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I choose Norwegian because I sailed with them twice before and I purchased a Cruise next voucher the second cruise and applied it to this cruise. We arrived one day early and stayed ant the Springhill Suits near the Miami cruise terminal. We took a Lyft from Fort Lauderdale airport to the hotel. The hotel contracts with FiveStar shuttle at the cost of $8.00 per person for shuttle service to the cruise terminal. I pre-paid directly with a FiveStar for shuttle service back to Fort Lauderdale airport for pick up at the terminal after the cruise. Embarkation and debarkation went smoothly considering the crowds. Waiting for the prepaid shuttle to the airport not so great. My tip is schedule after you debarked, schedule with the cruise, taxi or Lyft/Uber. We waited two hours for the shuttle through FiveStar shuttle service. I think since I paid upfront they weren’t too concerned with timelines and picked up others who had not paid in advance. The ship was nice, the balcony room we were assigned was very nice. The common areas nicely decorated, the dining areas also decorated nicely. However the food in the complimentary dining areas were mediocre, not bad but really nothing great about the flavors or presentations. Actually I had buffalo wings at their less formal complimentary dining spot O’Sheehan’s and it was the best taste wise. We did not try the other restaurants that have additional cost. The staff were for the most part very nice, cheery and helpful. The outdoor space was fun there is a pool area for children and an adults only pool with jacuzzis. The pools could be larger though it as a little crowded. We did two shore excursions arranged by Norwegian and one that I arranged myself after docking. Roatan island I arranged myself and glad I did, it saved me a lot of money. You can walk to the islands animal park where you get a one guide per individual family group tour to interact with monkeys and birds, walk through a butterfly sanctuary and hold a sloth. The cost was $10.00 per person. We then had a driver take us to the same beach that is used by the Norwegian line, the cost $35 plus a $10 tip was about a $100 saving had I booked all with the cruiseline. On Harvest Caye, Belize we took a ferry to the mainland town of Placencia, it is a quant little village were we just walked around, had lunch and bought souvenirs from the locals. Afterwards we ferried back to a Harvest Caye and used the resort pool and amenities. In Costa Maya I scheduled through Norwegian a dolphin adventure tour for my granddaughter and myself. I wasn’t sure how far the dolphin experience location was from the ship so felt more comfortable purchasing from the cruise line. As it turned out you walk from the dock to the dolphin attraction. I don’t know how much I could have saved if I booked the experience at the port if any savings at all, but I can tell you it cost $408 U.S. after paying for one adult and one child and purchasing photos. You are not allowed to take photos, so if you want photos of your experience you pay. The last tour was to chichen itza Mayan ruins. I also purchased that tour directly through Norwegian. The cost for two of us was about $300 U.S. there is a an approximately one hour ferry ride to the mainland from Cozumel the another approximately 2.5 hour bus ride to the ruins. You get a sack lunch with a sandwich, a granola bar, banana and a small toddler size juice box. Because it was slated as an 8 hour tour day and I didn’t want to risk missing the ship time I booked with the ship. There is such a tight time frame the tour guide was moving quickly from port to the tour shuttle van location about a half mile walk away. There were a couple of elderly people on the tour which substantially slowed down the process of walking, stopping at the toilet facilities before getting on the tour shuttle and even handing over their tickets to get on the shuttle. Once we arrived at the ruins, the tour guide instructed that we were not allowed to take food off the van and to leave the sack lunch on our seats, anything left on the floor would be considered garbage and tossed. After another supposed to be quick stop at the toilet facility- but again elderly passengers. We were guided quickly around the ruins. I’d say about a 3rd of the time the guide was at various vendors who were selling their items as he explained what the items were. After about one hour and fifteen minutes the tour was over. So getting back on the van I see that the sack lunches my granddaughter and I left on the seats were gone. I asked the guide who asked the driver who said he only threw away garbage. I asked we were to leave on the seats if we wanted it right? He responded in a very snarky way “no one took your lunch”. The sandwiches were half eaten but nothing else was touched, I would not of expected another lunch. However, I did expect an apology and an explanation of maybe the sacks fell on the floor when the driver moved the van, which is what I immediately thought. But, with that snarky response neither the guide or driver received a tip from me. Anyway, if you want to see chichen itza, you may not want to go via a cruise tour. No fault of the elderly we’ll all probably be there one day, but next time I see a all day schedule where you actually only see the destination for one hour and get a not so great sack lunch that might get tossed by snarky tour operators at the cost of $300 for two people I’ll pass on that tour. That tour really was the only frustrating experience throughout the cruise. You get on a cruise you know there will be a lot of people and personalities. Overall we had a good experience on the Norwegian Escape and will cruise with Norwegian again.

Fun cruise destinations

Norwegian Escape Cruise Review by janjan100

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom
I choose Norwegian because I sailed with them twice before and I purchased a Cruise next voucher the second cruise and applied it to this cruise. We arrived one day early and stayed ant the Springhill Suits near the Miami cruise terminal. We took a Lyft from Fort Lauderdale airport to the hotel.

The hotel contracts with FiveStar shuttle at the cost of $8.00 per person for shuttle service to the cruise terminal. I pre-paid directly with a FiveStar for shuttle service back to Fort Lauderdale airport for pick up at the terminal after the cruise. Embarkation and debarkation went smoothly considering the crowds. Waiting for the prepaid shuttle to the airport not so great. My tip is schedule after you debarked, schedule with the cruise, taxi or Lyft/Uber. We waited two hours for the shuttle through FiveStar shuttle service. I think since I paid upfront they weren’t too concerned with timelines and picked up others who had not paid in advance.

The ship was nice, the balcony room we were assigned was very nice. The common areas nicely decorated, the dining areas also decorated nicely. However the food in the complimentary dining areas were mediocre, not bad but really nothing great about the flavors or presentations. Actually I had buffalo wings at their less formal complimentary dining spot O’Sheehan’s and it was the best taste wise. We did not try the other restaurants that have additional cost. The staff were for the most part very nice, cheery and helpful.

The outdoor space was fun there is a pool area for children and an adults only pool with jacuzzis. The pools could be larger though it as a little crowded.

We did two shore excursions arranged by Norwegian and one that I arranged myself after docking.

Roatan island I arranged myself and glad I did, it saved me a lot of money. You can walk to the islands animal park where you get a one guide per individual family group tour to interact with monkeys and birds, walk through a butterfly sanctuary and hold a sloth. The cost was $10.00 per person. We then had a driver take us to the same beach that is used by the Norwegian line, the cost $35 plus a $10 tip was about a $100 saving had I booked all with the cruiseline.

On Harvest Caye, Belize we took a ferry to the mainland town of Placencia, it is a quant little village were we just walked around, had lunch and bought souvenirs from the locals. Afterwards we ferried back to a Harvest Caye and used the resort pool and amenities.

In Costa Maya I scheduled through Norwegian a dolphin adventure tour for my granddaughter and myself. I wasn’t sure how far the dolphin experience location was from the ship so felt more comfortable purchasing from the cruise line. As it turned out you walk from the dock to the dolphin attraction. I don’t know how much I could have saved if I booked the experience at the port if any savings at all, but I can tell you it cost $408 U.S. after paying for one adult and one child and purchasing photos. You are not allowed to take photos, so if you want photos of your experience you pay.

The last tour was to chichen itza Mayan ruins. I also purchased that tour directly through Norwegian. The cost for two of us was about $300 U.S. there is a an approximately one hour ferry ride to the mainland from Cozumel the another approximately 2.5 hour bus ride to the ruins. You get a sack lunch with a sandwich, a granola bar, banana and a small toddler size juice box. Because it was slated as an 8 hour tour day and I didn’t want to risk missing the ship time I booked with the ship. There is such a tight time frame the tour guide was moving quickly from port to the tour shuttle van location about a half mile walk away. There were a couple of elderly people on the tour which substantially slowed down the process of walking, stopping at the toilet facilities before getting on the tour shuttle and even handing over their tickets to get on the shuttle.

Once we arrived at the ruins, the tour guide instructed that we were not allowed to take food off the van and to leave the sack lunch on our seats, anything left on the floor would be considered garbage and tossed. After another supposed to be quick stop at the toilet facility- but again elderly passengers. We were guided quickly around the ruins. I’d say about a 3rd of the time the guide was at various vendors who were selling their items as he explained what the items were. After about one hour and fifteen minutes the tour was over.

So getting back on the van I see that the sack lunches my granddaughter and I left on the seats were gone. I asked the guide who asked the driver who said he only threw away garbage. I asked we were to leave on the seats if we wanted it right? He responded in a very snarky way “no one took your lunch”. The sandwiches were half eaten but nothing else was touched, I would not of expected another lunch. However, I did expect an apology and an explanation of maybe the sacks fell on the floor when the driver moved the van, which is what I immediately thought. But, with that snarky response neither the guide or driver received a tip from me.

Anyway, if you want to see chichen itza, you may not want to go via a cruise tour. No fault of the elderly we’ll all probably be there one day, but next time I see a all day schedule where you actually only see the destination for one hour and get a not so great sack lunch that might get tossed by snarky tour operators at the cost of $300 for two people I’ll pass on that tour. That tour really was the only frustrating experience throughout the cruise. You get on a cruise you know there will be a lot of people and personalities. Overall we had a good experience on the Norwegian Escape and will cruise with Norwegian again.
janjan100’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BX
The cabin was very good. I booked at the sail away rate and was pleasantly surprised. There was plenty of room for my twelve year old granddaughter and myself. We were on the port side so in all but one port we were able to see the land side of the ship. The beds comfortable and the bathroom large enough with a good size shower. I can’t say much about the room steward, I had to remind him about some items he did not pick up during daily cleaning like a rag left on a table and sheet he left at the foot of one of the beds. Did not once leave a towel wrapped as an animal, I didn’t ask him to, it wasn’t important to me, but I did take note that he wasn’t the most efficient person and zero personality.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews