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My spouse (45) and I (39) traveled with four other friends who have cruised before, so this was all new to me. I am normally more of the all-inclusive 7 day Iberostar Riviera type of guy but it was time for a cruise. Norwegian was running a great deal to sail the Escape and I thought we might as well get a balcony room close to the action and cafeteria so we don't get lost or have to walk all day to get to places. Boarding was painless and took about 15 minutes from the time our section was called. Our room was available at 1:15pm and our luggage showed up about 40 minutes later. Rizky was our room attendant and he did a great job ensuring our room was spotless. Room 15852 was at the top of the standard room levels and our balcony was one where the design of the ship pushed / angled out allowing a great view. We left Miami and the part began. Trying to get a drink at the pool bar area could be challenging and I found if you stand at the ends of the bar rather than at the seats you get waited on quicker. When this bar is packed with guests waiting for a drink, go up to the 17th floor right above the lower pool bar and that seemed quicker. The pool area is overly packed with sun chairs and people crammed into a small area. Good luck trying to find a sun chair around the pool area, however on the 18th floor sun deck (As high as you can go) there were chairs and the only noise was the wind and breeze. The pool is salt water, but the hot tubs are bromine. Once nice thing is there are multiple hot tubs up and down the 16 / 17th levels to relax in if you want to get away from the hustle of the pool area where the music ranges from live to club / party. You can also relax and layout on the rear of the ship where Spice H2O night club is. Movies are also shown during the day and on select nights when there is no party. There is also a nice rock waterfall that you can walk through to cool off at instead of heading back to the pool. The weather was great all the way to St. Thomas minus a brief ocean day shower for 10 minutes and an overnight rain the second night. The Garden Cafe wraps around both sides of the ship on the 16th floor and some areas have different foods than other, so be sure to walk the entire area before selecting. The food was good. My biggest complaint was Seafood night. No crab legs, lobster or sushi. It was a wasted meal that I got all excited for. Room tip: Do not get an aft cabin room on the 16th floor. Our friends did and had to get a second (Free) interior sleeping room do to the Garden Cafes hardwood floors and chairs being dragged across them by guests. The vibration and noise was like a bass drum in their room and after 6am they couldn't sleep once the cafe opened. Choose the 15th or lower floors if you want to sleep. They complained and got to keep that room and could sleep in an interior room as all other balcony rooms were booked. We did eat at Savor and the Manhattan Room. Both meals were wonderful, however service took almost 2 hours. My tush was ready to move. Word of caution. I wanted my lobster and steak so I ordered it at the Manhattan Room which was an up charge of $29.95. I laughed when it arrived. The tail was the size of a crayfish (Ok slightly larger, but not by much) and the steak a little bigger than a half dollar... no lie. Save your $$$ The Steak Fritter is excellent and the meat well prepared. I could have eaten it every night. Getting on an off the ship was easy when in port. Key card and wallet only and off we went. You could disembark either at the front or towards the rear of the ship which was a nice touch to keep traffic moving. I really enjoyed the District Brew House. The second night music was on piano and the entertainer did great. We were all signing and even had a noise complaint against all of us from a deck below. While he chimed it down, we chimed it up with another round of great draft beer and singing friends we had just met. For a late night dinner or snack, be sure to hit O'Sheehans Pub on the 6th floor I think. Great food and its packed after 1am with hungry guests who need to refuel to keep dancing or gambling. They also have HUGE ice cream sundaes for only $4.... well worth it. Go to the bar to see a Ice Cream menu. We didn't try any of the fine dining as sitting for 2 hours was not worth it for me. Shows and Entertainment, well lets say save your energy for Million Dollar Quartet. This was a great show and the cast very energetic with a script that was easy to follow. We didn't have reservations even though it showed sold out but walked up about 10 minutes before the show and we were promptly let in to choose our seats... 3rd row from stage. Now the disappointment was After Midnight. Coming off a a great performance at the Million Dollar Quartet I figured this had to be good also... oh so wrong. I feel bad for the cast as the person who wrote this needs obviously failed on Broadway. Save your time and skip this one as we held on for about 30 minutes and during a cast changed got the heck out of there and were promptly followed by about 12 others. Spice H2o is the place to be after 10:30pm. Bring your boot scootin dance shoes and hips that like to rock. This place was happening. You have to like current club music and like to move it move it otherwise if you don't there are plenty of chairs to watch those who do. The bar can be packed, but stand at the end and you will get served the quickest. We went every change we got and our clothes were so sweaty by Wednesday we took advantage of the one bag of laundry for $19.95 promo they had running that day. If you drink, be sure to get the Ultimate Drink Package or you will go broke on paying for drinks. Some of the prices were $8 - $15.95 per drink. Your Ultimate Drink Package covers up to $15 per drink. The Miami Vices were yummy and don't fret to ask for an additional shot on the cheaper drinks as long as it doesn't go over $15 is part of the package. Food at the Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville is an up-charge, however drinks are not if you have the drink package. The outdoor bar is nice to star watch. The ropes course is a must, even if you don't like heights... and I don't. I screamed like a school girl as the line took me over the side of the ship and was trembling like I was in a freezer... such a wuss I know...but go do it, your on vacation and you wont fall, I promise. The racer drop tube is the other must do on board activity. It lasts 6 seconds (Or less if have extra ballast like I do) and is one heck of a thrill. Be sure to arrive at the top with nothing other than your bathing suit... no rings, key card, hat, sunglasses, shirt, flip flops, i mean nothing or they will turn you around only to get back in line again.. had to do it.. heads up warning. The one thing that really bothered me was the vibration the ship had when under full power. I grew-up on the Great Lakes around larger ships and know when a ship is at full steam and something isn't right. The Escape has a shudder when at higher RPM that vibrates through the ships upper decks. Some could be the wind when under full power, but to me its like the engines are not in synch causing off balance and vibration, the higher floors really felt it as did our room. However when the wheel house would back down the RPM going in to ports or just slow down the vibration went away. Maybe lower floors don't feel it as much, but 13 - 16 did towards the back of the ship. If they say big ships don't have a slight roll in the open ocean someone is lying to you. The Escape had a 10 second left to right slight roll once we left St. Thomas and the seas all the way to Nassau were these mega rollers that you could definitely feel and see as the water would slosh from one side of the pool to the other. Once we got to Nassau I stumbled around like a drunk for about 20 minutes. Nobody in our party got sea sick, but the sit down restaurants were a little empty that night we got seated. Bring your pills or bracelets to make sure your not heaving over the railing. Its a big ship and it can take waves good, but she does rock and roll ever so slightly. When we disembarked we took our luggage with us and were were off the ship by 8:45am and in a Uber on the way back to the airport by 9am. Well we had a great time and would do it again. Now that we are not Cruise Virgins I wouldn't have done anything different on this cruise as our friends guided us at booking, but one thing is for sure.. read the poor boat review scores and good scores and use the information wisely. Quick Tips: 15th floor and be a hit an miss for noise coming down from the 16th pool floor and Garden Cafe, book 14th or lower and definitely not the aft balcony rooms on the 15th. Don't get excited about Seafood Dinner at the Garden Cafe Buffet...if you do you will be disappointed like I was. For the love of pandas, were on a boat, drag some nets or something and get us a real seafood dinner. Do the ropes course and all the slides. Even if your old and fat, you have to scream every now and then and it might as well not be at your husband or kids. Dance! Just get out there and shake it. The good dancers won't ever see any of you again so let it rip.

Norwegian Escape, Jan 2 - 9, 2016, First Time Cruiser; Must Read!!

Norwegian Escape Cruise Review by Winterfreak

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2016
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom
My spouse (45) and I (39) traveled with four other friends who have cruised before, so this was all new to me. I am normally more of the all-inclusive 7 day Iberostar Riviera type of guy but it was time for a cruise. Norwegian was running a great deal to sail the Escape and I thought we might as well get a balcony room close to the action and cafeteria so we don't get lost or have to walk all day to get to places.

Boarding was painless and took about 15 minutes from the time our section was called. Our room was available at 1:15pm and our luggage showed up about 40 minutes later. Rizky was our room attendant and he did a great job ensuring our room was spotless. Room 15852 was at the top of the standard room levels and our balcony was one where the design of the ship pushed / angled out allowing a great view.

We left Miami and the part began. Trying to get a drink at the pool bar area could be challenging and I found if you stand at the ends of the bar rather than at the seats you get waited on quicker. When this bar is packed with guests waiting for a drink, go up to the 17th floor right above the lower pool bar and that seemed quicker.

The pool area is overly packed with sun chairs and people crammed into a small area. Good luck trying to find a sun chair around the pool area, however on the 18th floor sun deck (As high as you can go) there were chairs and the only noise was the wind and breeze. The pool is salt water, but the hot tubs are bromine. Once nice thing is there are multiple hot tubs up and down the 16 / 17th levels to relax in if you want to get away from the hustle of the pool area where the music ranges from live to club / party. You can also relax and layout on the rear of the ship where Spice H2O night club is. Movies are also shown during the day and on select nights when there is no party. There is also a nice rock waterfall that you can walk through to cool off at instead of heading back to the pool.

The weather was great all the way to St. Thomas minus a brief ocean day shower for 10 minutes and an overnight rain the second night.

The Garden Cafe wraps around both sides of the ship on the 16th floor and some areas have different foods than other, so be sure to walk the entire area before selecting. The food was good. My biggest complaint was Seafood night. No crab legs, lobster or sushi. It was a wasted meal that I got all excited for.

Room tip: Do not get an aft cabin room on the 16th floor. Our friends did and had to get a second (Free) interior sleeping room do to the Garden Cafes hardwood floors and chairs being dragged across them by guests. The vibration and noise was like a bass drum in their room and after 6am they couldn't sleep once the cafe opened. Choose the 15th or lower floors if you want to sleep. They complained and got to keep that room and could sleep in an interior room as all other balcony rooms were booked.

We did eat at Savor and the Manhattan Room. Both meals were wonderful, however service took almost 2 hours. My tush was ready to move. Word of caution. I wanted my lobster and steak so I ordered it at the Manhattan Room which was an up charge of $29.95. I laughed when it arrived. The tail was the size of a crayfish (Ok slightly larger, but not by much) and the steak a little bigger than a half dollar... no lie. Save your $$$ The Steak Fritter is excellent and the meat well prepared. I could have eaten it every night.

Getting on an off the ship was easy when in port. Key card and wallet only and off we went. You could disembark either at the front or towards the rear of the ship which was a nice touch to keep traffic moving.

I really enjoyed the District Brew House. The second night music was on piano and the entertainer did great. We were all signing and even had a noise complaint against all of us from a deck below. While he chimed it down, we chimed it up with another round of great draft beer and singing friends we had just met.

For a late night dinner or snack, be sure to hit O'Sheehans Pub on the 6th floor I think. Great food and its packed after 1am with hungry guests who need to refuel to keep dancing or gambling. They also have HUGE ice cream sundaes for only $4.... well worth it. Go to the bar to see a Ice Cream menu.

We didn't try any of the fine dining as sitting for 2 hours was not worth it for me.

Shows and Entertainment, well lets say save your energy for Million Dollar Quartet. This was a great show and the cast very energetic with a script that was easy to follow. We didn't have reservations even though it showed sold out but walked up about 10 minutes before the show and we were promptly let in to choose our seats... 3rd row from stage.

Now the disappointment was After Midnight. Coming off a a great performance at the Million Dollar Quartet I figured this had to be good also... oh so wrong. I feel bad for the cast as the person who wrote this needs obviously failed on Broadway. Save your time and skip this one as we held on for about 30 minutes and during a cast changed got the heck out of there and were promptly followed by about 12 others.

Spice H2o is the place to be after 10:30pm. Bring your boot scootin dance shoes and hips that like to rock. This place was happening. You have to like current club music and like to move it move it otherwise if you don't there are plenty of chairs to watch those who do. The bar can be packed, but stand at the end and you will get served the quickest. We went every change we got and our clothes were so sweaty by Wednesday we took advantage of the one bag of laundry for $19.95 promo they had running that day.

If you drink, be sure to get the Ultimate Drink Package or you will go broke on paying for drinks. Some of the prices were $8 - $15.95 per drink. Your Ultimate Drink Package covers up to $15 per drink. The Miami Vices were yummy and don't fret to ask for an additional shot on the cheaper drinks as long as it doesn't go over $15 is part of the package. Food at the Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville is an up-charge, however drinks are not if you have the drink package. The outdoor bar is nice to star watch.

The ropes course is a must, even if you don't like heights... and I don't. I screamed like a school girl as the line took me over the side of the ship and was trembling like I was in a freezer... such a wuss I know...but go do it, your on vacation and you wont fall, I promise.

The racer drop tube is the other must do on board activity. It lasts 6 seconds (Or less if have extra ballast like I do) and is one heck of a thrill. Be sure to arrive at the top with nothing other than your bathing suit... no rings, key card, hat, sunglasses, shirt, flip flops, i mean nothing or they will turn you around only to get back in line again.. had to do it.. heads up warning.

The one thing that really bothered me was the vibration the ship had when under full power. I grew-up on the Great Lakes around larger ships and know when a ship is at full steam and something isn't right. The Escape has a shudder when at higher RPM that vibrates through the ships upper decks. Some could be the wind when under full power, but to me its like the engines are not in synch causing off balance and vibration, the higher floors really felt it as did our room. However when the wheel house would back down the RPM going in to ports or just slow down the vibration went away. Maybe lower floors don't feel it as much, but 13 - 16 did towards the back of the ship.

If they say big ships don't have a slight roll in the open ocean someone is lying to you. The Escape had a 10 second left to right slight roll once we left St. Thomas and the seas all the way to Nassau were these mega rollers that you could definitely feel and see as the water would slosh from one side of the pool to the other. Once we got to Nassau I stumbled around like a drunk for about 20 minutes. Nobody in our party got sea sick, but the sit down restaurants were a little empty that night we got seated. Bring your pills or bracelets to make sure your not heaving over the railing. Its a big ship and it can take waves good, but she does rock and roll ever so slightly.

When we disembarked we took our luggage with us and were were off the ship by 8:45am and in a Uber on the way back to the airport by 9am.

Well we had a great time and would do it again. Now that we are not Cruise Virgins I wouldn't have done anything different on this cruise as our friends guided us at booking, but one thing is for sure.. read the poor boat review scores and good scores and use the information wisely.

Quick Tips:

15th floor and be a hit an miss for noise coming down from the 16th pool floor and Garden Cafe, book 14th or lower and definitely not the aft balcony rooms on the 15th.

Don't get excited about Seafood Dinner at the Garden Cafe Buffet...if you do you will be disappointed like I was. For the love of pandas, were on a boat, drag some nets or something and get us a real seafood dinner.

Do the ropes course and all the slides. Even if your old and fat, you have to scream every now and then and it might as well not be at your husband or kids.

Dance! Just get out there and shake it. The good dancers won't ever see any of you again so let it rip.
Winterfreak’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BD 15852
Balcony Room 15852 was brand new and modern. The beds were comfy, however being on the 15th floor did have some down sides.

1) When the boat did roll side to side there was a shudder through the cabin all night that shook the bed as each wave hit the hull, this literally would cause the blankets on my bed to vibrate.

2) The hangers in the closet need rubber ends. Any time the ship moved, the hangars would bang off the back wall. Empty hangars ended up in the bottom of the closet.

3) Its nice to have spare pool towels in the pull out drawers under the couch.

4) As a first time cruiser with the ultimate drink package I thought even the beverages in the fridge were free... oh No. That Pepsi I drank $6.75.... Ouch!

5) Room 15852 was just in the hallway next to the stairs. Perfect location and one level up was the Garden cafeteria. Amazingly there was no noticeable noise from guests or crew at this location.

6) Bathroom and shower were perfect and I actually really liked the adjustable shower head and simple clean layout.
Deck 15 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

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