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The Norwegian Escape is a beautiful ship but the cruise itself could do this A LOT of improvements. The worst experience of this cruise is Tyler - the Cruise Director. He is the frat boy who never grew up. He is everywhere throughout the day but not in a good way. I think a good cruise director could make or break the entertainment and he certainly has room for improvement. If I ever heard him shout "MAKE SOME NOISE" again for no reason I might explode. Aspects of the ship itself Firstly, the amount of people on board is far too high! The amount of available lounge seating would be considered low for a ship half the Escapes size and people were often forced to stand while attempting to watch activities in the main atrium. The ship has a great amount of restaurants and definitely enough bars. One thing that really bothered me was the smoking was allowed in the casino and you could smell the smoke well into other areas around the ship and into dining venues. The outdoor amenities (e.g. pool, waterslides, ropes course, deck chairs) were WAY under-catered for. It is almost impossible to get into one of only two public pools available. Another sad item that has been under catered for in this ship is people who want to take some time to play games with their family. There is no card room on this ship so people who want to read quietly in the library are interrupted by those who want to play cards or board games. There are also only five tables available in the library which were always full. I definitely feel that there was space enough on the ship for a card room but Norwegian decided to focus on areas that would bring in more revenue instead. Dining Dining is not exactly "freestyle" on this ship. Even though you don't have to go to the same restaurant and the same time every day, you do need to make sure you have a reservation before the cruise leaves or you won't be able to eat anywhere but the buffet. Although there are apparently 28 restaurants on board (I counted several times and could not name more than 22 even with the entire ship map to assist), the amount of dining that is included is limited. The buffet is a good easy option for all meals. Don't go to Taste or Savor - the service is terrible. O'Sheehan's is great for lunch and have the same menu for dinner (the apple pie was my favourite dessert from all restaurants). Go to the Manhattan room for dinner, we had Daisy as our server and she was great. Cagney's was great and I enjoyed all of the sides that go with your steak. The desserts here were very pretty but didn't taste like much at all (I'm not going to pretend that we didn't go to the buffet for dessert after this). The Teppanyaki restaurant was great as well. Don't be late for your reservation because everyone else at your table cannot eat until you have arrived. The atmosphere as well as the food was great but it was a little cheesy because all of the chef's had exactly the same routine and no personal touches were made). La Cucina was probably my favourite meal all courses were great and the service was the best we had. Le Bistro was a totally different story. The food was okay - I wish they had sides available with the mail course because mine was just a piece of lamb with four edamame beans and source. I think for a speciality restaurant they could have done better with their profiteroles than stuffing them with ice cream and covering it in magic shell. Petty food complaints aside, this was a really bad experience. Our waiter was totally overwhelmed even though he was only serving three tables and had an assistant. The manager kept telling him what to do instead of helping him get things out. After an hour and a half of waiting all I had eaten was a salad. When we complained to the manager our food still took another ten minutes to arrive. The manager did try to compensate us for the bad experience which is definitely appreciated. Entertainment and Activities The available activities were always WAY TOO CROWDED. The only time you should attempt the ropes course, going in the pool, finding a deck chair or going on the water slides is by lining up before the activity is open. The activities are too few for the amount of guests on board. We also found only one zipline was ever open on the ropes course and that the whole course was shut down if it rained or was too windy (this is a lot of the time when you're on a boat in the Caribbean). Karaoke had lots of song choices but hardly any good karaoke songs. I really enjoyed the Comedy Club Adult only show (11pm) but don't come here if you plan to get offended by adult themes (there is a family friendly show if this is you). If the only activities you enjoy involve either trivia or giving away your money (bingo, deal or no deal, "free" shopping demonstrations) then you're in luck! This ship is crawling with these activities. Every day there were several announcements for activities that Norwegian was trying to get more money out of you to go to. Service Overall, we were more than satisfied with the service. If you do have a complaint, please tell a manager and I guarantee you they will do their best to remedy the situation. There is no point in complaining among yourselves if there is behavour that needs to be corrected. One thing that i found strange was that we found staff rotated between dining rooms and the buffet instead of staying in one place. How does Norwegian expect their staff to learn how a dining room works if they work at a different place every night? Ports and Shore excursions Overall, the ports are poor areas. If you go to any of the island's downtown areas, there will be someone trying to sell you local (made in China) objects or refilled bottled water. If you're not doing an excursion, I don't recommend just walking around the downtown areas. In St Thomas we did the Castaway Girl shipwreck snorkel and sail which has a great crew and a guided snorkel tour. In Tortola we went to Virgin Gorda to see Devil's Bay and the caves. THIS IS A TOURIST TRAP - although it is beautiful, there are way too many people on this excursion. There was an hour wait to get through the caves which we eventually passed on. We did the Athol Island snorkel out of Nassau. The boat that took us there was very questionable but the reef was great. I would recommend taking a catamaran there instead of the boat. We had no trouble embarking and disembarking the ship but then again, we always did it at off peak times. Overall, I didn't appreciate the how much of the ship was dedicated to trying to get you to spend more money. Norwegian certainly has compromised their included dining to force you into paying extra for food. I did enjoy this vacation a lot but there were so many things that Norwegian could have done better. Very disappointing for their newest, biggest ship. (sorry for the long article, I hope it was helpful)

A very comprehensive review: many things to improve upon

Norwegian Escape Cruise Review by pippal

19 people found this helpful
Trip Details
The Norwegian Escape is a beautiful ship but the cruise itself could do this A LOT of improvements.

The worst experience of this cruise is Tyler - the Cruise Director. He is the frat boy who never grew up. He is everywhere throughout the day but not in a good way. I think a good cruise director could make or break the entertainment and he certainly has room for improvement. If I ever heard him shout "MAKE SOME NOISE" again for no reason I might explode.

Aspects of the ship itself

Firstly, the amount of people on board is far too high! The amount of available lounge seating would be considered low for a ship half the Escapes size and people were often forced to stand while attempting to watch activities in the main atrium. The ship has a great amount of restaurants and definitely enough bars. One thing that really bothered me was the smoking was allowed in the casino and you could smell the smoke well into other areas around the ship and into dining venues. The outdoor amenities (e.g. pool, waterslides, ropes course, deck chairs) were WAY under-catered for. It is almost impossible to get into one of only two public pools available. Another sad item that has been under catered for in this ship is people who want to take some time to play games with their family. There is no card room on this ship so people who want to read quietly in the library are interrupted by those who want to play cards or board games. There are also only five tables available in the library which were always full. I definitely feel that there was space enough on the ship for a card room but Norwegian decided to focus on areas that would bring in more revenue instead.

Dining

Dining is not exactly "freestyle" on this ship. Even though you don't have to go to the same restaurant and the same time every day, you do need to make sure you have a reservation before the cruise leaves or you won't be able to eat anywhere but the buffet. Although there are apparently 28 restaurants on board (I counted several times and could not name more than 22 even with the entire ship map to assist), the amount of dining that is included is limited.

The buffet is a good easy option for all meals. Don't go to Taste or Savor - the service is terrible. O'Sheehan's is great for lunch and have the same menu for dinner (the apple pie was my favourite dessert from all restaurants). Go to the Manhattan room for dinner, we had Daisy as our server and she was great.

Cagney's was great and I enjoyed all of the sides that go with your steak. The desserts here were very pretty but didn't taste like much at all (I'm not going to pretend that we didn't go to the buffet for dessert after this). The Teppanyaki restaurant was great as well. Don't be late for your reservation because everyone else at your table cannot eat until you have arrived. The atmosphere as well as the food was great but it was a little cheesy because all of the chef's had exactly the same routine and no personal touches were made). La Cucina was probably my favourite meal all courses were great and the service was the best we had. Le Bistro was a totally different story. The food was okay - I wish they had sides available with the mail course because mine was just a piece of lamb with four edamame beans and source. I think for a speciality restaurant they could have done better with their profiteroles than stuffing them with ice cream and covering it in magic shell. Petty food complaints aside, this was a really bad experience. Our waiter was totally overwhelmed even though he was only serving three tables and had an assistant. The manager kept telling him what to do instead of helping him get things out. After an hour and a half of waiting all I had eaten was a salad. When we complained to the manager our food still took another ten minutes to arrive. The manager did try to compensate us for the bad experience which is definitely appreciated.

Entertainment and Activities

The available activities were always WAY TOO CROWDED. The only time you should attempt the ropes course, going in the pool, finding a deck chair or going on the water slides is by lining up before the activity is open. The activities are too few for the amount of guests on board. We also found only one zipline was ever open on the ropes course and that the whole course was shut down if it rained or was too windy (this is a lot of the time when you're on a boat in the Caribbean). Karaoke had lots of song choices but hardly any good karaoke songs. I really enjoyed the Comedy Club Adult only show (11pm) but don't come here if you plan to get offended by adult themes (there is a family friendly show if this is you). If the only activities you enjoy involve either trivia or giving away your money (bingo, deal or no deal, "free" shopping demonstrations) then you're in luck! This ship is crawling with these activities. Every day there were several announcements for activities that Norwegian was trying to get more money out of you to go to.

Service

Overall, we were more than satisfied with the service. If you do have a complaint, please tell a manager and I guarantee you they will do their best to remedy the situation. There is no point in complaining among yourselves if there is behavour that needs to be corrected. One thing that i found strange was that we found staff rotated between dining rooms and the buffet instead of staying in one place. How does Norwegian expect their staff to learn how a dining room works if they work at a different place every night?

Ports and Shore excursions

Overall, the ports are poor areas. If you go to any of the island's downtown areas, there will be someone trying to sell you local (made in China) objects or refilled bottled water. If you're not doing an excursion, I don't recommend just walking around the downtown areas. In St Thomas we did the Castaway Girl shipwreck snorkel and sail which has a great crew and a guided snorkel tour. In Tortola we went to Virgin Gorda to see Devil's Bay and the caves. THIS IS A TOURIST TRAP - although it is beautiful, there are way too many people on this excursion. There was an hour wait to get through the caves which we eventually passed on. We did the Athol Island snorkel out of Nassau. The boat that took us there was very questionable but the reef was great. I would recommend taking a catamaran there instead of the boat.

We had no trouble embarking and disembarking the ship but then again, we always did it at off peak times.

Overall, I didn't appreciate the how much of the ship was dedicated to trying to get you to spend more money. Norwegian certainly has compromised their included dining to force you into paying extra for food. I did enjoy this vacation a lot but there were so many things that Norwegian could have done better. Very disappointing for their newest, biggest ship. (sorry for the long article, I hope it was helpful)
pippal’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BD 14892
We stayed in a balcony cabin on deck 14 aft and starboard (14892). The room was great and there was plenty of room for my husband and I. The bathroom had plenty of storage (no need to bring an over door shoe holder). The wardrobe was a bit lacking for the room size - enough for two people comfortably but not four. The bed was somewhat comfortable and there are plenty of power outlets in the cabin (three on a desk, one USB port on either night stand and one in the bathroom). The balcony although facing the dock mostly has a great view of Nassau when porting in the Bahamas. I wouldn't choose a port side cabin over this if it were any more expensive because I think the starboard views were great at each port.
Deck 15 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews