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This will go down as one of the most "eventful" cruises I've ever taken. Had some time off and at the last minute (say less than 3 weeks) I decided to take a cruise. Didn't care where it was going to, or what port. I just wanted to get away after a grueling Holiday (personal reasons). Going solo, I thought about getting a solo cabin. But, I just so happen to like nice cabins when I cruise....balcony? Check. No obstructions visually? Check. Easy to get to and from the "action"? Check. That's the kind of cabin I want! While looking at pricing on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, MSC, and Celebrity, I found a mini-suite cabin with a large balcony on the NCL Escape. And, it was nearly the same price as a regular balcony cabin. Plus, it was less expensive than all the other cruise lines I was looking at. I'm in! Going out of NYC to the Bahamas (as the Escape was) in February is a bit of a crap shoot, which is probably why the cruise was such a good deal. But, I've sailed out of NYC before (albeit to Bermuda instead of the Bahamas for this cruise). I knew the Atlantic could be a bit rough sailing, particularly in the winter. Flights booked, cabin booked, hotel booked (Sofitel in Mid-Town NYC). All systems go. Flying in and out of NYC is always an adventure. Using my Delta points, I flew in to LGA, but could only get reasonable flights out of EWR. No matter....I'm flexible. Flying into LGA was uneventful, and actually on time. I used goairlinkshuttle.com, which I arranged in advance, to get me to the hotel. Again, uneventful.....they were prompt, let me know where they were outside the airport. And, everything went off without a hitch. $20 + tip and away I went. This is all good. While it was cold, again I expected the weather. Got settled at the hotel (points used meaning it was a free stay for me). Was close enough to Times Square that I had the evening to hang out, walk around, people watch and get some excellent street food. Followed that up with couple of drinks at a dive bar (which are the best) headed back to the hotel for a good night's rest. Next a.m. (Sunday), I was up early. Walked to Starbucks, two coffees and one muffin later, I was back in the hotel room, repacking to leave. Called up an Uber about 9:00 a.m., headed to the hotel front door, Uber driver called twice saying he could not find me. I had texted him the name and the EXACT address of the hotel, but he could not find me. Getting ready to hail a taxi after about 20 minutes of this craziness, Uber showed up. Driver swore I was not at the entrance. I was, waiting, looking for his white Toyota Sienna (which is a big mini-van, and very hard to miss), which was nowhere to be found. I "harrumphed", got in the van, and off we went. Driver seemed confused as to where the cruise terminals were. Again, gave him the EXACT address, along with the large PIER 88 picture I had on my phone. We got there, but he should not be an Uber driver. He reported to Uber than he had to wait on me and they tacked on a $12 wait charge. Oh no...ain't happening. I logged a complaint, and within minutes the $12 charge was deducted. No tip and a bad review for the driver. But, I'm at the entrance of check-in. It's 9:45. All's good. Typical scene, particularly that early in the a.m. People disembarking, looking haggard, trying to find their rides, or lugging their bags to the parking lot. And, then there were us bright eyed, busy tailed folks, early, ready to embark. I'm Platinum Latitudes, so I got a seat in the Platinum, Platinum+ and Ambassador waiting area (right by the embarkation doors to the ship). Checked in, found a seat, it was about 10:15 a.m. I had fun talking to others in the area. All of us excited, talking about what we were going to do first, where we were from.....obviously, we sailed NCL quite a bit, so we all listed our ships, talked about our other cruises, etc. Before I knew it, we were announced to get ready to board. Time flew as it was now 10:45 a.m. By 10:50, we were walking the "plank" to get on the ship. I've sailed enough to know that the less luggage you have, the better the trip will be. Given the days of wearing suits, tuxes etc are long gone, I limit my clothing to the essentials....boxers, shorts, button down short sleeve shirts, a pair of dockers (if I have dinner in Le Bistro), a pair of jogging and swim trunks, some workout t-shirts, socks, shorty socks to use with tennis shoes, a pair of tennis shoes, a pair of closed toe shoes (usually Sperry Boat Shoes), electric razor, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, the Bose Mini-Link speaker (for music sitting on my balcony either having cocktails or early a.m. coffee), iPad, iPhone, Bose Blue Tooth earbuds, Hero Camera, various cords and plugs to charge everything. THAT. IS. IT. So, I use this for all of my main packing.... https://www.awaytravel.com/luggage/bigger-carry-on/brick And, I use this for my shoes, electronics, tickets, passport, cords, plugs, any medicine, speaker, iPad, etc..... https://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/tls-professional-slim-laptop-backpack/249582?productid=10317756 As such, I have no checked baggage, and anything I need is with me at all times. There's a method to this madness. I never have to worry about a porter mislabeling my bag or breaking the zipper (both of which have happened to me. Neither is fun!). I don't have to wait for my luggage to be delivered to my cabin, as it's with me. And, I can just walk off at disembarkation without doing the "hunt for your bag among the 1,000s waiting at the pier. Both are easy to roll (backpack on top of the wheeled roll aboard). So, now I'm able to go straight to "HEADLINERS" area to get VIBE passes. Surprise was one of the things I experienced upon finding they had raised the price of the VIBE from $99/pp (which was the price the last time I bought them on a different ship) to $209/pp. Thought about not buying them, but I had quite a bit of OBC ($450) that I took the plunge. Was it worth it? NO! Will I buy the VIBE again? NO! I think NCL has priced themselves out of the VIBE private area with me. Time for my first "drink of the day". Scored one right outside of HEADLINERS at "5 0'Clock Somewhere" Bar. Ahhhhh.....delicious. Bartenders were very accommodating and quite fun to chat with. I'd stop there often during the cruise. First drink down. Time for some lunch. Experience tells me that there's no way I'm going to the Garden Cafe buffet. I know what that looks like at lunch on embarkation day. Instead, I headed to O'Sheehans. Yes, it was busy. But, I was seated within minutes. Ordered a burger and a beer, both delicious, and just as I was finishing, they announced the cabins were ready. Rolling my luggage to the cabin #8726, opened the door and SHAZAM, this cabin is great. And, the balcony is HUGE, fitting 2 loungers, 2 upright chairs, one small table, one larger table. Plus, I was just a few steps away from "THE DISTRICT" Brewhouse and "FOOD REPUBLIC". Having the drink package, there were no extra charges for anything I drank at THE DISTRICT. Plus, it had a great view with all the windows and couches overlooking the water. I had the dining package, too. But, FOOD REPUBLIC was not included. Still, I ate there a couple of times. Food was outstanding and in reality, I never spent more than $10 each time, came away full. Hitting the WaterFront, which is one of my favorite areas of the ship, there are chairs, couches, bars and even al fresco dining areas. I hit up the bars in and around The Waterfront. Yes, it was cold, but I kept moving (and drinking) so I didn't seem to mind it. Explored more and it was quickly time for the safety briefing. It went on without a hitch. And, something I'd never seen before, those who came late, didn't have their Sea Pass cards scanned (as the people doing the scanning were getting ready for the demo with the life preservers). Those who were tardee had to return the next day and do it again. I liked that. Why hold everyone else up, who also want to get on with their vacation, waiting on a few people? It's not like there weren't plenty of announcements all over the ship (including cabins). That out of the way, I was planning on going to the upper decks to see sailaway, but given how nice my balcony was, I grabbed a beer (actually two of them) from the DISTRICT and headed to the balcony. Sat there, music playing, watching sailaway. One of the best I've experienced. Plus, I had quick access to my own private bathroom in the process. Time for dinner....as a solo, I'm flexible. I have no problems eating alone. And, I do enjoy being seated with strangers, making new friends. Headed to SAVOR, one of the MDRs. I was seated with some interesting people. I enjoyed their company, just wouldn't want to sit with them again. Food was excellent. But, I bolted after desert, not wanting to stick around for any further idle conversation ("no....it's not you....it's me"). The rest of the time I just explored....having a drink here and a drink there. Peaking into this area, or another area. If you don't know, the ship is built around decks 6,7,8 as the hub. That's why it's known as 678 Ocean Place. From that point you can get to the casino, shopping, the HUGE video screen in the Atrium. You can get specialty coffees there, go to customer service, the excursion desk, "Cruise Next" desk. A lot of activities are centered around 678 Ocean Place. This is where it gets "interesting". By about 11:00 p.m. I was about ready to look at the inside of my eyelids for a while. Headed to the cabin, jumped into bed. But, was quickly awakened by the sound of bottles rattling around on the floor (received two bottles of bubbly from NCL and my TA). The ship was pitching, and before I could get awake enough to get my wits about me, I was literally thrown from my bed, onto the floor. I had a plate of chocolate covered strawberries that were hurled across the room, as well as my phone (which was plugged in, but was unplugged by the listing ship). Tried to stand up (sideways), got to my feet, headed to my balcony door, throwing the drapes open, and there was all of my balcony furniture doing a literal dance on the balcony. A minute later, a table and two chairs went flying out over the balcony glass wall and into the abyss. Jeez-Louise!!!!!!!! Threw on some shorts, a t-shirt and my Top-Siders, I went out to the hall of the cabin. People were holding onto the wall. I figured maybe going to the Atrium, I could see what was happening. Glass was on the floor, it was wet, there were some drinks spilled and a few chairs sliding around. Some people had fallen. I did my best to help them up and to see if they were hurt. Myself, another passenger who was a nurse was helping too. No one was really hurt, just scared. Headed to the casino as that was close, too. Helped some people up who had fallen. Again, no one was hurt badly, but had fallen and perhaps had a sprain or a bump on the head. This went on for about an hour. The Captain and CD were on the intercom constantly and calmly, telling the passengers what was going on. Crew were everywhere, helping whomever, wherever they were needed....doing so professionally and calmly. Finally, by midnight, the Captain gave the "all clear" announcement. Found out the next day, we were hit by a sudden and unexpected ~125 MPH wind. The ship actually listed about 15º. That doesn't sound like much, until you get thrown from your bed, or try to walk. It didn't just list and stop. It kept listing back and forth. Went back to the cabin....tried to sleep, but did so only fitfully. Next day, there was quite a mess in my cabin. Went to breakfast at the Garden Cafe. It looked like nothing had happened. The only way you would have known, was from each passenger's own account of what they experienced. Went back to my cabin, and my steward had it looking like nothing was amiss, including replacing the balcony furniture that flew away. I can't say enough good about NCL and NCL's crew. They were "on top" of everything. They did everything within their power to make certain passengers were safe, or to help those who were scared or injured. Not sure I can top the review so far. The weather stayed cold. Even when we hit Port Canaveral, it was chilly. I had been to Canaveral many times before. So, I decided to stay on the ship. Got a massage (again, having to use up my OBC). Yes, it was overpriced. But, it's about the same price you'd pay at any resort. And, it was a good massage. Ate at the Garden Cafe for lunch....no crowd. The produce was fresh and tasty. Plus, I had a burger which was very good, regardless of having it in the Buffett. It was just plain tasty. We missed Grand Stirrup Cay, because it was still windy and we couldn't tender ashore. Another good day just hanging out on the ship. But, it was finally warm enough to spend Tim in the VIBE (remember that ticket?). Wasn't a lot of people there. And, I was there during what should have been a peak time. I'm thinking NCL has over thought what passes to the VIBE were worth. To me, it's worth the original $99, not a penny more. So, won't