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I'm a glass if half full kinda guy so read my review with this in mind. I decided to take my 20yo daughter on a decompression vacation the day after she took her MCAT test after 6 months of study. We booked at the very last minute. Cruise Outlet messed up our reservation so we ended up in an ocean view room with no perks instead of balcony with all the "Free at Sea" stuff. The ride to NYC from NH was uneventful and we ended up at the port by 11:00. The embarkation lines were pretty long and it took a couple hours to get on board which was fairly annoying. We had booked last minute so we had to visit customer services to give them a credit card and to sing the forms so my daughter could drink on board. The lines were short and we had no issues. We decided to have lunch, but after rejecting the mess at the buffet, we got to O'Sheehan's just as it closed for the mandatory drill. Oh well, a little fasting before 7 days of overeating probably isn't a bad thing. The Escape Man this is a big ship. I went on a few cruises 20 years ago and things are a lot bigger now. As others have mentioned, the elevators are a major issue during busy times. We just took the stairs. It's good exercise, but going from 5 to 17 is a haul. The top decks are huge. There were usually chairs available, but there was virtually no place to get out of the sun. I know it's impossible to ever have enough pools and hot tubs for 5000 people. I think the same group of Jersey bros pretty much monopolized one of the hot tubs every day with enough bud lite to keep them pretty happy for the next month. Other than the top deck, outdoor space is really limited on the Escape. We spent a lot of time reading in the comfy seats on deck 8. The only problem was if you ever left (like for lunch), you'd never find a spot again. The inside of the Escape on decks 6/7/8 smells like an old ash tray. I'm not sure who thought allowing smoking in the casino that is open to 3 decks was a great idea. It was kind of a flashback to my grandmother's living room in the 50's. Cabin We ended up in an ocean view cabin (5728). It was nice enough and clean. I wish there was a place to sit and read rather than lying in bed. The window is big enough to sit in, tho you'll get a little dizzy with the ocean whizzing by just 25 feet below you. The beds were comfortable and bathroom was fine. There was plenty of storage, but having just 3 outlets was a hassle trying to keep phones, ipads, headphones etc all charged up (especially if you fall asleep with your ipad as I usually do). Meals We ended up eating in specialty dining 5 nights. Reservations were easy to come by the 1st few days, but got really hard the last couple. Moderno Churrascria - Excellent salad bar. I could have been happy just eating there. Too bad it was the only salad bar on the ship. The meat was good but not great. I think NCL tries to pass pot roast off as fancy steak by wrapping bacon around it. The pork and lamb was ok. The roasted pineapple was excellent. Teppanyaki - The Japanese jokes get old after about 10 minutes (I never saw any of the large numbers of Japanese guests eating there, but I would have been a little offended if I were them). The food was excellent. I ordered steak and chicken, but there was left over shrimp and scallops so I sampled them too. All except maybe the chicken were very good. The green tea cake for dessert was horrible. La Cucina - We sat outside which was nice. The pasta appetizers were good but the sauce was a little thick. Maybe they sat under a heat lamp for a bit. The main courses were good as was dessert. Cagney's - We went there twice. The 1st night was excellent. The filet was perfect, as were the side dishes. The Creme Brulee and 7 layer cake were both great. The 2nd time, we ended up with a 9PM reservation and I think the crew had checked out for the night. I had surf and turf this time. The filet was extremely rare (I ordered it medium). The shrimp were small and tasted like the frozen ones from the grocery store. 4 of our 5 side dishes showed up 5 minutes after the main course was server (the 5th is still AWOL). Dessert kind of saved the day. MDR - Really not that bad other then a lot more kids than in the specialty dining rooms. We ended up next to the band in the Manhattan Room and has to ask to move since it was very loud. The french onion soup was very good. I had a pork entree that was as good as what I'd eaten in the specialty dining rooms. O'Sheehan's - We ate breakfast and lunch here most days. The made to order omelettes are good. The corned beef hash is nice. They don't have a clue how to make toast though. I finally figured out they had english muffins the last day and it was toasted perfectly (too bad it came out 10 minutes before my eggs). We had fajitas for lunch a few times and they are good. My daughter liked the burgers and the wings. Drinks/Bars - As I mentioned earlier, Cruise Outlet screwed up our reservations, so we were in the small minority of people on the ship without the drinks package. We had a $30-ish bottle of wine with most dinners and for the most part they were pretty good for the price (at least before the automatic 20% got added on). We liked the District Brew House until they ran out of Dogfish Head IPA on day 5. We had a Margarita at it's 5 O'clock Somewhere but it had almost no alcohol in it for north of $30 for 2 of them. I assume thats a side effect of most everyone having "free" drinks and not wanting to knock everyone out before 5 O'Clock. We would never drink enough to justify paying $120/day/person for the drinks package, but it sure would have been nice to have it for free. Entertainment Loved Choir of Man Slept through After Midnight The WIne Lovers lunch show was entertaining Liked Howling at the Moon. The audience is pretty entertaining and the performers are fun There was nice music at the Tobacco Bar a couple nights, but people were talking too loudly to enjoy it. Bermuda What can I say... It's beautiful. Everyone is very friendly and I never felt the least bit threatened. I'm not crazy about King's Wharf since it's off in the middle of no where. The last time I went, the ship docked at St Georges, but I guess modern cruise ships are too big to get in there these days. We did take the free NCL ferry to St Georges one day. It's a great little town and an easy walk to Tobacco Bay. We rented pedal bikes one day and logged 25 or so miles biking down to Horseshoe Bay and back. The rail trail is very nice for biking once you find it (it starts a couple miles from the port). Horseshoe Bay is a total mess. Wall to wall people and the day we stopped by the beach was covered in seaweed. We did fine several unoccupied beaches along the way as well as Fort Scaur which is very interesting. We went on the local shipwreck snorkel trip. The boat was nearly empty and it was a good time. In the End... I'd do it again. Hopefully with a Balcony room so we had some private outside space. The NCL Escape is nice enough. I'm not sure specialty dining is necessary, but it does get you some variety. I'd love more time to explore Bermuda off the beaten track

