. Have fun & enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I have been on at least 60 cruises. On most of the cruise lines. This was the best ever. Within the first 10 minutes I lost my key card(never did that before). I stood in a short line but a wonderful gentleman all in white ... Read More
I have been on at least 60 cruises. On most of the cruise lines. This was the best ever. Within the first 10 minutes I lost my key card(never did that before). I stood in a short line but a wonderful gentleman all in white approached me and asked if he could help. Little did I know at the time I was speaking to Duncan the Assistant Manager of the entire ship. Within minutes I had my new card and a new friend. I was pretty impressed meeting such a high ranking officer. It didn’t stop there. My best friend that I was traveling with were then introduced to Depak, the Manager of the whole ship! Who ever meets these officers unless you have a problem. No problems at all the entire time. We saw Duncan and Depak everywhere, even on the private island. They always stopped to talk to us. The motto on this ship is “happy staff, happy guest” and it couldn’t be more true. Not only did they look after all of the passengers but the entire staff is treated with respect and the knowledge that these are hard working people far away from home. The difference showed everywhere. I have not been on one ship where I didn’t have at least one issue, not on the Escape. Room was always clean, food very good, wonderful shows and they had a crew show. They have some extremely talented people working on that ship. Two of the hardest songs one of Celine Dion and one of Whitney Houston the two ladies that sang these songs were beyond outstanding. Something was always going on in the atrium and this was a Christmas cruise and the ship was very festive. I want to thank Duncan and Depak for making this one cruise I will never forget. I hope to return to the Escape in the near future to meet once again our new friends. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
About three weeks ago I was on the Encore and had a luke warm experience. The ship was lovely but the staff seemed too rigid, not terribly friendly and the service was slow at bars and restaurants with mistakes often made. I confessed in ... Read More
About three weeks ago I was on the Encore and had a luke warm experience. The ship was lovely but the staff seemed too rigid, not terribly friendly and the service was slow at bars and restaurants with mistakes often made. I confessed in that review that I was pretty Loyal to Royal. Well, fast forward 3 weeks and I gave NCL another shot as I was able to secure an awesome last minute deal on a balcony room Christmas week. This cruise on the Escape totally changed my view on NCL. The staff was awesome, service was over the top and this ship seemed to have a better layout. Whereas on the Encore the entire aft is consumed by the racetrack and laser tag, the Escape had Spice H2O on the rear which was an adult area only and did not require membership like the Vibe. I did miss the 15th floor Observation room on the Encore, but I think NCL places rooms like that on ships that may also sail in cold weather climates. Regarding the food, superb in both the main restaurants and the specialty areas. I really enjoyed O’Sheehans on the 7th floor. Great food, quick service and complimentary. Bottom line, I think Encore is just very new and experiencing growing pains. Based on this experience, I would definitely give NCL another shot. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Let me just start by saying we are Avid Cruisers and we Cruise Norwegian at least twice a year on usually the Norwegian Sky to the Bahamas which has always been phenomenal.... BUT....This is the first time we've taken a longer trip ... Read More
Let me just start by saying we are Avid Cruisers and we Cruise Norwegian at least twice a year on usually the Norwegian Sky to the Bahamas which has always been phenomenal.... BUT....This is the first time we've taken a longer trip and we were on the Norwegian Escape and it was far from great.... To start they put our kids completely on the AFT when we were in the front of the ship which they were supposed to be right next to us and then they told us they were fully booked and there was nothing they could do about it, so the entire trip we had to walk back and forth from the front of ship to the back of the ship just to get to our kids room. The team on the ship is not as friendly as we are used to and the casino team is super rude. They are anal about everything and constantly bugging you and making sure your cup is in a cup holder or your cashing out your chips for smaller chips even though you're moving to another table. The food at the buffet was super cold almost everyday so we chose to pay for the upscale restaurants instead which were great....also, they charge for every single little thing like ponchos which they've never usually do.. there was no lotion or any bath items in the bathrooms and they only gave us two towels.. so it seems out like all the extras they usually give they don't give any on this ship... ..and we didnt even get any cute little towel animals on our bed. The woman who was supposed to be our room service we barely ever saw and when we did she was not friendly at all. now on to the entertainment. I understand this was kind of a Christmas cruise and there was more families but good Lord entertainment was super crap music they only had two times when it was upbeat party music and the layout on this boat was super weird so there was no good energy really at all during the entire cruise. Usually its upbeat and they do a welcome aboard party and there was none of this on this ship. We were very very disappointed with this ship I will never go again. I guess the Norwegian Sky set our bar High apparently and is very weird that it's the same company with completely different Vibes on the ship... Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Sat to Sat: day at sea, Roatan Honduras, Harvest Caye Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel. Our 7th cruise, 1st on NCL. Overall, we loved our experience. The Escape was beautiful. For a huge ship, no issues, like no series elevator waits. ... Read More
Sat to Sat: day at sea, Roatan Honduras, Harvest Caye Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel. Our 7th cruise, 1st on NCL. Overall, we loved our experience. The Escape was beautiful. For a huge ship, no issues, like no series elevator waits. The Freebies are what convinced us to give NCL a try. It was worth the change. We are both in our 50s, we eat out a lot but not upscale. I am including comments that might help out other vegans. As soon as you can, contact the head chef at Garden Cafe. Mohammed showed me what was vegan or not, that there is always an Indian option that includes vegan. Wish I had I talked to The Taste hostess the night before wanting to eat there, they could have subbed out the pasta, etc. After the Meet & Greet, the executive chef made sure they sent me vegan chocolate covered strawberries! Freebies - WiFi (good coverage), 3 Specialty dining (all good but would not be worth the upcharge), $50 Shore Excursions credit, Open Bar, and the biggie: Airfare. We did not take the Free Kids opions, we have enough at home. Teppanyaki- Chefs were a lot fun! Steak was tender and delicious, rest of the food ok. Vegan: grateful for the special meal, also ok (soft tofu doesn't grill). Moderno Churrascaria - favorite. Steak was not as good as Teppanyaki, but close enough and he enjoyed the variety. Salad bar for a vegan and non-vegan was amazingly extensive with so much to choose from and the host took the time to show me what I could eat. La Cucina Italian - least favorite for both. He got the 5-course meal of salad, meat pizza, ravioli, salmon and dessert. Not bad, just not great. Vegan: preordered the night before, pizza that had no sauce or flavor and very few toppings; the pasta & sauce was tasteless, and even the salad was wilted. Vegan should definitely skip this place. As moderate drinkers, the drinks package would not have been worth an upcharge BUT we very much loved that we were able to have some drinks without keeping track of the cost. And it's good stuff I.e. Patron, no mystery brands. This freebie will be a factor is future cruise planning. Airfare - sitting at Miami's airport until 5:40 with earlier flights available sucked. Both the to and from connecting flights had 43 mins layovers then with the Miami leg being late, we were surprised to make it. If I could work with the flight arrangers with paying extra or something to avoid the stress, that would have helped make this a better trip. Activities - did not do the waterslides, or play basketball and mini golf but we loved the high ropes! Both fun yet terrifying. They even had a mini version for the little ones. Could have upped the temp on the hot tubs. We saw a few of the movies, wish they could have done more. The games in the Atrium were fun to watch. Some nights we wanted to just veg in the room but with only 1 movie channel and 1 tv channel (we wanted to avoid real world news) I would like to have had more options. Excursions - Roatan Honduras. There is nothing to do at the port, we were done in 10 minutes, the beach next the ship is now gone. Sorry we did not sign up with the ship or walk out to the gauntlet of taxis. Harvest Caye Belize, big beach, bring money. We did the coral reef snorkel with the ship. You are taken out on a small boat, then in small groups of 8 you follow a knowledgeable guide for about an hour. Not as much fish as we have seen elsewhere but the coral was amazing. Costa Maya - Hidden Maya waterpark and zipline purchased through the ship. Probably could have taken a taxi. So much fun on the zip lines over 3 main courses. We are not really waterslide kind of people but it was so much fun even if I might have gotten an enema. Twice. I did bruise my backside but it was worth it. There are pools and a ride over to the beach but the weather was cloudy and sprinkles so skipped them. Cozumel - a storm was coming in so we skipped the snorkel and opted just to wander about town. Lots of shops, restaurants. Not sure why the ferry was late returning 400 of our shipmates but they waited the hour for them. Biggest advantage when buying from the cruise line. We arrived at 2pm so no lines or issue on Embarking. Disembarking was odd enough to cause grumbling when staff sent some people to shorter line, later staff sent others to longer way around the luggage. 99% of the crew was very friendly. We could see some passengers were not happy with the 'washy-washy' hand cleaning but having contracted the flu (?) on board a previous cruise, I am all for it. The Next Cruise people came off like smarmy used car dealers, we decided not to put down a deposit on another tour. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
What a great ship to cruise on, I believe the best and most friendliest staff are on this ship. There is always some kind of entertainment activity going on so if your are board it's because you did not consult your daily activities ... Read More
What a great ship to cruise on, I believe the best and most friendliest staff are on this ship. There is always some kind of entertainment activity going on so if your are board it's because you did not consult your daily activities schedule. The ship is always being cleaned and when you disembark at a port the outside of the ship looks like new. They really work hard to earn your business. So if your want a great cruise look for a week on the Escape. I wish the public areas were a bit larger like Royal Caribbean ie: the pool deck. There must be something NCL can do about the smoke drifting off the deck 7 area where the open Casino is, it stinks all the way down to deck 5. I can't say enough about the staff. From the those that keep the place clean and the officers that greet you along the way, all were friendly happy and had a big smile. We bumped into GM Depak everywhere and he always had a smile and a handshake ready, The same can be said for Kivanc Ucar the Food and Beverage director, and Emilio Rodrigo the Head of House keeping. All excellent people who help to make our trip so special. Read Less
Sail Date December 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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