be doing that again. I found Spice H20 as an "adults" area, to be a lot more fun, particularly with the water grotto and the wealth of loungers, and its own bar. Last stop was Nassau. Had a $50 voucher from NCL for an excursion. Hadn't taken one yet. So, I took a bus tour (that cost $49.95) of Nassau. I've been there before. So, it's typical. You have your downtown area where you find the typical shops....Diamonds International, Ron Jon, etc. The tour bus took us to a rum factory (not a big rum drinker, but enjoyed the tour) and Atlantis (pretty posh on the inside but you're restricted where you can go). That's it for the excursions. Not much to tell, mostly because of the weather. Not NCL's fault, though. ENTERTAINMENT......I'll say this up front. I've never seen a show on ANY NCL cruise that I didn't thoroughly enjoy. Highlight of this one was Choir of Man. I went the last night of the cruise. No reservations. Walked right in and sat down about 12 rows back, a shade left of center....great seats, and every seat was filled within 10 minutes of me sitting down. I got there 15 minutes before the show. I can't say enough good about it. IT WAS OUTSTANDING. Hard to describe except to say it's based on a group of men in an English Pub who prefer singing and dancing rather than talking about sports. And, boy could they sing and dance. BTW, there was no charge for this show. Every night I ended up at HEADLINERS, usually late (as in after 11:00 p.m.) seeing either the comedian (good) or the dueling piano playing (great fun). When the weather warmed up, I spent a lot of time on the WaterFront, having cocktails while reading a book. Loved doing that, while just watching the water go by. Every once in a while someone I had met earlier would join me and we'd just have a great time chatting. THE PASSENGERS....I made some great new friends on this cruise. I actually met a fine lady, who we're kind of sort of "seeing each other". A little tough because of distance. But, we aren't expecting anything, so we aren't disappointed. Everyone else was wonderful. NCL passengers just have the same "vibe" I do. Ages ranged from 20s to probably 80s, and everything in between (where I fall). It seems like every cruise, there is someone or a couple of someones who are ill-tempered. Not this cruise. DINING....in addition to the drinks perk, I had the specialty dining perk (3 dinners for the perk, 2 dinners from NCL for being Platinum Latitudes, and one from AMEX for using my card to book the cruise). From my first meal at O'Sheehans (casual pub food) to my last meal at Food Republic, I only had one meal I could complain about. That was a specialty dinner at Le Bistro. I had scallops which were overcooked and way too salty. In fairness, they offered me another dinner as compensation, but I already had all the Specialty Dinners I could use. The MDR (Savor) and Garden Cafe were never less than "good". I also ate at Cagney's (2x) for a filet and prime rib. Both were wonderful. LaCucina did good Italian (Get the Osso Bucco.....it is divine). Teppanyaki (very similar to an Hibachi Grill restaurant where the chef cooks your food in front of you) was great. Ordered scallops again, and they were world's better than those I had at Le Bistro. Even breakfast every a.m. in the Garden Cafe was good. I only had fruit and yoghurt, but it was still very fresh and good. SERVICE....from the wait staff, to my room steward, to every bartender and restaurant server I encountered, everyone greeted me with a smile....many by addressing me by my name. Even customer service personnel (which are probably the most harassed staff on any ship) were kind and helpful. I think NCL must have upgraded their internet. It was quite fast (for a cruise ship) for me. I was getting 20+mbps both up and down loads...which is quite good. No complaints there. I smelled smoke in the casino the first night (the night of the storm). After that, it was a faint smell, but not overwhelming. Even the smoking lounge (cigar lounge?) kept the smoke well contained from getting out into the surrounding areas. All-in-all, a great cruise, even with the storm. I spent more time on the ship with this cruise than any other cruise I've ever taken. I got a chance to see the crew more, and interface with them more. They try so hard to make sure I was happy. That's what really made this cruise. I'll sail Escape, again!

Beautiful ship....great staff!!!!

Norwegian Escape Cruise Review by graphicguy

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2019
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Large Balcony
This will go down as one of the most "eventful" cruises I've ever taken.

Had some time off and at the last minute (say less than 3 weeks) I decided to take a cruise. Didn't care where it was going to, or what port. I just wanted to get away after a grueling Holiday (personal reasons).

Going solo, I thought about getting a solo cabin. But, I just so happen to like nice cabins when I cruise....balcony? Check. No obstructions visually? Check. Easy to get to and from the "action"? Check. That's the kind of cabin I want!

While looking at pricing on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, MSC, and Celebrity, I found a mini-suite cabin with a large balcony on the NCL Escape. And, it was nearly the same price as a regular balcony cabin. Plus, it was less expensive than all the other cruise lines I was looking at. I'm in!

Going out of NYC to the Bahamas (as the Escape was) in February is a bit of a crap shoot, which is probably why the cruise was such a good deal. But, I've sailed out of NYC before (albeit to Bermuda instead of the Bahamas for this cruise). I knew the Atlantic could be a bit rough sailing, particularly in the winter. Flights booked, cabin booked, hotel booked (Sofitel in Mid-Town NYC). All systems go.

Flying in and out of NYC is always an adventure. Using my Delta points, I flew in to LGA, but could only get reasonable flights out of EWR. No matter....I'm flexible.

Flying into LGA was uneventful, and actually on time. I used goairlinkshuttle.com, which I arranged in advance, to get me to the hotel. Again, uneventful.....they were prompt, let me know where they were outside the airport. And, everything went off without a hitch. $20 + tip and away I went. This is all good.

While it was cold, again I expected the weather. Got settled at the hotel (points used meaning it was a free stay for me). Was close enough to Times Square that I had the evening to hang out, walk around, people watch and get some excellent street food. Followed that up with couple of drinks at a dive bar (which are the best) headed back to the hotel for a good night's rest.

Next a.m. (Sunday), I was up early. Walked to Starbucks, two coffees and one muffin later, I was back in the hotel room, repacking to leave. Called up an Uber about 9:00 a.m., headed to the hotel front door, Uber driver called twice saying he could not find me. I had texted him the name and the EXACT address of the hotel, but he could not find me. Getting ready to hail a taxi after about 20 minutes of this craziness, Uber showed up. Driver swore I was not at the entrance. I was, waiting, looking for his white Toyota Sienna (which is a big mini-van, and very hard to miss), which was nowhere to be found. I "harrumphed", got in the van, and off we went. Driver seemed confused as to where the cruise terminals were. Again, gave him the EXACT address, along with the large PIER 88 picture I had on my phone. We got there, but he should not be an Uber driver. He reported to Uber than he had to wait on me and they tacked on a $12 wait charge. Oh no...ain't happening. I logged a complaint, and within minutes the $12 charge was deducted. No tip and a bad review for the driver.

But, I'm at the entrance of check-in. It's 9:45. All's good. Typical scene, particularly that early in the a.m. People disembarking, looking haggard, trying to find their rides, or lugging their bags to the parking lot. And, then there were us bright eyed, busy tailed folks, early, ready to embark.

I'm Platinum Latitudes, so I got a seat in the Platinum, Platinum+ and Ambassador waiting area (right by the embarkation doors to the ship). Checked in, found a seat, it was about 10:15 a.m. I had fun talking to others in the area. All of us excited, talking about what we were going to do first, where we were from.....obviously, we sailed NCL quite a bit, so we all listed our ships, talked about our other cruises, etc. Before I knew it, we were announced to get ready to board. Time flew as it was now 10:45 a.m. By 10:50, we were walking the "plank" to get on the ship.

