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We enjoyed the eight Caribbean Island stops and the ship entertainment. It was our first time on one of the huge ships, and overall, we preferred the smaller ones from our first six Norwegian cruises. The Escape just didn't seemed designed to service that many passengers, especially when we needed to use the elevators, get into the main dining rooms, find a place out on deck on the nice weather days, or make a reservation at a specialty dining room. We also wished this ship had a forward lounge, the way all our other ships did. We missed having a quiet place to relax where we could sight-see ahead. Not having this large forward lounge, or other large lounges, also meant that all the big group activities such as trivia, dance lessons, and games had to done in the atrium, which made that three-level center part of the ship constantly noisy instead of a nice place to relax, as it was on all our other ships. The entertainment quality and choices were fabulous. The professional shows in the theater, repeated three times each, was a good way to do this rather than the standard way the theater productions were done on our other cruises. Also, we liked the Supper Club dinners with entertainment, and the Headliners Comedy Club entertainment. The piano entertainer, JR, was really good. Since we are beer drinkers, we liked having The District Brew House with its 24 beers on tap and 50 in bottles. This was our first cruise where we could get good beers, although all other bars on the ship still served only the standard lagers. This next comment applies to all our cruises, which have been only on Norwegian, so i don't know if any other cruise lines do anything differently: We wish for more information, information, information! So much about the ship and its workings and offerings could be explained in advance, or when you arrive, rather than having to learn everything by accident, experience, asking other passengers, or never learning something at all. We knew nothing about how the Box Office worked for getting reservations all week at all the many venues that required reservations; we had to learn from other passengers, and hope that we were getting to the Box Office soon enough to get what we wanted. Even then, we couldn't figure out the list of options covering all 14 days - we just had to let the agent do it for us, and hope it was what we would like (it was). We also wish Norwegian would have information sheets to explain what drinks are served at which bars, what to expect with regard to successfully getting into the main dining rooms (we almost never could get in since there were such long waiting lines), and information to help us know various rules such as No Reserving Deck Chairs.

Prefer the smaller ships

Norwegian Escape Cruise Review by kcmerc

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2019
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview Stateroom with Large Picture Window
We enjoyed the eight Caribbean Island stops and the ship entertainment. It was our first time on one of the huge ships, and overall, we preferred the smaller ones from our first six Norwegian cruises. The Escape just didn't seemed designed to service that many passengers, especially when we needed to use the elevators, get into the main dining rooms, find a place out on deck on the nice weather days, or make a reservation at a specialty dining room.

We also wished this ship had a forward lounge, the way all our other ships did. We missed having a quiet place to relax where we could sight-see ahead. Not having this large forward lounge, or other large lounges, also meant that all the big group activities such as trivia, dance lessons, and games had to done in the atrium, which made that three-level center part of the ship constantly noisy instead of a nice place to relax, as it was on all our other ships.

The entertainment quality and choices were fabulous. The professional shows in the theater, repeated three times each, was a good way to do this rather than the standard way the theater productions were done on our other cruises. Also, we liked the Supper Club dinners with entertainment, and the Headliners Comedy Club entertainment. The piano entertainer, JR, was really good.

Since we are beer drinkers, we liked having The District Brew House with its 24 beers on tap and 50 in bottles. This was our first cruise where we could get good beers, although all other bars on the ship still served only the standard lagers.

This next comment applies to all our cruises, which have been only on Norwegian, so i don't know if any other cruise lines do anything differently: We wish for more information, information, information! So much about the ship and its workings and offerings could be explained in advance, or when you arrive, rather than having to learn everything by accident, experience, asking other passengers, or never learning something at all. We knew nothing about how the Box Office worked for getting reservations all week at all the many venues that required reservations; we had to learn from other passengers, and hope that we were getting to the Box Office soon enough to get what we wanted. Even then, we couldn't figure out the list of options covering all 14 days - we just had to let the agent do it for us, and hope it was what we would like (it was). We also wish Norwegian would have information sheets to explain what drinks are served at which bars, what to expect with regard to successfully getting into the main dining rooms (we almost never could get in since there were such long waiting lines), and information to help us know various rules such as No Reserving Deck Chairs.
kcmerc’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Dining
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Entertainment
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Cabin Review

Oceanview Stateroom with Large Picture Window
Cabin OA 14104
We thought it was great, the same as on all our other Norwegian ships. We liked having a window looking forward, since we were at the very front of the ship. But we also wish the staff would respect the sign in the bathroom saying that if you wanted to keep your towels, to keep them hung up. We never wanted our towels changed, so we kept them hung, but they were still changed every single time we had used them only once. If you're going to put that sign up, then they should respect what it's saying.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Snorkeling
    We boated out to an island and climbed to its summit for great views, then snorkeled in a beautiful spot just off that island, and finally moved by boat back into another spot for kayaking. Back at shore, we enjoyed rum punch and the shady grounds. The bus narrator was great on the drive there and back. We loved all parts of the excursion.
    View All 64 Snorkeling Reviews
  • Harrison's Cave
    The bus guide was great, and we learned a lot about Barbados. The caves were okay, but not as "rugged" as we had hoped because we all sat in a tram and got driven through a "commercial" presentation instead of walking through a more natural setting. The film and posters prior to seeing the caves were well done and informative. The return drive to the port was pretty scenic, but overall it was average.
    View All 80 Harrison's Cave Reviews
  • City Tour
    It was fine, but was hindered a bit by rush-hour traffic from our late arrival, and by some rain. The guide was informative. The stops were hindered by places no longer being open for the day, rain, and perhaps too long.
    View All 230 City Tour Reviews
  • Island tour
    What made this excursion so fabulous was the guide, Bertrand. He was hilarious, genuine, and of course, informative. We enjoyed the Garden House and botanical garden, but mostly the Brimstone Fortress. We wish every tour on St Kitts could have Bertrand as the guide (although perhaps all the guides were as good).
    View All 263 Island tour Reviews
  • Island Tour
    Three stops during the three-hour tour. The first, at Fort Le Tuk above the harbor, was our favorite stop. The guide was great, and there was lots to see and learn about. The middle stop at a large home was just okay; the views were great. The final stop at a fishing village was mostly for shopping, which we did not do. The bus guide was pretty informative.
    View All 250 Island Tour Reviews
  • St. Maarten
    We visited a rum factory, a restaurant, and a perfume factory. The rum guide gave a funny and interesting presentation. The restaurant chef was hindered by not using a microphone/speaker, so she had to walk through the group to repeat everything she had said, several times over. I personally was not so interested in all the details of how she made her three dishes. and we had to wait quite a while for her to begin, since guests ordered foods and drinks and they wanted those to all be made and served before she began. The perfume information was interesting. The guide explaining things about St Maarten while on the bus was very good.
    View All 12,780 St. Maarten Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Maarten Cruise Port Review
  • St. Thomas
    A local taxi driver drove us around the island for two hours and gave us the usual narrative about history and sights. We stopped four times to see things up close and get good photos.
    View All 12,780 St. Thomas Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Thomas Cruise Port Review
  • Scuba Diving
    The rainy and windy weather made the trip over an back a bit wet and wild, but once at Norman island, the snorkeling was good and the crew took great care of us.
    View All 5 Scuba Diving Reviews