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I just got off the NCL Escape 2 hours ago and I could not wait to start my review of this cruise. Just to begin, I was cruising with my wife and two teenage kids 13 & 15. We have cruised before with Carnival, Royal and NCL in the past. The ship was absolutely AMAZING! The food, service, cabins and activities were all great also. There is only one thing that I need to complain about and that was the APP and the charges which I will get into later because I want to talk about all the Great things first. I hope this review helps you out with all your questions and concerns. Please feel free to contact me with specific questions if needed. Enjoy! We got to the port at 11:15 am, checked in and received group 4 boarding pass which was not that bad considering all the people that were there ahead of me. We live in Miami so we didn't want to get there so early. I have a friend who got me into group one when they were called so we got in very quickly. The first thing I will keep saying throughout this review is the lack of lines. I have never been on any other cruise ship where the lines run so smooth. When we boarded we immediately went to the slides by the pool which were open (not the Aqua Loop; I will discuss later) We walked straight to get the tubes and rode the Aqua Racer 5 consecutive times with no lines. I think everyone else went straight to eat, up at the garden cafe. The Aqua Racer is a really fun ride which you have the option of riding in a two person raft or an individual raft which you can try to race someone down the slide. Its very nicely done with stripes and different colors all the way down. The slide is pretty fast so its very fun to do multiple times throughout your cruise. The lines for this slide and the little kids slide do get busy but nothing like past cruise that I have been on. After riding the slides we walked up to the Garden Cafe which is located on the 16th floor. When we arrived there were a lot of people but all the lines moved quickly. Like the other cruises, they have multiple stations of the same food so you can choose the quickest line. Tip #1: Always go to the back of the ship for the fastest lines and to get seating. We went to the back everyday for breakfast and lunch and always found a booth or a table. As for the food, it was GREAT! I truly believe that NCL has the best food in my opinion. Everyday they had a variety of different dishes. Some examples: Hot favorites, Asian Favorites, hot dogs, burgers, tuna, chicken salad, potato salad, chili, etc... There was so much much food and all of it was prepared fresh. They have a fresh pasta station that you choose what you want and they will cook it for you. During breakfast, they have an omelet station which you choose what you want also. Tip #2: starting at 530pm until 930pm in the back of the ship in the Garden Cafe they have a Crepe station. Not to many people know about this yet so make sure and enjoy it. You can choose from fresh fruits and nutella. My son found this station and must of eaten at least 3 crepes a night. As for the drinks offered at the Garden Cafe, they do have lemonade along with some other fruit drinks. I will add pictures of the machine. Main dIning: We ate at all three dining rooms Manhattan Room, Savor and Taste. The Manhattan room is a much bigger dining room with a live band and a dance floor. It is very nicely decorated and looks like the dining room on the Epic. As for the service, it was great. We had made reservations just to make sure we had a table. We ended up arriving 30 minutes early and still were seated immediately. We asked for a table by the dance floor and had no problems. All the staff were extremely nice and the food was brought out quickly. We spent one hour at dinner including appetizers and dessert. The food was great! I can tell you that I did not have one thing the entire week that was not tasty. I am picky and so is my wife, and we both loved it. Our kids are very picky eaters and the staff brought out whatever they wanted with things on the side. Savor and Taste were both much more quaint. You felt as if you were in a beautiful restaurant in South beach. Again the service and food were great! We never had any reservations for these dining restaurants and were seated immediately. We had a OBC for dining for $200.00 so we made reservations for Teppanyaki which was very good. I'm glad we had the OBC because the bill came out to $141.00 and we never ordered any drinks (CRAZY). Again the service and food was great! Speaking of the Dining Packages that they are giving out for free, I spoke with some couples who were complaining because they could not get reservations because everything was booked. They went down to try to get it turned into OBC for shopping and they refused. Here is the problem I see, It's like the airlines overbooking flights. How can so many people get the free dining package (which is not free, they charge you a service charge which is like 280.00) and still get reservations. The poor couple paid the service charge and could not get back their money. Make sure to book early online so you do not lose out. Entertainment: The two main shows are "Vocal Overdrive" and "AfterMidnight" which went to both. Vocal Overdrive was not very good. We felt really bad for the young kids but it just looked like a High School production. They have one kid who does goal beatbox which was awesome but that's about it. AfterMidnight was more entertaining but there is no real storyline to the show. The show was energy driven but if you don't know the history of the Cotton Club, then you will not understand. I think there should be a storyline explaining what is going on. Show was not bad. The Cruise Director was great! He was very entertaining and there was plenty to do around the ship all week. We sat at the Atrium where they have many games and shows. The seats there are so comfortable! We would sometimes spend hours watching all the things there. My favorite was the comedy show and Howl at the Moon. The comedians were so funny! Tip #3: When you arrive at the port, log into the app and register. Then book all your entertainment. The comedy shows sell out quickly. We were able to book a 7pm show one night(family friendly) and a 11pm adults only show. Both were great! Howl at the moon is open seating. We went there like three nights with the kids and they loved it also. All the pianists were extremely funny and talented. This is a must do! Seating around pool: So every morning people come out and reserve the chairs so it is really hard to find something if you don't go early. I am an early bird so I would go down and save some chairs for my family who are not early birds. I would sit there and enjoy the morning breeze. There is plenty of shade areas along