I've sailed enough to know that the less luggage you have, the better the trip will be. Given the days of wearing suits, tuxes etc are long gone, I limit my clothing to the essentials....boxers, shorts, button down short sleeve shirts, a pair of dockers (if I have dinner in Le Bistro), a pair of jogging and swim trunks, some workout t-shirts, socks, shorty socks to use with tennis shoes, a pair of tennis shoes, a pair of closed toe shoes (usually Sperry Boat Shoes), electric razor, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, the Bose Mini-Link speaker (for music sitting on my balcony either having cocktails or early a.m. coffee), iPad, iPhone, Bose Blue Tooth earbuds, Hero Camera, various cords and plugs to charge everything. THAT. IS. IT.

So, I use this for all of my main packing.... https://www.awaytravel.com/luggage/bigger-carry-on/brick

And, I use this for my shoes, electronics, tickets, passport, cords, plugs, any medicine, speaker, iPad, etc..... https://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/tls-professional-slim-laptop-backpack/249582?productid=10317756

As such, I have no checked baggage, and anything I need is with me at all times. There's a method to this madness. I never have to worry about a porter mislabeling my bag or breaking the zipper (both of which have happened to me. Neither is fun!). I don't have to wait for my luggage to be delivered to my cabin, as it's with me. And, I can just walk off at disembarkation without doing the "hunt for your bag among the 1,000s waiting at the pier. Both are easy to roll (backpack on top of the wheeled roll aboard).

So, now I'm able to go straight to "HEADLINERS" area to get VIBE passes. Surprise was one of the things I experienced upon finding they had raised the price of the VIBE from $99/pp (which was the price the last time I bought them on a different ship) to $209/pp. Thought about not buying them, but I had quite a bit of OBC ($450) that I took the plunge. Was it worth it? NO! Will I buy the VIBE again? NO! I think NCL has priced themselves out of the VIBE private area with me.

Time for my first "drink of the day". Scored one right outside of HEADLINERS at "5 0'Clock Somewhere" Bar. Ahhhhh.....delicious. Bartenders were very accommodating and quite fun to chat with. I'd stop there often during the cruise.

First drink down. Time for some lunch. Experience tells me that there's no way I'm going to the Garden Cafe buffet. I know what that looks like at lunch on embarkation day. Instead, I headed to O'Sheehans. Yes, it was busy. But, I was seated within minutes. Ordered a burger and a beer, both delicious, and just as I was finishing, they announced the cabins were ready.

Rolling my luggage to the cabin #8726, opened the door and SHAZAM, this cabin is great. And, the balcony is HUGE, fitting 2 loungers, 2 upright chairs, one small table, one larger table. Plus, I was just a few steps away from "THE DISTRICT" Brewhouse and "FOOD REPUBLIC". Having the drink package, there were no extra charges for anything I drank at THE DISTRICT. Plus, it had a great view with all the windows and couches overlooking the water. I had the dining package, too. But, FOOD REPUBLIC was not included. Still, I ate there a couple of times. Food was outstanding and in reality, I never spent more than $10 each time, came away full.

Hitting the WaterFront, which is one of my favorite areas of the ship, there are chairs, couches, bars and even al fresco dining areas. I hit up the bars in and around The Waterfront. Yes, it was cold, but I kept moving (and drinking) so I didn't seem to mind it.

Explored more and it was quickly time for the safety briefing. It went on without a hitch. And, something I'd never seen before, those who came late, didn't have their Sea Pass cards scanned (as the people doing the scanning were getting ready for the demo with the life preservers). Those who were tardee had to return the next day and do it again. I liked that. Why hold everyone else up, who also want to get on with their vacation, waiting on a few people? It's not like there weren't plenty of announcements all over the ship (including cabins).

That out of the way, I was planning on going to the upper decks to see sailaway, but given how nice my balcony was, I grabbed a beer (actually two of them) from the DISTRICT and headed to the balcony. Sat there, music playing, watching sailaway. One of the best I've experienced. Plus, I had quick access to my own private bathroom in the process.

Time for dinner....as a solo, I'm flexible. I have no problems eating alone. And, I do enjoy being seated with strangers, making new friends. Headed to SAVOR, one of the MDRs. I was seated with some interesting people. I enjoyed their company, just wouldn't want to sit with them again. Food was excellent. But, I bolted after desert, not wanting to stick around for any further idle conversation ("no....it's not you....it's me").

