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I choose this cruise for the value, since we normally cruise with Disney. This cruise allowed 7 nights for the price of a 4 night Disney cruise. Before we boarded the ship the lies commenced at the desk. I asked about lanyards and the customer service agent said they will be on board waiting for you. This was not a complete lie but an omission of the truth since you will have to purchase the lanyard. As we boarded the ship through deck seven the smell of cigarette smoke was prevalent since we had to walk through the casino which spans most of deck seven. I found this to be most distasteful. The ship has a huge issue in presenting information to passengers. We felt very captive in the sense the staff did not make efforts to announce or provide essential information such as tendering which is an awful experience. The day at sea was pleasant and relaxing yet the kid's club was lack luster and the staff less than cheerful. Maybe the fact they are not allowed to receive tips foments their cheery disposition. The first port was Roatan which if my wife had not read the cruise newsletter would have further prevented us from enjoying our shore excursion. As saavy cruisers we book them directly with tour companies and allow for the locals to keep more of their hard earned profits. The cruise ship takes their cut and also makes you pay by prioritizing tendering through those parties that book through them. This practice is just par for the course and it seems an integral part of Norwegians business model. Our tendering group by the time we were able to book it was 4th. The ship does not make the most efficient announcements that can be heard in the cabin. You literally have to open the door to your cabin to hear them. We were herded into the main theater and forced to wait for two (2) hours while the cruise director lied repeatedly to us that Royal Caribbean was also tendering and that Roatan was preventing us from using all our boats to expedite the process. I was very surprised to see us using lifeboats to tender. Two and half hours later we found that the Royal Caribbean ship was actually docked and passengers from that ship were just walking off the ship into the port. Luckily our excursion waited for us but we were forced to cut our excursion short in fear of making the ship back in time, since the cruise ship stated they were not altering their departure time. We later found our they left port literally three and half hours after departure time. Their were many people who did not make their excursion or cancelled it and lost their money. I have to give credit to my wife who persuaded me to add to our specialty dining package. The food in the main dining halls leaves a little to be desired. The lunches are the same all week and the buffet is also lackluster. The specialty dining is very good but their reservation system needs a little tweaking as they restrict a lot of pre-booking of certain restaurants before you board the ship. Tendering in Cozumel on Thanksgiving Day was a little better but returning was delayed as Norwegian gave priority to their own excursions to dock before those tenders that were waiting in the water. Luckily the tenders were handled by larger capacity local tenders and not lifeboats. As far as in room entertainment the iTV system is horrible. I had to call customer service multiple times since rented films which are for the duration of the cruise and cost $9.95 would disappear from your library if you fast forwarded or reviewed a scene. Their solution was to tell you not to do that. Really? Overall we enjoyed our time together as a family and found the one bright star was an Asst. Maitre D' named Via Toral who made our dining experience special and our anniversary a memorable one. She is a credit to the Norwegian line and a stellar crew member. She should actually train other crew members who seem disgruntled and generally upset at having to serve you as a guest. I honestly cannot recommend Norwegian cruises nor will I travel with them again due to these shortcomings. Unfortunately my take away was that the N in NCL stands for nickel and dime. This seems to be the business model which seeks to pull revenue streams from guests which have already paid a nice sum to travel.

Great food, bad service except for a few stars...

Norwegian Escape Cruise Review by LamentoCubano

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Spa Balcony Stateroom
I choose this cruise for the value, since we normally cruise with Disney. This cruise allowed 7 nights for the price of a 4 night Disney cruise. Before we boarded the ship the lies commenced at the desk. I asked about lanyards and the customer service agent said they will be on board waiting for you. This was not a complete lie but an omission of the truth since you will have to purchase the lanyard.

As we boarded the ship through deck seven the smell of cigarette smoke was prevalent since we had to walk through the casino which spans most of deck seven. I found this to be most distasteful. The ship has a huge issue in presenting information to passengers. We felt very captive in the sense the staff did not make efforts to announce or provide essential information such as tendering which is an awful experience.

The day at sea was pleasant and relaxing yet the kid's club was lack luster and the staff less than cheerful. Maybe the fact they are not allowed to receive tips foments their cheery disposition.

The first port was Roatan which if my wife had not read the cruise newsletter would have further prevented us from enjoying our shore excursion. As saavy cruisers we book them directly with tour companies and allow for the locals to keep more of their hard earned profits. The cruise ship takes their cut and also makes you pay by prioritizing tendering through those parties that book through them. This practice is just par for the course and it seems an integral part of Norwegians business model.

Our tendering group by the time we were able to book it was 4th. The ship does not make the most efficient announcements that can be heard in the cabin. You literally have to open the door to your cabin to hear them. We were herded into the main theater and forced to wait for two (2) hours while the cruise director lied repeatedly to us that Royal Caribbean was also tendering and that Roatan was preventing us from using all our boats to expedite the process. I was very surprised to see us using lifeboats to tender. Two and half hours later we found that the Royal Caribbean ship was actually docked and passengers from that ship were just walking off the ship into the port. Luckily our excursion waited for us but we were forced to cut our excursion short in fear of making the ship back in time, since the cruise ship stated they were not altering their departure time. We later found our they left port literally three and half hours after departure time. Their were many people who did not make their excursion or cancelled it and lost their money.

I have to give credit to my wife who persuaded me to add to our specialty dining package. The food in the main dining halls leaves a little to be desired. The lunches are the same all week and the buffet is also lackluster. The specialty dining is very good but their reservation system needs a little tweaking as they restrict a lot of pre-booking of certain restaurants before you board the ship.

Tendering in Cozumel on Thanksgiving Day was a little better but returning was delayed as Norwegian gave priority to their own excursions to dock before those tenders that were waiting in the water. Luckily the tenders were handled by larger capacity local tenders and not lifeboats.

As far as in room entertainment the iTV system is horrible. I had to call customer service multiple times since rented films which are for the duration of the cruise and cost $9.95 would disappear from your library if you fast forwarded or reviewed a scene. Their solution was to tell you not to do that. Really?

Overall we enjoyed our time together as a family and found the one bright star was an Asst. Maitre D' named Via Toral who made our dining experience special and our anniversary a memorable one. She is a credit to the Norwegian line and a stellar crew member. She should actually train other crew members who seem disgruntled and generally upset at having to serve you as a guest.

I honestly cannot recommend Norwegian cruises nor will I travel with them again due to these shortcomings. Unfortunately my take away was that the N in NCL stands for nickel and dime. This seems to be the business model which seeks to pull revenue streams from guests which have already paid a nice sum to travel.
LamentoCubano’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 7 to 9
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Spa Balcony Stateroom
Cabin B9
I really enjoyed our cabin and the view. The only negative was that it was directly below the ping pong tables and there was noise which was irritating at times. We received an upgrade from deck 13 to this deck but were not allowed to pick where our upgrade was or given a choice beforehand. Honestly I would have kept our cabin on 13 and saved ourselves $150.00 dollars. To add to this our cabin attendant seemed annoyed and provided little to no replacement products every day. My wife and my daughter have long hair and would have appreciated shampoo and conditioner which we constantly had to remind the attendant to replace. I suspect Norwegian wants you to use the substandard product that is provided in the shower and not the Bvlgari which comes in small plastic containers.
Deck 15 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews