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We're from NYC so the departure location for this cruise was very convenient for us. Unfortunately though, embarking was kind of a mess. We arrived about 30 minutes before our designated embarking time, but do to disorganization, we didn't end up getting called until the same time as the latest time slot, which we were supposed to be well-before. It wasn't that big of a deal though, and we were just excited to finally get on the ship. The Escape, overall, was a nice ship. We enjoyed the common areas and the views from the Garden Cafe. The dining in general was good. We really enjoyed the specialty dining, and definitely recommend Teppanyaki, Cagney's, and La Cucina. O'sheehan's was good for late-night dining. The entertainment was pretty good. The Brat Pack and the comedy acts were great. We also really enjoyed the ping pong tables on the ship. Beyond that though, the activities we wanted to do were pretty all pretty poor. The pool is very small, and the small size is made even worse by the relatively short hours it's open. We like to go late-night swimming/in the hot tubs. That wasn't an option because they all close at 10pm. So unless you want to go swimming in a pool packed to the brim during afternoon/morning hours, you're out of luck. We asked them when the pool/hot tubs opened. They told us around 5:30am. We thought, OK, cool, we'll go to the pool/hot tub for sunrise. We get there, and the pool ends up opening around 7. And it's already crowded by then. Why not have good hours so people who want to go at off times can? Seems very silly. The service onboard the ship was good. We found the staff friendly and it felt like they did care about the guest experience. Unfortunately though, that sentiment ends with the ship staff because it seems like corporate and behind-the-scenes has literally no grasp of customer service and engages in very questionable practices. For us, this was first seen in the shore excursion handling. For this trip we had a single day in the Bahamas, so we wanted to make the best of it. We planned 2 excursions offered by NCL: my girlfriend booked parasailing, and we both booked the Waverunner tour. The night before our half-a-day in the Bahamas, NCL sent us a cold letter about how they didn't get enough people for parasailing so they were canceling it. We couldn't believe that they would cancel a booked excursion the night before because they were at-risk for having under the amount of people they usual have. Our cruise had already been significantly changed because of a hurricane, and now they were cancelling something my girlfriend was looking forward to because it could impact their bottom line slightly. Like I said before, no care for customer service. This left us with nothing to do the entire morning of our single day in the Bahamas. We also booked the Waverunner tour. $250 for the two of us for about 30 minutes of riding a Waverunner. I don't mind paying that, but the experience was falsely advertised. They called it a "guided tour" which we were looking forward to. It was not that at all. It was just "ride fast" in a line for 30 minutes and see literally 0 sights. Additionally, the "tour guides" (again, there was no actual tour), were extremely rude and unprofessional. It was ridiculous. I informed NCL about this experience - and what did they do? In response, they sent me a form letter that addressed none of my concerns and didn't even mention the issues I described. Just ridiculously bad customer service. All in all, though we enjoyed the ship itself, Norwegian Cruise Line's terrible handling of the shore excursions and then lack of follow-up to the problems we had makes it impossible for us to book another cruise with them. They seem to have no regard for customer experience, as made visible by the fact they will cancel an excursion you paid hundreds of dollars for if they don't end up profiting the amount they want to on it. We'll by trying a cruise line that's more customer-centric for our next cruise.

A good ship spoiled by bad excursions and terrible customer service

Norwegian Escape Cruise Review by ynksr27

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2018
  • Destination: Bermuda
  • Cabin Type: Mid-ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
We're from NYC so the departure location for this cruise was very convenient for us. Unfortunately though, embarking was kind of a mess. We arrived about 30 minutes before our designated embarking time, but do to disorganization, we didn't end up getting called until the same time as the latest time slot, which we were supposed to be well-before. It wasn't that big of a deal though, and we were just excited to finally get on the ship.

The Escape, overall, was a nice ship. We enjoyed the common areas and the views from the Garden Cafe. The dining in general was good. We really enjoyed the specialty dining, and definitely recommend Teppanyaki, Cagney's, and La Cucina. O'sheehan's was good for late-night dining.

The entertainment was pretty good. The Brat Pack and the comedy acts were great. We also really enjoyed the ping pong tables on the ship. Beyond that though, the activities we wanted to do were pretty all pretty poor. The pool is very small, and the small size is made even worse by the relatively short hours it's open. We like to go late-night swimming/in the hot tubs. That wasn't an option because they all close at 10pm. So unless you want to go swimming in a pool packed to the brim during afternoon/morning hours, you're out of luck. We asked them when the pool/hot tubs opened. They told us around 5:30am. We thought, OK, cool, we'll go to the pool/hot tub for sunrise. We get there, and the pool ends up opening around 7. And it's already crowded by then. Why not have good hours so people who want to go at off times can? Seems very silly.

The service onboard the ship was good. We found the staff friendly and it felt like they did care about the guest experience. Unfortunately though, that sentiment ends with the ship staff because it seems like corporate and behind-the-scenes has literally no grasp of customer service and engages in very questionable practices.

For us, this was first seen in the shore excursion handling. For this trip we had a single day in the Bahamas, so we wanted to make the best of it. We planned 2 excursions offered by NCL: my girlfriend booked parasailing, and we both booked the Waverunner tour. The night before our half-a-day in the Bahamas, NCL sent us a cold letter about how they didn't get enough people for parasailing so they were canceling it. We couldn't believe that they would cancel a booked excursion the night before because they were at-risk for having under the amount of people they usual have. Our cruise had already been significantly changed because of a hurricane, and now they were cancelling something my girlfriend was looking forward to because it could impact their bottom line slightly. Like I said before, no care for customer service. This left us with nothing to do the entire morning of our single day in the Bahamas.

We also booked the Waverunner tour. $250 for the two of us for about 30 minutes of riding a Waverunner. I don't mind paying that, but the experience was falsely advertised. They called it a "guided tour" which we were looking forward to. It was not that at all. It was just "ride fast" in a line for 30 minutes and see literally 0 sights. Additionally, the "tour guides" (again, there was no actual tour), were extremely rude and unprofessional. It was ridiculous. I informed NCL about this experience - and what did they do? In response, they sent me a form letter that addressed none of my concerns and didn't even mention the issues I described. Just ridiculously bad customer service.

All in all, though we enjoyed the ship itself, Norwegian Cruise Line's terrible handling of the shore excursions and then lack of follow-up to the problems we had makes it impossible for us to book another cruise with them. They seem to have no regard for customer experience, as made visible by the fact they will cancel an excursion you paid hundreds of dollars for if they don't end up profiting the amount they want to on it. We'll by trying a cruise line that's more customer-centric for our next cruise.
ynksr27’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 14830
The cabin was nice. We enjoyed the balcony and our steward was great. The towel animals were a nice touch that we both really enjoyed. The shower was also great, which is something that is important to us.
Deck 15 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews