1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Escape
This was our fifth NCL cruise and first time on a big ship. Out last 14-day was on The Dawn, and that was a little small to keep us entertained. The Escape was so much different! From the moment we got on board to the day we left, there was so much to keep us busy! Here are some highlights: FOOD: The staff is Savor were some of my favorite on the entire ship. They always knew our names and seated us by the window at breakfast and lunch. The food there was always fresh and delicious. The menus are pretty much the same across the fleet, but there is plenty to choose from. We had dinner in the Manhattan Room and really enjoyed the impromptu performances from the cast of After Midnight. O'Sheehan's is another great free choice. There aren't a lot of breakfast choices there, but we love their wings, hot dogs, burgers, and sides. For specialties, we ate at 7 different places, and all were good. Here are those highlights: - Moderno: Best salad bar on the ship - Cagney's: Tender and moist ribeye - La Cucina: The Osso Bucco is fabulous - Le Bistro: Always love the seafood/puff pastry app and ordered a double to make a main - Pinchos: Love all of the tapas options. All were great! - Teppanyaki: Great Hibachi show - Bayamo: The only place to get lobster, and it was great!! DRINKS: We had the UBP and never had to wait for a drink anywhere. Servers were super friendly and didn't seem to mind if you ordered something and then didn't like it. They would just make something else for you instead. We especially loved trying all of the beer at the Brew House and the different mojitos at Sugarcane. Each bar seemed to have one of two specialty drinks, so it was fun to travel and try them all. ACTIVITIES: There was so much to do! I am not a tiny person, but I did the entire ropes course, and it was an incredible achievement. So much fun too! The mini golf and bocce were also fun, and we spent a lot of time with each other playing board games. Deck 8 has some great comfy chairs, so those were nice for relaxing with a book and playing games. Unfortunately, the Activities Staff were not very personable and fun. We quit going to most of their programs as a result. We enjoyed Trivia, but the prizes were really lame. We miss the signature cards from the smaller ship. The free crafts classes and dance classes on the smaller ships are also much better. Cruise Director Alvin is great, though. Full of energy and very fun. We also enjoyed the demos in the atrium, but the atrium got very packed, and the folding chairs that they brought out were not very comfortable. We missed the Spinniker/Bliss/Observation Lounge from the smaller ships. ENTERTAINMENT: This was a big highlight for us and the main reason that I gave The Escape 5 stars. In 14 days, we really were never bored. There was good live music everywhere in the bars, an we always enjoyed that before going to dinner. The shows were very well done. Brat Pack was fun, and After Midnight had incredible dancing. Choir of Man is worth the extra money, because that was the best show that we have ever seen on any ship. We saw a couple other shows at Supper Club, and they were also fun, but not as good. Headliners swapped between comedians and Howl at the Moon, and we enjoyed both. There were four comedians in the two weeks, and they performed PG, PG-13, and Adult comedy shows. All were very fun. Howl at the Moon became our favorite regular entertainment, and we tipped them well in order to get our requests answered. Tip: Hit the box office as soon as you board the ship. You can book everything all at once. They have a sheet there that lists all of the options, so you can pick and choose each night. I also made a spreadsheet ahead of time, so I was easily able to see where I could schedule more things for us to do. PORTS: - We were late getting to Florida, but we didn't have plans to get off the boat anyway. - We missed the Private Island, but some things are out of your control. - JAMAICA: We booked a plantation tour with Yardi Tours. No one else took the tour, so it was private. Amazing time that ended with a delicious plate of fruit and fresh fish. - GRAND CAYMAN: We had a private tour through Grand Cayman Safari. We went to a history museum, botanical gardens, had a local lunch, and went to Cayman Crystal Caves. The company was great to work with and gave us an incredible tour. - HARVEST CAYE: We went to the mainland to visit ruins and a spice farm. It was far too long to travel for such a short tour, but the tour itself was really nice. - COSTA MAYA: We went to ruins and had lunch made by a local family through Native Choice. It was an incredible tour! - COZUMEL: We booked a tour through Trikes. We rode by the ocean and stopped a few times. Then we had a tequila tasting and local lunch. A great day! EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION: Embarkation was easy. We were on with a drink in hand in half an hour. Getting off is another story. A LONG line in the cold to get into luggage collection and customs. Then no warm place to wait for your pick-up. The NY port really needs a revamp to fix these issues. OVERALL THOUGHTS: An incredible 14 days. I would do another big ship for a long cruise, but I still miss the charm of the smaller ships. We connect with the staff better on those. Still, definitely a 5-star experience.

Such an amazing time on a beautiful ship!

Norwegian Escape Cruise Review by AKR2011

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2018
  • Destination: Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-ship Inside Stateroom
This was our fifth NCL cruise and first time on a big ship. Out last 14-day was on The Dawn, and that was a little small to keep us entertained. The Escape was so much different! From the moment we got on board to the day we left, there was so much to keep us busy! Here are some highlights:

FOOD:

The staff is Savor were some of my favorite on the entire ship. They always knew our names and seated us by the window at breakfast and lunch. The food there was always fresh and delicious. The menus are pretty much the same across the fleet, but there is plenty to choose from. We had dinner in the Manhattan Room and really enjoyed the impromptu performances from the cast of After Midnight. O'Sheehan's is another great free choice. There aren't a lot of breakfast choices there, but we love their wings, hot dogs, burgers, and sides.

For specialties, we ate at 7 different places, and all were good. Here are those highlights:

- Moderno: Best salad bar on the ship

- Cagney's: Tender and moist ribeye

- La Cucina: The Osso Bucco is fabulous

- Le Bistro: Always love the seafood/puff pastry app and ordered a double to make a main

- Pinchos: Love all of the tapas options. All were great!

- Teppanyaki: Great Hibachi show

- Bayamo: The only place to get lobster, and it was great!!

DRINKS:

We had the UBP and never had to wait for a drink anywhere. Servers were super friendly and didn't seem to mind if you ordered something and then didn't like it. They would just make something else for you instead. We especially loved trying all of the beer at the Brew House and the different mojitos at Sugarcane. Each bar seemed to have one of two specialty drinks, so it was fun to travel and try them all.

ACTIVITIES:

There was so much to do! I am not a tiny person, but I did the entire ropes course, and it was an incredible achievement. So much fun too! The mini golf and bocce were also fun, and we spent a lot of time with each other playing board games. Deck 8 has some great comfy chairs, so those were nice for relaxing with a book and playing games. Unfortunately, the Activities Staff were not very personable and fun. We quit going to most of their programs as a result. We enjoyed Trivia, but the prizes were really lame. We miss the signature cards from the smaller ship. The free crafts classes and dance classes on the smaller ships are also much better. Cruise Director Alvin is great, though. Full of energy and very fun. We also enjoyed the demos in the atrium, but the atrium got very packed, and the folding chairs that they brought out were not very comfortable. We missed the Spinniker/Bliss/Observation Lounge from the smaller ships.

ENTERTAINMENT:

This was a big highlight for us and the main reason that I gave The Escape 5 stars. In 14 days, we really were never bored. There was good live music everywhere in the bars, an we always enjoyed that before going to dinner. The shows were very well done. Brat Pack was fun, and After Midnight had incredible dancing. Choir of Man is worth the extra money, because that was the best show that we have ever seen on any ship. We saw a couple other shows at Supper Club, and they were also fun, but not as good. Headliners swapped between comedians and Howl at the Moon, and we enjoyed both. There were four comedians in the two weeks, and they performed PG, PG-13, and Adult comedy shows. All were very fun. Howl at the Moon became our favorite regular entertainment, and we tipped them well in order to get our requests answered. Tip: Hit the box office as soon as you board the ship. You can book everything all at once. They have a sheet there that lists all of the options, so you can pick and choose each night. I also made a spreadsheet ahead of time, so I was easily able to see where I could schedule more things for us to do.

PORTS:

- We were late getting to Florida, but we didn't have plans to get off the boat anyway.

- We missed the Private Island, but some things are out of your control.

- JAMAICA: We booked a plantation tour with Yardi Tours. No one else took the tour, so it was private. Amazing time that ended with a delicious plate of fruit and fresh fish.

- GRAND CAYMAN: We had a private tour through Grand Cayman Safari. We went to a history museum, botanical gardens, had a local lunch, and went to Cayman Crystal Caves. The company was great to work with and gave us an incredible tour.

- HARVEST CAYE: We went to the mainland to visit ruins and a spice farm. It was far too long to travel for such a short tour, but the tour itself was really nice.

- COSTA MAYA: We went to ruins and had lunch made by a local family through Native Choice. It was an incredible tour!

- COZUMEL: We booked a tour through Trikes. We rode by the ocean and stopped a few times. Then we had a tequila tasting and local lunch. A great day!

EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION:

Embarkation was easy. We were on with a drink in hand in half an hour. Getting off is another story. A LONG line in the cold to get into luggage collection and customs. Then no warm place to wait for your pick-up. The NY port really needs a revamp to fix these issues.

OVERALL THOUGHTS:

An incredible 14 days. I would do another big ship for a long cruise, but I still miss the charm of the smaller ships. We connect with the staff better on those. Still, definitely a 5-star experience.
AKR2011’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian Escape price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Cabin Review

Mid-ship Inside Stateroom
Cabin IB 12631
This was the smallest inside we have ever had, with no drawers and very limited shelving. We really had to get creative with storage. My packing cubes were very helpful. 14 days means a lot of clothes, so it was very challenging. There was also an awkward pole outside the door in the hallway, so that made it challenging at times.
Deck 12 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins