We chose this cruise because we were originally going to bring our 15 month old son and we figured being able to drive to the port in New York from home was easier than flying somewhere. However, this turned out to not be the case, as my in-laws offered to babysit :) And at that point, it was too late to change the itinerary, but that was fine. We wanted a relaxing, "do nothing" cruise, and this was it!
Embarkation: Getting on the ship was easy. On the way in to the building there are tons of porters, one of whom took our baggage. We told the NCL rep that we had Platinum status, so we got to go through a separate line and wait in a separate area, and we were boarding group 1 so we got on board pretty quickly.
Cabin: #10832 mid-ship mini-suite. See cabin section for more details.
Dining/Bars: Overall, the dining was good. We were never hungry, lol. The wings at O'Sheehan's were fantastic. We also really liked our meals at Le Bistro and Bayamo. Teppanyaki was the absolute best, the food was so tasty and the atmosphere was fun. We also loved Food Republic...I had alot of dumplings! :) Cagney's was just okay, service was insanely slow and I wasn't too fond of my steak. And the buffet was good; there was always an array of food. The drinks were, for the most part, delicious, and we had alot of them lol.
Entertainment: We saw the close-up magician which was very entertaining. We also did Escape the Big Top, which was really fun! We saw the first part of the After Midnight show, which was good but there was other stuff we wanted to do so we left early. The two comedy shows we saw were hilarious, and we also went to Howl at the Moon which was very good.
Activities: We did some of the trivia sessions which were fun, and we watched a couple game shows and demonstrations in the Atrium. We also went to the Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle, which was held in the District Brewhouse. It was by far the largest M&M we've ever attended, and I think NCL did a good job with introducing the senior crew, although it was not as intimate as past experiences. My husband did the ropes course and really enjoyed it, and we did play some mini golf, too.
Service: The service on board was good...not the absolute best we've ever had, but it was just fine for us. Most of the crew were friendly and accommodating, and they are definitely hard-working. We never had an issue with any of them. We especially liked the ones who sang the washy washy song in the buffet :)
Itinerary: This itinerary was a different kind for us. Usually we choose itineraries that are port-heavy and keep us busy with excursions. However, this one was our "do nothing" cruise. So, while we normally wouldn't choose this (especially since we've been to Nassau a bunch of times), it worked for us this time. In any other circumstance, though, we would say this itinerary is "meh."
Ports/Excursions: In Port Canaveral, we took the bus through NCL to Disney Springs for the afternoon. Getting to the right bus was a little confusing, I think NCL could have handled this better. We had about 4 hours to eat and shop there which was perfect. We didn't do anything at GSC except sit on lounge chairs and drink in the sun ;) And in Nassau, we got off the ship and walked up to John Watling's Distillery.
Ship: The Escape is a beautiful ship. Everything is well-appointed and we always saw the crew cleaning. The only complaint is that there are only two sets of elevators/stairs, when there really should be three for a ship that size.
Debarkation: We have Platinum status, so we were able to get off the ship after self-debarkation but before everyone else. We did not have any issues at all and got off the ship fairly quickly.
Overall, we enjoyed this cruise. It was a relaxing vacation for us without our toddler...goal accomplished! While I still think we prefer Pearl-sized ships, I think we would sail on the Escape again depending on circumstances.
The mid-ship mini-suite on Deck 10 was very nice. The extra large bathroom was a perfect size, and the shower especially was fantastic. Our room steward, Wayan, was very friendly. My only complaint is how far it was from the elevator, which is my fault for not noticing that there are only TWO sets of elevators on the Escape (whereas the Pearl has three sets). Otherwise, it was great.
We took the NCL bus to Disney Springs for the afternoon. This was a perfect, affordable way to get a Disney fix without having to spend tickets for the park which wouldn't lend much time to do anything. We had about 3.5-4 hours to eat and shop. The guide was friendly and she did a good job for her first day on the job! I would definitely do this again if we ever go back to Port Canaveral for a half day stop.View All 100 Walt Disney World Reviews