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Norwegian Escape This ship is just plain huge. The height shows off all the staterooms (many, many people), as well as the pool and sports decks. But until you’re next to it you can’t really tell how big it really is. Walking around inside, it doesn’t feel quite so large. Stateroom We were placed in an accessible room (it was the only one left in our guaranteed category) so it was likely larger than most. The room was nicely appointed with plenty of closet space and a couple of drawers on the desk. The beds were not super comfortable. We had an interior room so I don’t know if the beds get nicer the more expensive the room or not. My bed was hard and I woke a couple of nights in pain. The berth/pull-down bed was fine. However there was a large gap at the head of the bed and my daughter’s pillow landed on my head in the middle of the night. The bathroom was nice and spacious. We always had plenty of towels and supplies. Pool The pools are very small for the number of people on the cruise. During sea days the pools were both crowded with adults sitting nearly shoulder to shoulder with their feet in the pool. One pool is adults only until 5, which is about when the waterpark closes (usually at 6). The waterslides were a lot of fun. I think the yellow slide is more for children because I saw many adults get stuck (there’s just not enough water pressure to push an adult along). The blue tube slide was awesome but always had a long line. The staircases are not situated well for long lines and it often got frustrating and confusing. The two drop slides, the Aqua Loops, looked fun but you can’t have any jewelry on and I didn’t want to take my engagement rings off. The one time I did, and left them with my fiancé, they were closed for lunch! It must also depend on who is working because my fiancé didn’t have to take his ring off. Pool Deck Good luck finding a chair! If you do not stake a claim on chairs by 8 AM you will be lucky to find one later in the day. If you want to be in the sun you MUST get a chair by 8. Chairs were “held” by towels all day long and most of the time you’d never see anyone even use the chair. I wish there was a better way to work the deck chairs. People setting their stuff (or normally just a towel) on a chair and then leaving to enjoy their day wherever on the ship got really, really annoying. If you are lucky to find a chair later in the day, you won’t find two together. There was a sun deck one level up and it seemed to be full all day too. However, I needed to be near the pool for my child. Pool towels you were also responsible for. If you checked out three towels you had to return three. The system was very bad and often when I went to return they didn’t have the sheet I’d signed them out on! Thankfully we didn’t get charged for any. I’m sure people steal them but if they’re going to make you responsible for them they need a better system. Splash Academy My daughter found the Splash Academy to be boring. She said there was nothing to do. She did enjoy the couple of late nights that we brought her. The events must’ve been more to her liking. Drinks Getting drinks and service around the pool was difficult. There was one bar that was always packed and you needed to go to the bar even for soda. Pool deck service was hit or miss but mostly miss. There were 2-3 servers that you might see occasionally but it was rare. I found I had to go to the bar to get drinks throughout the day (the Garden Café was close too if you wanted to go inside to get drinks). We got the ultimate drinks package and it seemed that nearly everyone had it. That was our “free” item that we chose when we booked the cruise. There was a good variety of drink specialties and drinks of the day. Shows The shows were really good. We saw the Variety show on our first night that gave us a little sampler of the onboard entertainment. It was good and quite enjoyable- a good overview and a nice way to start the cruise. The show I was most excited for was the Brat Pack. However the ship was moving/swaying so much on our show day that we only got a “concert” version of the show so I don’t know what it was really like. After Midnight was good and high energy too. The last night there was a crew talent show that was really good. It was especially nice to see crew members doing performances that were based on their cultures’ traditional dances and songs. Games & Activities We played Bingo and Deal or No Deal. Both were fun but cost extra. We played Bingo on kids play free day but adult Bingo packets started at $39 and went up from there. Deal or No Deal was $20 per card. We played twice, two cards each time, so it added up quickly. They were fun and took up a good amount of time. It was just pricey. One free thing they offered was glow t-shirt painting. You had to paint with a straw / wrapper, so that was difficult and by the time we got it figured out it was over. The downside was that it was a short event and I felt we needed another half hour or so to really do the event justice. Atrium We took part in a few of the atrium events like trivia (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Big, Bang Theory), towel animal folding and cupcake demonstrating. There always seemed to be something going on there. Most of it was all-ages but some were more geared toward adults. There was a café in the atrium that sold coffees, teas and cupcakes. Prices were decent (better than Starbucks and GiGIs Cupcakes) but it was an extra cost. Spa The spa had an open house on the first day but before you could book anything we needed to take a tour of the whole facility. This was ridiculous for us because we couldn’t afford the thermal suite with all its special amenities available only to thermal suite customers. It would probably be nice if you were with a travel party of singles, a couple or all adults. However, with a child we wouldn’t have had enough time in it to justify the cost. I want to say it was $50 on the day you had a treatment or $200 for the week, but I could be wrong. I really just wanted a massage. On the first day they had a raffle and at the end they offered a Manager’s Special for $139. I got that because it was a good deal. The downside was you had to book for that day or the next. I’d wanted to wait a little into the cruise but couldn’t pass up the deal. Prices are extremely expensive especially after they add the 18% gratuity to it. They also try to sell you a bunch of products but after I said I wasn’t interested she wrapped up quickly. They also offered a 10/20/30% discount if you booked three signature treatments. My fiancé did that and got two shaves and a massage. Dining We stuck to the free dining options. Taste and Savor were both really good. The atmosphere is fancier (candlelight and table cloths) and I felt odd going in in pants or jean shorts and a t-shirt. But there was only so many times you can eat at the buffet! The food and dessert options were good and the meals were plentiful and always tasted good. The Garden Café (buffet) always offered decent food, a multitude of choices and the most widespread hours. There were two full buffets most of the time and they were really long, going on quite a ways. The first day we thought they stopped at the beverage station, which was really only halfway down the buffet. Due to the layout, the lines themselves were disorganized and crowded. If you had the time and patience to wait through every line you’d find a plethora of food options. Bars There are plenty of bars throughout the ship. We didn’t visit many but Sugarcane, the Mojito Bar, was exceptional. Not only were the drinks great the bartender was amazing. I’d recommend it! Laundry There was a fill-a-bag day on Tuesday (day 4 of our trip) and I had my clothes back the next day (even though it is advertised as 2 day service). It was $25. Had I known that there would be a fill a bag day I wouldn’t have brought so many clothes!