The rest of the time I just explored....having a drink here and a drink there. Peaking into this area, or another area.

If you don't know, the ship is built around decks 6,7,8 as the hub. That's why it's known as 678 Ocean Place. From that point you can get to the casino, shopping, the HUGE video screen in the Atrium. You can get specialty coffees there, go to customer service, the excursion desk, "Cruise Next" desk. A lot of activities are centered around 678 Ocean Place.

This is where it gets "interesting". By about 11:00 p.m. I was about ready to look at the inside of my eyelids for a while. Headed to the cabin, jumped into bed. But, was quickly awakened by the sound of bottles rattling around on the floor (received two bottles of bubbly from NCL and my TA). The ship was pitching, and before I could get awake enough to get my wits about me, I was literally thrown from my bed, onto the floor. I had a plate of chocolate covered strawberries that were hurled across the room, as well as my phone (which was plugged in, but was unplugged by the listing ship).

Tried to stand up (sideways), got to my feet, headed to my balcony door, throwing the drapes open, and there was all of my balcony furniture doing a literal dance on the balcony. A minute later, a table and two chairs went flying out over the balcony glass wall and into the abyss. Jeez-Louise!!!!!!!!

Threw on some shorts, a t-shirt and my Top-Siders, I went out to the hall of the cabin. People were holding onto the wall. I figured maybe going to the Atrium, I could see what was happening. Glass was on the floor, it was wet, there were some drinks spilled and a few chairs sliding around. Some people had fallen. I did my best to help them up and to see if they were hurt. Myself, another passenger who was a nurse was helping too. No one was really hurt, just scared.

Headed to the casino as that was close, too. Helped some people up who had fallen. Again, no one was hurt badly, but had fallen and perhaps had a sprain or a bump on the head.

This went on for about an hour. The Captain and CD were on the intercom constantly and calmly, telling the passengers what was going on. Crew were everywhere, helping whomever, wherever they were needed....doing so professionally and calmly. Finally, by midnight, the Captain gave the "all clear" announcement. Found out the next day, we were hit by a sudden and unexpected ~125 MPH wind. The ship actually listed about 15º. That doesn't sound like much, until you get thrown from your bed, or try to walk. It didn't just list and stop. It kept listing back and forth.

Went back to the cabin....tried to sleep, but did so only fitfully.

Next day, there was quite a mess in my cabin. Went to breakfast at the Garden Cafe. It looked like nothing had happened. The only way you would have known, was from each passenger's own account of what they experienced. Went back to my cabin, and my steward had it looking like nothing was amiss, including replacing the balcony furniture that flew away.

I can't say enough good about NCL and NCL's crew. They were "on top" of everything. They did everything within their power to make certain passengers were safe, or to help those who were scared or injured.

Not sure I can top the review so far.

The weather stayed cold. Even when we hit Port Canaveral, it was chilly. I had been to Canaveral many times before. So, I decided to stay on the ship. Got a massage (again, having to use up my OBC). Yes, it was overpriced. But, it's about the same price you'd pay at any resort. And, it was a good massage.

Ate at the Garden Cafe for lunch....no crowd. The produce was fresh and tasty. Plus, I had a burger which was very good, regardless of having it in the Buffett. It was just plain tasty.

We missed Grand Stirrup Cay, because it was still windy and we couldn't tender ashore. Another good day just hanging out on the ship. But, it was finally warm enough to spend Tim in the VIBE (remember that ticket?). Wasn't a lot of people there. And, I was there during what should have been a peak time. I'm thinking NCL has over thought what passes to the VIBE were worth. To me, it's worth the original $99, not a penny more. So, won't be doing that again. I found Spice H20 as an "adults" area, to be a lot more fun, particularly with the water grotto and the wealth of loungers, and its own bar.

Last stop was Nassau. Had a $50 voucher from NCL for an excursion. Hadn't taken one yet. So, I took a bus tour (that cost $49.95) of Nassau. I've been there before. So, it's typical. You have your downtown area where you find the typical shops....Diamonds International, Ron Jon, etc. The tour bus took us to a rum factory (not a big rum drinker, but enjoyed the tour) and Atlantis (pretty posh on the inside but you're restricted where you can go).

That's it for the excursions. Not much to tell, mostly because of the weather. Not NCL's fault, though.

ENTERTAINMENT......I'll say this up front. I've never seen a show on ANY NCL cruise that I didn't thoroughly enjoy. Highlight of this one was Choir of Man. I went the last night of the cruise. No reservations. Walked right in and sat down about 12 rows back, a shade left of center....great seats, and every seat was filled within 10 minutes of me sitting down. I got there 15 minutes before the show. I can't say enough good about it. IT WAS OUTSTANDING. Hard to describe except to say it's based on a group of men in an English Pub who prefer singing and dancing rather than talking about sports. And, boy could they sing and dance. BTW, there was no charge for this show.

Every night I ended up at HEADLINERS, usually late (as in after 11:00 p.m.) seeing either the comedian (good) or the dueling piano playing (great fun).

When the weather warmed up, I spent a lot of time on the WaterFront, having cocktails while reading a book. Loved doing that, while just watching the water go by. Every once in a while someone I had met earlier would join me and we'd just have a great time chatting.

THE PASSENGERS....I made some great new friends on this cruise. I actually met a fine lady, who we're kind of sort of "seeing each other". A little tough because of distance. But, we aren't expecting anything, so we aren't disappointed. Everyone else was wonderful. NCL passengers just have the same "vibe" I do. Ages ranged from 20s to probably 80s, and everything in between (where I fall). It seems like every cruise, there is someone or a couple of someones who are ill-tempered. Not this cruise.

DINING....in addition to the drinks perk, I had the specialty dining perk (3 dinners for the perk, 2 dinners from NCL for being Platinum Latitudes, and one from AMEX for using my card to book the cruise). From my first meal at O'Sheehans (casual pub food) to my last meal at Food Republic, I only had one meal I could complain about. That was a specialty dinner at Le Bistro. I had scallops which were overcooked and way too salty. In fairness, they offered me another dinner as compensation, but I already had all the Specialty Dinners I could use. The MDR (Savor) and Garden Cafe were never less than "good". I also ate at Cagney's (2x) for a filet and prime rib. Both were wonderful. LaCucina did good Italian (Get the Osso Bucco.....it is divine). Teppanyaki (very similar to an Hibachi Grill restaurant where the chef cooks your food in front of you) was great. Ordered scallops again, and they were world's better than those I had at Le Bistro.

Even breakfast every a.m. in the Garden Cafe was good. I only had fruit and yoghurt, but it was still very fresh and good.

SERVICE....from the wait staff, to my room steward, to every bartender and restaurant server I encountered, everyone greeted me with a smile....many by addressing me by my name. Even customer service personnel (which are probably the most harassed staff on any ship) were kind and helpful.

I think NCL must have upgraded their internet. It was quite fast (for a cruise ship) for me. I was getting 20+mbps both up and down loads...which is quite good. No complaints there.

I smelled smoke in the casino the first night (the night of the storm). After that, it was a faint smell, but not overwhelming. Even the smoking lounge (cigar lounge?) kept the smoke well contained from getting out into the surrounding areas.

All-in-all, a great cruise, even with the storm. I spent more time on the ship with this cruise than any other cruise I've ever taken. I got a chance to see the crew more, and interface with them more. They try so hard to make sure I was happy. That's what really made this cruise. I'll sail Escape, again!
graphicguy’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Large Balcony
Cabin M6 8726
Loved Escape....will sail her again!
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins