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

The Best First Time Cruise Experience!

Norwegian Escape Cruise Review by NoraExplorer

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2019
  • Destination: Bermuda
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview Stateroom with Large Picture Window

My husband decided to take me on our first cruise to Bermuda. We both never went on a cruise before, so, we were very excited. From the phone reservation that we made with Starling (NCL representative), to the end of our trip, we were just amazed by the whole process and operation. We found it easy to deal with. The embarkation process information could be a little bit clearer. After the cruise, we thought a later embarkation time is better. If you arrive early, you may have to wait in line. They call people by the group number. So, later time would guarantee less wait time because your group number would have been called already.

The Escape ship is huge and beautiful! It didn’t look that big while we’re inside because walking from the front to the back of the ship didn’t take that long or could it be due to activities and decorations surrounding the interior ship. Once we embarked on the ship, we went to the buffet section because we were advised to do so by the staff at the ticket counter without knowing that the main dining rooms were already opened for business. So, please go to the main dining room if you could wait a little bit to get your meal, otherwise go to Garden Cafe buffet on Deck 16 to eat right away. We were hungry due to waiting in line, so it worked out good. We only enjoyed the buffet 2-3 days for breakfast and lunch during our 7-day cruise. We went to the main dining rooms and specialty restaurants most of the time. We received 3 specialty restaurants plus free Wi-Fi service that came in the package. However, the free Wi-Fi lasted 4 hours, so on top of that, we bought an unlimited Wi-Fi service for only $80+ and stayed connected the entire time. After lunch on embarkation day, we went straight to our room. We booked an Oceanview as per Starling, because of our first-time cruise. He was correct to suggest this because we spent most of our time outside the cabin. We had Natalie, a lovely steward. She was so nice from day one. She cleaned the room each time we walked out, so the room was always clean and neat. Awesome!

The employees were exceptional! Whatever training they made them do was worthwhile and paid off. I think Norwegian Cruise Line nailed it in the service business. The hosts and hostesses were very accommodating. Sometimes this goes both ways. We’re the type of people who make conversation with employees no matter where we go and dine. This little thing goes a long way. We remember Jay Bee Morales, Noelia, Luh, Ivanna, Claire, Wayan, Chris T, Dinalo, and many others but these names stick with us because we talked to them more than once. We were so thankful for Jay Bee’s hospitality. He’s an assistant Maitre D and he ran a great crew! Everyone on the ship worked hard to maintain the service to a high standard. I must admit that we plan to take the same cruise again.

About the entertainment on the ship, we saw two shows. The third night we saw “After Midnight”. We booked this before the cruise date. This show was mindboggling! We enjoyed the performance, especially the tap dance by the trio. We also enjoyed the singing by 2-3 talented artists, great voice! On ‪our last night,‬ we saw “The Choir of Man” and this one was fantastic! We booked this on board. The selected songs in this show were perfect. We enjoyed the music and don’t mind seeing it again. We will try the comedy club and karaoke next time.

The food at specialty restaurants was slightly better than the main dining rooms. We liked the French restaurant, Le Bristo. Teppanyaki came in second place and the Italian restaurant, La Cucina was just so-so. At Teppanyaki you would get a complete set of the dish plus full entertainment by the Chef. We had Yudo as our Chef. The chefs sang while preparing and decorating food, the whole nine yard! The Italian restaurant, La Cucina couldn't really compete with Italian restaurants in NY; it was just ok. We will try other specialty restaurants next time but definitely would go back to Le Bristo.

We had the opportunity to use the gym and the experience was amazing because I used the treadmill and elliptical machines overlooking the sea, how cool is that! I also visited the mini library. This state-of-the-art room was beautifully decorated. The gallery of paintings took a lot of space. They were nice to look at but we wouldn’t purchase them because some of them were not authenticated. We didn’t use any excursions because my husband knows Bermuda well. He’s been there a few times in the past. The ferry from Royal Naval Dockyard to St George’s and Hamilton are not hard to get. There’re plenty of transportations to take us to the beach. We tried the bus to Horseshoe Bay Beach (gorgeous beach!) and we also used the ferry that took us back from Hamilton to the dockyard. I will try to see more of Bermuda next time. The weather didn’t cooperate on one of the three days we were there. The last day in Bermuda we went to the Snorkel Beach, 5 min-wall from the dockyard. This was not a bad beach but too small and we had to pay to access this beach.

We never went on a cruise prior to this and we're glad the first experience was magnificent! The overall experience was fantastic! Thanks for making our first cruise a happy one!

NoraExplorer's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Oceanview Stateroom with Large Picture Window
Cabin OX 5714

We had a good size cabin for the two of us. The cabin was nice and clean with a nice view of the ocean. Looking out the window could sometimes be very peaceful because we were able to see the water up close and personal. While heading to Bermuda from New York City, the water turned from grayish to beautiful aquamarine color. By the time we docked in Bermuda, the water was gorgeous! If the deck was too high, we wouldn't be able to witness the waves or calmness of the water. The bathroom's water pressure was great. We had a lot of space to put our stuff for a week. The room steward, Natalie, was very nice and attentive. She cleaned the room each time we stepped away, therefore the room was always very clean and nice.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

New York (Manhattan)

We didn't take the excursion because we figured we could do most of the sightseeing ourselves.

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