Great ship, lots to do, crowded pools.

Norwegian Escape Cruise Review by shazam22

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Norwegian Escape

This ship is just plain huge. The height shows off all the staterooms (many, many people), as well as the pool and sports decks. But until you’re next to it you can’t really tell how big it really is. Walking around inside, it doesn’t feel quite so large.

Stateroom

We were placed in an accessible room (it was the only one left in our guaranteed category) so it was likely larger than most. The room was nicely appointed with plenty of closet space and a couple of drawers on the desk. The beds were not super comfortable. We had an interior room so I don’t know if the beds get nicer the more expensive the room or not. My bed was hard and I woke a couple of nights in pain. The berth/pull-down bed was fine. However there was a large gap at the head of the bed and my daughter’s pillow landed on my head in the middle of the night. The bathroom was nice and spacious. We always had plenty of towels and supplies.

Pool

The pools are very small for the number of people on the cruise. During sea days the pools were both crowded with adults sitting nearly shoulder to shoulder with their feet in the pool. One pool is adults only until 5, which is about when the waterpark closes (usually at 6). The waterslides were a lot of fun. I think the yellow slide is more for children because I saw many adults get stuck (there’s just not enough water pressure to push an adult along). The blue tube slide was awesome but always had a long line. The staircases are not situated well for long lines and it often got frustrating and confusing. The two drop slides, the Aqua Loops, looked fun but you can’t have any jewelry on and I didn’t want to take my engagement rings off. The one time I did, and left them with my fiancé, they were closed for lunch! It must also depend on who is working because my fiancé didn’t have to take his ring off.

