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Norwegian Escape Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,810 Reviews

Let chaos reign

Norwegian Escape Cruise Review by heidi's dad

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Sep 2019
  • Destination: Canada & New England
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom

The cruise was chosen for the itinerary. We have cruised to New England and Canada in the past with another cruise line and were very satisfied. We were able to book this cruise through our Marriott Vacation Club membership. The ship itself is fine. The way it is run is a joke. From start to finish there were issues.

Hurricane Dorian delayed the ship's arrival in New York but we were not notified of the delay. We spent about 4 hours in the cruise terminal waiting for embarkation. Weather delays are understandable and not the fault of the cruise line, not keeping passengers apprised of the situation is not. Of course, once onboard cabins were not available but that's not unusual either. The dining rooms were open due to the lateness of embarkation but unprepared for the onslaught of diners. Service was a little sketchy but acceptable given the fact that most first night onboard meals are not the best. After dinner the cabin was available and miraculously the luggage was also there. Our steward stopped by to introduce himself but we never saw him again for seven days.

The safety presentation didn't occur until 10:30pm which was well past bedtime for many of the passengers. Norwegian doesn't place life vests in the cabins and given the chaos of their general assemblies is probably a disaster waiting to happen.

Going ashore for excursions was a thrill. Direction was generally lacking onboard and no better when you got ashore. Busses were not assigned you just stood in line and were loaded on as you arrived. The saving grace is that the tours and guides we took were generally good.

Food onboard in the main dining rooms was generally good and so was service for the most part. The specialty restaurants seemed pricey for what they offered so we avoided them. The ability to make reservations for the dining venues from your in cabin tv was touted but didn't work.

The onboard entertainment we saw was very good. Knights and The Choir of Man were worth the time. The Manhattan dining room had music during dinner which was good and dancing was available. It was a great venue.

The cabin was nothing special. Tight but sufficient storage.

We made arrangements for airport transfer, post cruise, through Norwegian. What a joke. In fact, the entire disembarkation was a chaotic joke. As with most cruise lines disembarkation occurred based on luggage tag color which is based on airline schedules, etc. Unlike other lines we have cruised with, there was no gathering point for each color just a free for all to the disembarkation deck when the color was called. You were told to go to either the forward or aft lobbies. We went forward as that was where our cabin was and were then paraded through the ship to the aft gangway where we were then paraded around the outside of the terminal to the forward part of the ship! Once we found our luggage we were directed toward the exit but with no direction as to where our transfer to the airport would be. We finally were told to "go to the left" at the exit for airport transfers. The chaos continued as we exited the terminal to see a line of passengers stretching two piers with an adjacent line of busses with no indication as to what airport they were travelling to!! With three airports in the NYC area you have to know which bus will take you to your airport. If that wasn't enough, no one was being allowed to board the busses and no one was there to direct passengers to their appropriate transport. At least, my wife pointed out to me, the weather was beautiful during this fiasco. Eventually, we made our way onto a bus to LaGuardia and our trip and any further cruising with Norwegian came to an end.

heidi's dad's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom

Plain Jane

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Portland (Maine)

Good tour guide. Scenic area with a quaint shopping district.


Scenic area but less to do than we remembered from our last trip there 15 years ago.

Saint John (New Brunswick)

Learned more than we needed to about the Irving family and their various businesses.

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heidi's dad
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