with sunny areas. Tip #4: When you get you chairs, remove one chair from each side of your group and go to the front of the 16th floor where there are small tables stacked. Place a table on each side of your group so you can have more room to move around. If you just leave your stuff to hold chairs, there is a person who will mark your chair with a blue dot with the time. If you are not back in one hour, they will remove your things. I always sat there so I saw other people get the sticker. They only do this in the morning. We sat the main pool by the two Huge TV screens. They had a DJ playing music almost all day which was fun. The area gets crowded but not as bad as other ships. The one thing I can tell you is the crowd is very respectful. I did not see those rude kids or adults like you see on other companies. They had the typical hot dog competitors, sexy legs, pool olympics, etc... If you are looking for a quiet are, the sundeck(forward) 18th floor. It has jacuzzi and area where you can get away from the crowds. Sports Complex: The ropes course was AWESOME! We did it a bunch of times this past week. The lines there can get busy but like everything else, there are times when the lines are small. I never waited more than 10 minutes when I went. The mini golf was a hit. We played so many times that we got great on the course. There are some little kids that should have a parent looking after them because they walk on the hole your on or try to cut in front of you but not to bad. The basketball court is open most of the day but we never got up there. Bocci ball was very fun. We got to play a couple of games and the kids loved it. Everything in the sports complex and throughout the ship are very clean and well maintained. You will see the staff constantly cleaning up all over the ship. Cabin: We had purchased two inside cabins on the 12th floor (12407, 12403). All I can say is that this is the biggest inside cabin I have ever been in. The layout is amazing. The bathroom is huge for an inside cabin. There is plenty of space inside the closet. I have some great tips for the cabin you will like. Cabin Tips & Tricks: 1.The cabin has 3 electrical outlets and one USB port on the back of the TV. I brought a power strip but did not need it. In order to access the USB on the TV, grab the tv from the bottom and ouch up. It will come off the bracket and then you can plug in the usb. The tv must be on to charge your device. (I will attach photos) 2. There is plenty of room to store your clothes in the closet but if you want to hang wet clothes or hats, purchase magnet hooks and place them on the bathroom door which is metal. Contrary to what I had read about the walls being metal, they are not metal. There is also a metal strip on the shower stall that you add magnet hooks also.( I will add photos). 3. If you remove one of the nightstands and place in closet, you can move bed to one side and it will give you more room to walk around. 4. Bring an old credit card that doesn't work so you can place in slot so your lights can power up your room all day. We never left the lights on but it kept the power on so I could charge my phone or cameras while I was away. 5. Place luggage under bed. Ports: St.Thomas: We rented a car from Budget which is across from ship. We walked over and got our car(Ford Focus). We had no problems with the staff at Budget, unlike the what I had read. We drove to Sapphire Beach which is one of the most beautiful beaches. We got there around 930am so we rented two chairs and placed them under a huge tree in the shade. I setup my hammock which I travel with and relaxed! We also rented two snorkeling masks and fins for the kids. There is a reef just off the shore and in shallow water. Not bad for the kids to see. We walked to the end of the beach where there is a pool and jacuzzi. the views are amazing! I highly recommend going to Sapphire Beach. We then travel to Lindquist Beach but it was $25.00 dollars to get in so we skipped. Coki Beach was packed and no parking so we skipped. We drove over to an overlook where you can see the entire island and the cruise ships. Must see! We drove back to the ship and did the slides and rope course with no lines when we got back. Tortola: We had never done any excursions with a cruise company but I decided to do this one because of the distance and time. We went to the Baths at Virgin Gorda. There is nothing more beautiful than this place. It was absoulty AMAZING! You have a 50 minutes ferry ride and then a 10 minute drive to the baths. Tip #6 GET THERE EARLY! Take the first time they offer. We did the 730am and we had the place to ourselves for about 40 minutes. Nassau: We have been there many times so we just got off for an hour to walk the shops but then got back on the ship. The ship is empty on port days so you can do whatever you want with no line at all. Disembarkation at Ports and in Miami: On every island we just walked off the ship. I have never seen this in all my cruises. We never had more than 5 people in front of us (UNBELIEVABLE). When the cruise was over we got the last time of the ship which was 10am(light Blue tags). When we got called, we were off the ship and through customs in 20 minutes. NCL does a fabulous job. A nice touch that I must mention. When we were leaving the ship to go to customs, there were multiple employees thanks us for sailing with them along with the cruise director. Everyone was so NICE! The BAD: The APP is awful!!!!! It works sometimes. They need to update the app to do more things. You can not see what you are booked for on the app so you have to go to Guest Services or the Dinner Reservation desk to find out. The charges are always wrong! I spent my last day of the cruise going to Guest Services six times because they kept messing up my account. Here si one thing I did find out which really upset me. On my last night I had 45.00 obc fording or drinks so I went to the atrium with the family and bought some drinks. I checked the app and it was deducted from my obc. Now I had 24.00 dollars left so I went and bought a $2.30 expresso and gave the guy a $22.00 tip since I wasn't going to use it. When I checked my account, they didn't take it from my obc but added it to my account. When I went to talk to guest services, they told me that tips don't count against my obc because that money goes to the person salary. I almost flipped out! If i get a drink and want to give them a tip, how can they not count that? Basically, they don't want their people to get any tips! No fair for the workers. Besides the last rant I just had, the cruise was AMAZING! We had the best cruise ever. I know there are many bad reviews but I can say that my family and I loved the ship and everything it offers. I hope this review helps you with all your questions. Have a great day!

In Depth Review and Tips for NCL Escape

Norwegian Escape Cruise Review by RJ1

43 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I just got off the NCL Escape 2 hours ago and I could not wait to start my review of this cruise. Just to begin, I was cruising with my wife and two teenage kids 13 & 15. We have cruised before with Carnival, Royal and NCL in the past.

The ship was absolutely AMAZING! The food, service, cabins and activities were all great also. There is only one thing that I need to complain about and that was the APP and the charges which I will get into later because I want to talk about all the Great things first. I hope this review helps you out with all your questions and concerns. Please feel free to contact me with specific questions if needed. Enjoy!

We got to the port at 11:15 am, checked in and received group 4 boarding pass which was not that bad considering all the people that were there ahead of me. We live in Miami so we didn't want to get there so early. I have a friend who got me into group one when they were called so we got in very quickly. The first thing I will keep saying throughout this review is the lack of lines. I have never been on any other cruise ship where the lines run so smooth.

When we boarded we immediately went to the slides by the pool which were open (not the Aqua Loop; I will discuss later) We walked straight to get the tubes and rode the Aqua Racer 5 consecutive times with no lines. I think everyone else went straight to eat, up at the garden cafe. The Aqua Racer is a really fun ride which you have the option of riding in a two person raft or an individual raft which you can try to race someone down the slide. Its very nicely done with stripes and different colors all the way down. The slide is pretty fast so its very fun to do multiple times throughout your cruise. The lines for this slide and the little kids slide do get busy but nothing like past cruise that I have been on.

After riding the slides we walked up to the Garden Cafe which is located on the 16th floor. When we arrived there were a lot of people but all the lines moved quickly. Like the other cruises, they have multiple stations of the same food so you can choose the quickest line. Tip #1: Always go to the back of the ship for the fastest lines and to get seating. We went to the back everyday for breakfast and lunch and always found a booth or a table. As for the food, it was GREAT! I truly believe that NCL has the best food in my opinion. Everyday they had a variety of different dishes. Some examples: Hot favorites, Asian Favorites, hot dogs, burgers, tuna, chicken salad, potato salad, chili, etc... There was so much much food and all of it was prepared fresh. They have a fresh pasta station that you choose what you want and they will cook it for you. During breakfast, they have an omelet station which you choose what you want also. Tip #2: starting at 530pm until 930pm in the back of the ship in the Garden Cafe they have a Crepe station. Not to many people know about this yet so make sure and enjoy it. You can choose from fresh fruits and nutella. My son found this station and must of eaten at least 3 crepes a night. As for the drinks offered at the Garden Cafe, they do have lemonade along with some other fruit drinks. I will add pictures of the machine.

Main dIning: We ate at all three dining rooms Manhattan Room, Savor and Taste. The Manhattan room is a much bigger dining room with a live band and a dance floor. It is very nicely decorated and looks like the dining room on the Epic. As for the service, it was great. We had made reservations just to make sure we had a table. We ended up arriving 30 minutes early and still were seated immediately. We asked for a table by the dance floor and had no problems. All the staff were extremely nice and the food was brought out quickly. We spent one hour at dinner including appetizers and dessert. The food was great! I can tell you that I did not have one thing the entire week that was not tasty. I am picky and so is my wife, and we both loved it. Our kids are very picky eaters and the staff brought out whatever they wanted with things on the side.

Savor and Taste were both much more quaint. You felt as if you were in a beautiful restaurant in South beach. Again the service and food were great! We never had any reservations for these dining restaurants and were seated immediately.

We had a OBC for dining for $200.00 so we made reservations for Teppanyaki which was very good. I'm glad we had the OBC because the bill came out to $141.00 and we never ordered any drinks (CRAZY). Again the service and food was great!

Speaking of the Dining Packages that they are giving out for free, I spoke with some couples who were complaining because they could not get reservations because everything was booked. They went down to try to get it turned into OBC for shopping and they refused. Here is the problem I see, It's like the airlines overbooking flights. How can so many people get the free dining package (which is not free, they charge you a service charge which is like 280.00) and still get reservations. The poor couple paid the service charge and could not get back their money. Make sure to book early online so you do not lose out.

Entertainment: The two main shows are "Vocal Overdrive" and "AfterMidnight" which went to both. Vocal Overdrive was not very good. We felt really bad for the young kids but it just looked like a High School production. They have one kid who does goal beatbox which was awesome but that's about it.

AfterMidnight was more entertaining but there is no real storyline to the show. The show was energy driven but if you don't know the history of the Cotton Club, then you will not understand. I think there should be a storyline explaining what is going on. Show was not bad.

The Cruise Director was great! He was very entertaining and there was plenty to do around the ship all week. We sat at the Atrium where they have many games and shows. The seats there are so comfortable! We would sometimes spend hours watching all the things there.

My favorite was the comedy show and Howl at the Moon. The comedians were so funny! Tip #3: When you arrive at the port, log into the app and register. Then book all your entertainment. The comedy shows sell out quickly. We were able to book a 7pm show one night(family friendly) and a 11pm adults only show. Both were great!

Howl at the moon is open seating. We went there like three nights with the kids and they loved it also. All the pianists were extremely funny and talented. This is a must do!

Seating around pool: So every morning people come out and reserve the chairs so it is really hard to find something if you don't go early. I am an early bird so I would go down and save some chairs for my family who are not early birds. I would sit there and enjoy the morning breeze. There is plenty of shade areas along with sunny areas. Tip #4: When you get you chairs, remove one chair from each side of your group and go to the front of the 16th floor where there are small tables stacked. Place a table on each side of your group so you can have more room to move around. If you just leave your stuff to hold chairs, there is a person who will mark your chair with a blue dot with the time. If you are not back in one hour, they will remove your things. I always sat there so I saw other people get the sticker. They only do this in the morning.

We sat the main pool by the two Huge TV screens. They had a DJ playing music almost all day which was fun. The area gets crowded but not as bad as other ships. The one thing I can tell you is the crowd is very respectful. I did not see those rude kids or adults like you see on other companies. They had the typical hot dog competitors, sexy legs, pool olympics, etc...

If you are looking for a quiet are, the sundeck(forward) 18th floor. It has jacuzzi and area where you can get away from the crowds.

Sports Complex: The ropes course was AWESOME! We did it a bunch of times this past week. The lines there can get busy but like everything else, there are times when the lines are small. I never waited more than 10 minutes when I went. The mini golf was a hit. We played so many times that we got great on the course. There are some little kids that should have a parent looking after them because they walk on the hole your on or try to cut in front of you but not to bad. The basketball court is open most of the day but we never got up there. Bocci ball was very fun. We got to play a couple of games and the kids loved it.

Everything in the sports complex and throughout the ship are very clean and well maintained. You will see the staff constantly cleaning up all over the ship.

Cabin: We had purchased two inside cabins on the 12th floor (12407, 12403). All I can say is that this is the biggest inside cabin I have ever been in. The layout is amazing. The bathroom is huge for an inside cabin. There is plenty of space inside the closet. I have some great tips for the cabin you will like.

Cabin Tips & Tricks:

1.The cabin has 3 electrical outlets and one USB port on the back of the TV. I brought a power strip but did not need it. In order to access the USB on the TV, grab the tv from the bottom and ouch up. It will come off the bracket and then you can plug in the usb. The tv must be on to charge your device. (I will attach photos)

2. There is plenty of room to store your clothes in the closet but if you want to hang wet clothes or hats, purchase magnet hooks and place them on the bathroom door which is metal. Contrary to what I had read about the walls being metal, they are not metal. There is also a metal strip on the shower stall that you add magnet hooks also.( I will add photos).