Pool Deck

Good luck finding a chair! If you do not stake a claim on chairs by 8 AM you will be lucky to find one later in the day. If you want to be in the sun you MUST get a chair by 8. Chairs were “held” by towels all day long and most of the time you’d never see anyone even use the chair. I wish there was a better way to work the deck chairs. People setting their stuff (or normally just a towel) on a chair and then leaving to enjoy their day wherever on the ship got really, really annoying. If you are lucky to find a chair later in the day, you won’t find two together. There was a sun deck one level up and it seemed to be full all day too. However, I needed to be near the pool for my child. Pool towels you were also responsible for. If you checked out three towels you had to return three. The system was very bad and often when I went to return they didn’t have the sheet I’d signed them out on! Thankfully we didn’t get charged for any. I’m sure people steal them but if they’re going to make you responsible for them they need a better system.

Splash Academy

My daughter found the Splash Academy to be boring. She said there was nothing to do. She did enjoy the couple of late nights that we brought her. The events must’ve been more to her liking.

Drinks

Getting drinks and service around the pool was difficult. There was one bar that was always packed and you needed to go to the bar even for soda. Pool deck service was hit or miss but mostly miss. There were 2-3 servers that you might see occasionally but it was rare. I found I had to go to the bar to get drinks throughout the day (the Garden Café was close too if you wanted to go inside to get drinks). We got the ultimate drinks package and it seemed that nearly everyone had it. That was our “free” item that we chose when we booked the cruise. There was a good variety of drink specialties and drinks of the day.

Shows

The shows were really good. We saw the Variety show on our first night that gave us a little sampler of the onboard entertainment. It was good and quite enjoyable- a good overview and a nice way to start the cruise. The show I was most excited for was the Brat Pack. However the ship was moving/swaying so much on our show day that we only got a “concert” version of the show so I don’t know what it was really like. After Midnight was good and high energy too. The last night there was a crew talent show that was really good. It was especially nice to see crew members doing performances that were based on their cultures’ traditional dances and songs.

Games & Activities

We played Bingo and Deal or No Deal. Both were fun but cost extra. We played Bingo on kids play free day but adult Bingo packets started at $39 and went up from there. Deal or No Deal was $20 per card. We played twice, two cards each time, so it added up quickly. They were fun and took up a good amount of time. It was just pricey. One free thing they offered was glow t-shirt painting. You had to paint with a straw / wrapper, so that was difficult and by the time we got it figured out it was over. The downside was that it was a short event and I felt we needed another half hour or so to really do the event justice.

Atrium

We took part in a few of the atrium events like trivia (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Big, Bang Theory), towel animal folding and cupcake demonstrating. There always seemed to be something going on there. Most of it was all-ages but some were more geared toward adults. There was a café in the atrium that sold coffees, teas and cupcakes. Prices were decent (better than Starbucks and GiGIs Cupcakes) but it was an extra cost.

Spa

The spa had an open house on the first day but before you could book anything we needed to take a tour of the whole facility. This was ridiculous for us because we couldn’t afford the thermal suite with all its special amenities available only to thermal suite customers. It would probably be nice if you were with a travel party of singles, a couple or all adults. However, with a child we wouldn’t have had enough time in it to justify the cost. I want to say it was $50 on the day you had a treatment or $200 for the week, but I could be wrong. I really just wanted a massage. On the first day they had a raffle and at the end they offered a Manager’s Special for $139. I got that because it was a good deal. The downside was you had to book for that day or the next. I’d wanted to wait a little into the cruise but couldn’t pass up the deal. Prices are extremely expensive especially after they add the 18% gratuity to it. They also try to sell you a bunch of products but after I said I wasn’t interested she wrapped up quickly. They also offered a 10/20/30% discount if you booked three signature treatments. My fiancé did that and got two shaves and a massage.

Dining

We stuck to the free dining options. Taste and Savor were both really good. The atmosphere is fancier (candlelight and table cloths) and I felt odd going in in pants or jean shorts and a t-shirt. But there was only so many times you can eat at the buffet! The food and dessert options were good and the meals were plentiful and always tasted good. The Garden Café (buffet) always offered decent food, a multitude of choices and the most widespread hours. There were two full buffets most of the time and they were really long, going on quite a ways. The first day we thought they stopped at the beverage station, which was really only halfway down the buffet. Due to the layout, the lines themselves were disorganized and crowded. If you had the time and patience to wait through every line you’d find a plethora of food options.

Bars

There are plenty of bars throughout the ship. We didn’t visit many but Sugarcane, the Mojito Bar, was exceptional. Not only were the drinks great the bartender was amazing. I’d recommend it!

Laundry

There was a fill-a-bag day on Tuesday (day 4 of our trip) and I had my clothes back the next day (even though it is advertised as 2 day service). It was $25. Had I known that there would be a fill a bag day I wouldn’t have brought so many clothes!
shazam22’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 10 to 12
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Cabin 11629
We were placed in an accessible room (it was the only one left in our guaranteed category) so it was likely larger than most. The room was nicely appointed with plenty of closet space and a couple of drawers on the desk. The beds were not super comfortable. We had an interior room so I don’t know if the beds get nicer the more expensive the room or not. My bed was hard and I woke a couple of nights in pain. The berth/pull-down bed was fine. However there was a large gap at the head of the bed and my daughter’s pillow landed on my head in the middle of the night. The bathroom was nice and spacious. We always had plenty of towels and supplies. The only issue we had was when emergencies on board took place the room lit up, an alarm sounded and the bed vibrated. It made for a scary experience in the middle of the night.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Miami
    We spent the afternoon at Miami Beach following our cruise. It was a chilly, cloudy and windy day so the waves were pretty tough. We parked near the beach so didn't do much touring. For lunch we ate at Senor Frogs. It was ok, kind of expensive, and they included 18% gratuity to our check, which was not good since our service was awful.
    View All 2,415 Miami Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Miami Cruise Port Review
  • Nassau
    Tons to do here. We'd been to Nassau once before and decided just to shop and hit the beach. We went to all of the shops where we got free stuff and then headed to Junkanoo Beach, which was close enough to walk to. My daughter also got her hair braided and it cost a fortune. We'd done it last time and it was not so expensive so make sure you know what they're going to charge before you get started!
    View All 5,903 Nassau Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Helmet Dive
    We did this excursion in St. Thomas through the Norwegian Escape. It was a wonderful excursion. The drive to Coral World was not too long and was in open air vehicles. When we got there we got our shoes (you can wear your own water shoes) and locked up our belongings. We had a short orientation, filled out some papers, and then went down to the ladder.
    The Trek itself was a lot of fun and seemed too short (LOL). Getting used to the helmet, popping ears, and the current took a bit of time. I saw a lot of neat fish and coral. The divers brought a sea cucumber and a moving type of sea star for us to hold. That was really cool. They took video and pictures that were worth the price of the USB drive. The videos are mostly small clips that allow you to sort your own videos/pics out when you download them from the USB drive. Wear something bright- that helps you pick yourself out! Ha Ha.
    After the dive, we had a little time to walk around Coral World. My biggest complaint is that we needed more time at Coral World and to possibly explore the beach next door (Coki Beach?). I think we had about an hour to an hour-and-a-half to explore. We saw two short information sessions: one sea lion and one turtle. We then had a few minutes to visit the gift shop before we had to go. I would have loved more time at Coral World with time at the beach. If they could have a few return times that would allow guests to choose how long they stayed that would be great. In our case it ended up pouring and the time we left was OK. But as an excursion, more time would be helpful.
    View All 18 Helmet Dive Reviews
  • Snorkeling
    This was a great trip. Our original excursion was cancelled due to weather (Virgin Gorda) and this was our second choice. The catamaran was nice and the crew were great. It took a bit of time to get to the snorkel location but it was a nice ride. The snorkel area (Norman Island?) was great and we saw a lot of neat fish and coral. The time seemed to go very quickly though. We then went to a beach for about 45 minutes. It was a small, secluded beach. I just wish we had more time at the beach and snorkel sites.
    View All 67 Snorkeling Reviews