I'd do it again

Norwegian Escape Cruise Review by ballisonnh

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Bermuda
  • Cabin Type: Mid-ship Oceanview Stateroom with Large Picture Window
I'm a glass if half full kinda guy so read my review with this in mind. I decided to take my 20yo daughter on a decompression vacation the day after she took her MCAT test after 6 months of study. We booked at the very last minute. Cruise Outlet messed up our reservation so we ended up in an ocean view room with no perks instead of balcony with all the "Free at Sea" stuff.

The ride to NYC from NH was uneventful and we ended up at the port by 11:00. The embarkation lines were pretty long and it took a couple hours to get on board which was fairly annoying. We had booked last minute so we had to visit customer services to give them a credit card and to sing the forms so my daughter could drink on board. The lines were short and we had no issues.

We decided to have lunch, but after rejecting the mess at the buffet, we got to O'Sheehan's just as it closed for the mandatory drill. Oh well, a little fasting before 7 days of overeating probably isn't a bad thing.

The Escape

Man this is a big ship. I went on a few cruises 20 years ago and things are a lot bigger now. As others have mentioned, the elevators are a major issue during busy times. We just took the stairs. It's good exercise, but going from 5 to 17 is a haul.

The top decks are huge. There were usually chairs available, but there was virtually no place to get out of the sun. I know it's impossible to ever have enough pools and hot tubs for 5000 people. I think the same group of Jersey bros pretty much monopolized one of the hot tubs every day with enough bud lite to keep them pretty happy for the next month.

Other than the top deck, outdoor space is really limited on the Escape. We spent a lot of time reading in the comfy seats on deck 8. The only problem was if you ever left (like for lunch), you'd never find a spot again.

The inside of the Escape on decks 6/7/8 smells like an old ash tray. I'm not sure who thought allowing smoking in the casino that is open to 3 decks was a great idea. It was kind of a flashback to my grandmother's living room in the 50's.

Cabin

We ended up in an ocean view cabin (5728). It was nice enough and clean. I wish there was a place to sit and read rather than lying in bed. The window is big enough to sit in, tho you'll get a little dizzy with the ocean whizzing by just 25 feet below you. The beds were comfortable and bathroom was fine. There was plenty of storage, but having just 3 outlets was a hassle trying to keep phones, ipads, headphones etc all charged up (especially if you fall asleep with your ipad as I usually do).

Meals

We ended up eating in specialty dining 5 nights. Reservations were easy to come by the 1st few days, but got really hard the last couple.

Moderno Churrascria - Excellent salad bar. I could have been happy just eating there. Too bad it was the only salad bar on the ship. The meat was good but not great. I think NCL tries to pass pot roast off as fancy steak by wrapping bacon around it. The pork and lamb was ok. The roasted pineapple was excellent.

Teppanyaki - The Japanese jokes get old after about 10 minutes (I never saw any of the large numbers of Japanese guests eating there, but I would have been a little offended if I were them). The food was excellent. I ordered steak and chicken, but there was left over shrimp and scallops so I sampled them too. All except maybe the chicken were very good. The green tea cake for dessert was horrible.

La Cucina - We sat outside which was nice. The pasta appetizers were good but the sauce was a little thick. Maybe they sat under a heat lamp for a bit. The main courses were good as was dessert.

Cagney's - We went there twice. The 1st night was excellent. The filet was perfect, as were the side dishes. The Creme Brulee and 7 layer cake were both great. The 2nd time, we ended up with a 9PM reservation and I think the crew had checked out for the night. I had surf and turf this time. The filet was extremely rare (I ordered it medium). The shrimp were small and tasted like the frozen ones from the grocery store. 4 of our 5 side dishes showed up 5 minutes after the main course was server (the 5th is still AWOL). Dessert kind of saved the day.

MDR - Really not that bad other then a lot more kids than in the specialty dining rooms. We ended up next to the band in the Manhattan Room and has to ask to move since it was very loud. The french onion soup was very good. I had a pork entree that was as good as what I'd eaten in the specialty dining rooms.

O'Sheehan's - We ate breakfast and lunch here most days. The made to order omelettes are good. The corned beef hash is nice. They don't have a clue how to make toast though. I finally figured out they had english muffins the last day and it was toasted perfectly (too bad it came out 10 minutes before my eggs). We had fajitas for lunch a few times and they are good. My daughter liked the burgers and the wings.

Drinks/Bars - As I mentioned earlier, Cruise Outlet screwed up our reservations, so we were in the small minority of people on the ship without the drinks package. We had a $30-ish bottle of wine with most dinners and for the most part they were pretty good for the price (at least before the automatic 20% got added on). We liked the District Brew House until they ran out of Dogfish Head IPA on day 5. We had a Margarita at it's 5 O'clock Somewhere but it had almost no alcohol in it for north of $30 for 2 of them. I assume thats a side effect of most everyone having "free" drinks and not wanting to knock everyone out before 5 O'Clock. We would never drink enough to justify paying $120/day/person for the drinks package, but it sure would have been nice to have it for free.

Entertainment

Loved Choir of Man

Slept through After Midnight

The WIne Lovers lunch show was entertaining

Liked Howling at the Moon. The audience is pretty entertaining and the performers are fun

There was nice music at the Tobacco Bar a couple nights, but people were talking too loudly to enjoy it.


Bermuda

What can I say... It's beautiful. Everyone is very friendly and I never felt the least bit threatened. I'm not crazy about King's Wharf since it's off in the middle of no where. The last time I went, the ship docked at St Georges, but I guess modern cruise ships are too big to get in there these days.

We did take the free NCL ferry to St Georges one day. It's a great little town and an easy walk to Tobacco Bay.

We rented pedal bikes one day and logged 25 or so miles biking down to Horseshoe Bay and back. The rail trail is very nice for biking once you find it (it starts a couple miles from the port). Horseshoe Bay is a total mess. Wall to wall people and the day we stopped by the beach was covered in seaweed. We did fine several unoccupied beaches along the way as well as Fort Scaur which is very interesting.

We went on the local shipwreck snorkel trip. The boat was nearly empty and it was a good time.

In the End...

I'd do it again. Hopefully with a Balcony room so we had some private outside space. The NCL Escape is nice enough. I'm not sure specialty dining is necessary, but it does get you some variety. I'd love more time to explore Bermuda off the beaten track
ballisonnh’s Full Rating Summary
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