3. If you remove one of the nightstands and place in closet, you can move bed to one side and it will give you more room to walk around.

4. Bring an old credit card that doesn't work so you can place in slot so your lights can power up your room all day. We never left the lights on but it kept the power on so I could charge my phone or cameras while I was away.

5. Place luggage under bed.

Ports:

St.Thomas: We rented a car from Budget which is across from ship. We walked over and got our car(Ford Focus). We had no problems with the staff at Budget, unlike the what I had read. We drove to Sapphire Beach which is one of the most beautiful beaches. We got there around 930am so we rented two chairs and placed them under a huge tree in the shade. I setup my hammock which I travel with and relaxed! We also rented two snorkeling masks and fins for the kids. There is a reef just off the shore and in shallow water. Not bad for the kids to see.

We walked to the end of the beach where there is a pool and jacuzzi. the views are amazing! I highly recommend going to Sapphire Beach.

We then travel to Lindquist Beach but it was $25.00 dollars to get in so we skipped. Coki Beach was packed and no parking so we skipped. We drove over to an overlook where you can see the entire island and the cruise ships. Must see! We drove back to the ship and did the slides and rope course with no lines when we got back.

Tortola: We had never done any excursions with a cruise company but I decided to do this one because of the distance and time. We went to the Baths at Virgin Gorda. There is nothing more beautiful than this place. It was absoulty AMAZING! You have a 50 minutes ferry ride and then a 10 minute drive to the baths. Tip #6 GET THERE EARLY! Take the first time they offer. We did the 730am and we had the place to ourselves for about 40 minutes.

Nassau: We have been there many times so we just got off for an hour to walk the shops but then got back on the ship. The ship is empty on port days so you can do whatever you want with no line at all.

Disembarkation at Ports and in Miami:

On every island we just walked off the ship. I have never seen this in all my cruises. We never had more than 5 people in front of us (UNBELIEVABLE).

When the cruise was over we got the last time of the ship which was 10am(light Blue tags). When we got called, we were off the ship and through customs in 20 minutes. NCL does a fabulous job.

A nice touch that I must mention. When we were leaving the ship to go to customs, there were multiple employees thanks us for sailing with them along with the cruise director. Everyone was so NICE!

The BAD:

The APP is awful!!!!! It works sometimes. They need to update the app to do more things. You can not see what you are booked for on the app so you have to go to Guest Services or the Dinner Reservation desk to find out.

The charges are always wrong! I spent my last day of the cruise going to Guest Services six times because they kept messing up my account. Here si one thing I did find out which really upset me. On my last night I had 45.00 obc fording or drinks so I went to the atrium with the family and bought some drinks. I checked the app and it was deducted from my obc. Now I had 24.00 dollars left so I went and bought a $2.30 expresso and gave the guy a $22.00 tip since I wasn't going to use it. When I checked my account, they didn't take it from my obc but added it to my account. When I went to talk to guest services, they told me that tips don't count against my obc because that money goes to the person salary. I almost flipped out! If i get a drink and want to give them a tip, how can they not count that? Basically, they don't want their people to get any tips! No fair for the workers.

Besides the last rant I just had, the cruise was AMAZING! We had the best cruise ever. I know there are many bad reviews but I can say that my family and I loved the ship and everything it offers. I hope this review helps you with all your questions.

Have a great day!
RJ1’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 13 to 15
Service
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Cabin Review

Inside Stateroom
Cabin ID 12407
Cabin: We had purchased two inside cabins on the 12th floor (12407, 12403). All I can say is that this is the biggest inside cabin I have ever been in. The layout is amazing. The bathroom is huge for an inside cabin. There is plenty of space inside the closet. I have some great tips for the cabin you will like.

Cabin Tips & Tricks:

1.The cabin has 3 electrical outlets and one USB port on the back of the TV. I brought a power strip but did not need it. In order to access the USB on the TV, grab the tv from the bottom and ouch up. It will come off the bracket and then you can plug in the usb. The tv must be on to charge your device. (I will attach photos)

2. There is plenty of room to store your clothes in the closet but if you want to hang wet clothes or hats, purchase magnet hooks and place them on the bathroom door which is metal. Contrary to what I had read about the walls being metal, they are not metal. There is also a metal strip on the shower stall that you add magnet hooks also.( I will add photos).

3. If you remove one of the nightstands and place in closet, you can move bed to one side and it will give you more room to walk around.

4. Bring an old credit card that doesn't work so you can place in slot so your lights can power up your room all day. We never left the lights on but it kept the power on so I could charge my phone or cameras while I was away.

5. Place luggage under bed.
Deck 12 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews