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We chose this cruise because the ship looked amazing - and it is. The water slides are so fun (they have two "racers" where the floor drops out beneath you), the spa amenities are amazing with saunas and a snow room, the fitness center is impressively large, and the waterfront dining is beautiful. Despite all of these amazing amenities, sailing on the Escape is a painfully terrible experience. The staff must've been given some bad news (like they're about to be laid off) because the odds you ran into a surly, unhelpful, rude, or completely unresponsive employee were better than half. A couple folks were still engaged and trying their hardest to be pleasant and give it their all, but I've never run across such a miserable workforce. I live and work in Las Vegas and I know tourists can be annoying, drunk, tiresome people - but when polite, sober people are trying to get an extra towel at the pool, more water in their glass at dinner, or another appetizer at lunch, there's no reason to treat them as if they're pests (and even if the tourists/guests ARE drunk and annoying, you still should treat them with respect). Though these were reasonable requests, I wish there weren't so many "Employees Only" areas because I would've just gotten everything myself. The steward assigned to our room never took our glasses or coffee cups away (we ended up running them down to the main dining room), didn't refill coffee packets or lotions (though we asked), rarely made us towel animals, and seemed annoyed whenever we asked for something (which was only twice, because we caught his vibe pretty immediately and realized we were better off on our own). The ship had to change ports, which isn't anyone's fault, but it was very chaotic. Surely cruise lines experience this pretty frequently? We were excited about the spontaneous change and wanted to see excursions in the new ports - but the app wasn't updated to show the ports and no one at the excursion desk had any information. So despite the fact that our itinerary changed and we were no longer going to two of the four ports, information was nowhere to be found (which we weren't too thrilled about as we like the onshore excursions). The app was frequently broken and wouldn't reflect new information - paying the $9.99 for the in-app communications is a waste of your money. Don't do it. Lastly, Norwegian has "included" restaurants and "specialty" restaurants - pretty common. However, if you take advantage of one of their "Free Specialty Dining" deals where you get "a 3 meal specialty dining package" be aware that some of their specialty restaurants are SUPER specialty and you cannot redeem that deal at those restaurants. On the Escape, that means there are more ineligible restaurants than eligible restaurants. Norwegian should separate these tiers into "included," "specialty," and "premium." Either way, it felt like they were nickel and diming you. Overall, it was a shame that the ship was so mismanaged, that the experience was very "nickel and dime", and that employees are so upset and miserable. That trickles down - if all the staff is miserable, it's extremely difficult to have a good time. The ship is beautiful but we will not be back and cannot recommend this experience to anyone.

Terrible Service - Won't Sail Norwegian Again

Norwegian Escape Cruise Review by ella_cymerman

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2018
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom
We chose this cruise because the ship looked amazing - and it is. The water slides are so fun (they have two "racers" where the floor drops out beneath you), the spa amenities are amazing with saunas and a snow room, the fitness center is impressively large, and the waterfront dining is beautiful. Despite all of these amazing amenities, sailing on the Escape is a painfully terrible experience.

The staff must've been given some bad news (like they're about to be laid off) because the odds you ran into a surly, unhelpful, rude, or completely unresponsive employee were better than half. A couple folks were still engaged and trying their hardest to be pleasant and give it their all, but I've never run across such a miserable workforce. I live and work in Las Vegas and I know tourists can be annoying, drunk, tiresome people - but when polite, sober people are trying to get an extra towel at the pool, more water in their glass at dinner, or another appetizer at lunch, there's no reason to treat them as if they're pests (and even if the tourists/guests ARE drunk and annoying, you still should treat them with respect). Though these were reasonable requests, I wish there weren't so many "Employees Only" areas because I would've just gotten everything myself.

The steward assigned to our room never took our glasses or coffee cups away (we ended up running them down to the main dining room), didn't refill coffee packets or lotions (though we asked), rarely made us towel animals, and seemed annoyed whenever we asked for something (which was only twice, because we caught his vibe pretty immediately and realized we were better off on our own). The ship had to change ports, which isn't anyone's fault, but it was very chaotic. Surely cruise lines experience this pretty frequently? We were excited about the spontaneous change and wanted to see excursions in the new ports - but the app wasn't updated to show the ports and no one at the excursion desk had any information. So despite the fact that our itinerary changed and we were no longer going to two of the four ports, information was nowhere to be found (which we weren't too thrilled about as we like the onshore excursions). The app was frequently broken and wouldn't reflect new information - paying the $9.99 for the in-app communications is a waste of your money. Don't do it.

Lastly, Norwegian has "included" restaurants and "specialty" restaurants - pretty common. However, if you take advantage of one of their "Free Specialty Dining" deals where you get "a 3 meal specialty dining package" be aware that some of their specialty restaurants are SUPER specialty and you cannot redeem that deal at those restaurants. On the Escape, that means there are more ineligible restaurants than eligible restaurants. Norwegian should separate these tiers into "included," "specialty," and "premium." Either way, it felt like they were nickel and diming you.

Overall, it was a shame that the ship was so mismanaged, that the experience was very "nickel and dime", and that employees are so upset and miserable. That trickles down - if all the staff is miserable, it's extremely difficult to have a good time. The ship is beautiful but we will not be back and cannot recommend this experience to anyone.
ella_cymerman’s Full Rating Summary
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