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Getting on the ship was a breeze. Minimal wait in line...the lines were long but they went fast. Walked off the shuttle and right into security line then straight onto the ship. The ship itself was beautiful and clean. Every crew member we encountered had a bright and sunny 'good morning' or 'good afternoon' for us. Every. Single. One. The bartenders and servers in our favorite hangouts (waves bar, spice) learned our names and fave drinks on day 1 and never forgot. We had the beverage package so there was much to be consumed. We were not that impressed with the dining on this ship. Embarkation day we did Teppanyaki, which was FABULOUS, but the rest of the trip the food was mediocre. Moderno, which is supposed to be a brazilian steakhouse, actually had the nerve to attempt to repeatedly serve med-well done filet and steaks? I was saddened they would do that to filet mignon and i had to specifically ask for med-rare and rare meat. Also they kept coming around with chicken, bacon wrapped chicken, pork sausages...I nearly forgot I was in a STEAKhouse. Taste and Savor both had identical menus and seemed to mirror the buffet. We ate most meals at the buffet just because of timing. We spent most of our time on the higher decks, outdoors, so not a lot to say on the activities. We had reservations for Choir of Man and After Midnight, but apparently we are wimps and our afternoon naps turned into overnight sleeps on most nights. We watched recaps of some of the cruise director game-show type of activities, and they looked like they were a blast! We skipped the first port, Roatan Bay, due to a very rainy day and lots of wind and cold. Harvest Caye was nice, but not much to do on that island if you were not zip lining or laying in the sun. I have read other reviews that the beach was full and no chairs to be had- our observation was that though there were a lot of people, there were MANY beach chairs open and plenty of space for all. We loved the little shops and the locals were very nice. Mayan chocolate shop is a must to stop at! In Costa Maya, we did an excursion to Kohunlich Mayan Ruins. 2 hours each way in a nice air conditioned bus (with a bathroom in the back), and a very sweet and knowledgeable tour guide. The 'lunch/snack' provided was less than impressive, it was a banana, bottle of water, tiny baggie of nuts, and a chocolate cookie roll. The ruins themselves were amazing. We were allowed to climb on the buildings, explore the 'rooms' and take tons of pictures. The masks temple was awesome and well preserved. I had read reviews about bug bite issues, but even with no bug spray, we did not encounter any bugs or mosquitos. Maybe it was the time of year? Note that this excursion is an all-day affair, and they will drop you off with less than an hour before the all-aboard time for the ship. It was pouring rain by this time so we just headed straight for the ship through the vendor market. In Cozumel, we walked off the boat through the port shopping gauntlet. Every shop in the port terminal had at least one person trying to pull you (sometimes kicking and screaming) into their shop. They use free tequila, free jewelry charm and the like. I couldn't even go to the restroom without them accosting me when I came out. We made it through and crossed the street to this cute little outdoor mall that had a hard rock cafe and a Diamonds International (DI) along with some local shops. We had intended to purchase some jewelry and a high end watch, however the DI employees did not even look up when we walked through. I guess if you're not there with the ship's port shopping person, you are not worth their time. We also saw a cool booth outdoors where you could sit and get a fish pedicure. Basically put your feet into a small fish tank while you sat down, and they nibble on your skin. Kinda gross but neat to watch. We found a cute flea market next door to this area, and some other shops. It was Mexico, so all prices were negotiable and we did pick up a few small things there. We ended up going back to the port terminal shops, and found the Effy jewelry store. The employees there were wonderful and they definitely *will* negotiate on prices (they knocked another $300 off mine when I asked), though they don't give you that impression as Effy is an American based company. After choosing our purchase they threw in several additional items free- the standard turtle necklace used to lure tourists in, but also a manufactured sapphire necklace/earring set, coral-type bracelets, and some bottles of amazing almond cream tequila. Great people, very accommodating and when I checked online for the items I bought, it confirmed I got an amazing deal vs what i would pay for the same thing in the USA, saving $500+ the taxes we would have been charged at home. If you are looking for higher-end watches, you will need to go at least a mile away from the port terminal or deal with the DI people just outside the terminal. None of the vendors in the terminal sell Tag, Hamilton, etc watches. I will say that the ship itself had a nice selection of Hamilton and Tag watches, and hubby found one (OK, 2) he loved on the ship. The prices for those brands are pretty fixed by the manufacturers and negotiating is not likely (and if someone is willing to deeply discount, you should severely question the authenticity and/or age/condition of the piece). So we paid 'normal' price for his watches, BUT no taxes so there was a few more hundred saved. Overall we had a great time, met some wonderful people. If only the weather had been more cooperative!

Weather uncooperative, Crew were awesome!

Norwegian Escape Cruise Review by MrsBlackross

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2020
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom
Getting on the ship was a breeze. Minimal wait in line...the lines were long but they went fast. Walked off the shuttle and right into security line then straight onto the ship.

The ship itself was beautiful and clean. Every crew member we encountered had a bright and sunny 'good morning' or 'good afternoon' for us. Every. Single. One. The bartenders and servers in our favorite hangouts (waves bar, spice) learned our names and fave drinks on day 1 and never forgot. We had the beverage package so there was much to be consumed.

We were not that impressed with the dining on this ship. Embarkation day we did Teppanyaki, which was FABULOUS, but the rest of the trip the food was mediocre. Moderno, which is supposed to be a brazilian steakhouse, actually had the nerve to attempt to repeatedly serve med-well done filet and steaks? I was saddened they would do that to filet mignon and i had to specifically ask for med-rare and rare meat. Also they kept coming around with chicken, bacon wrapped chicken, pork sausages...I nearly forgot I was in a STEAKhouse. Taste and Savor both had identical menus and seemed to mirror the buffet. We ate most meals at the buffet just because of timing.

We spent most of our time on the higher decks, outdoors, so not a lot to say on the activities. We had reservations for Choir of Man and After Midnight, but apparently we are wimps and our afternoon naps turned into overnight sleeps on most nights. We watched recaps of some of the cruise director game-show type of activities, and they looked like they were a blast!

We skipped the first port, Roatan Bay, due to a very rainy day and lots of wind and cold.

Harvest Caye was nice, but not much to do on that island if you were not zip lining or laying in the sun. I have read other reviews that the beach was full and no chairs to be had- our observation was that though there were a lot of people, there were MANY beach chairs open and plenty of space for all. We loved the little shops and the locals were very nice. Mayan chocolate shop is a must to stop at!

In Costa Maya, we did an excursion to Kohunlich Mayan Ruins. 2 hours each way in a nice air conditioned bus (with a bathroom in the back), and a very sweet and knowledgeable tour guide. The 'lunch/snack' provided was less than impressive, it was a banana, bottle of water, tiny baggie of nuts, and a chocolate cookie roll. The ruins themselves were amazing. We were allowed to climb on the buildings, explore the 'rooms' and take tons of pictures. The masks temple was awesome and well preserved. I had read reviews about bug bite issues, but even with no bug spray, we did not encounter any bugs or mosquitos. Maybe it was the time of year? Note that this excursion is an all-day affair, and they will drop you off with less than an hour before the all-aboard time for the ship. It was pouring rain by this time so we just headed straight for the ship through the vendor market.

In Cozumel, we walked off the boat through the port shopping gauntlet. Every shop in the port terminal had at least one person trying to pull you (sometimes kicking and screaming) into their shop. They use free tequila, free jewelry charm and the like. I couldn't even go to the restroom without them accosting me when I came out. We made it through and crossed the street to this cute little outdoor mall that had a hard rock cafe and a Diamonds International (DI) along with some local shops. We had intended to purchase some jewelry and a high end watch, however the DI employees did not even look up when we walked through. I guess if you're not there with the ship's port shopping person, you are not worth their time.

We also saw a cool booth outdoors where you could sit and get a fish pedicure. Basically put your feet into a small fish tank while you sat down, and they nibble on your skin. Kinda gross but neat to watch. We found a cute flea market next door to this area, and some other shops. It was Mexico, so all prices were negotiable and we did pick up a few small things there.

We ended up going back to the port terminal shops, and found the Effy jewelry store. The employees there were wonderful and they definitely *will* negotiate on prices (they knocked another $300 off mine when I asked), though they don't give you that impression as Effy is an American based company. After choosing our purchase they threw in several additional items free- the standard turtle necklace used to lure tourists in, but also a manufactured sapphire necklace/earring set, coral-type bracelets, and some bottles of amazing almond cream tequila. Great people, very accommodating and when I checked online for the items I bought, it confirmed I got an amazing deal vs what i would pay for the same thing in the USA, saving $500+ the taxes we would have been charged at home.

If you are looking for higher-end watches, you will need to go at least a mile away from the port terminal or deal with the DI people just outside the terminal. None of the vendors in the terminal sell Tag, Hamilton, etc watches. I will say that the ship itself had a nice selection of Hamilton and Tag watches, and hubby found one (OK, 2) he loved on the ship. The prices for those brands are pretty fixed by the manufacturers and negotiating is not likely (and if someone is willing to deeply discount, you should severely question the authenticity and/or age/condition of the piece). So we paid 'normal' price for his watches, BUT no taxes so there was a few more hundred saved.

Overall we had a great time, met some wonderful people. If only the weather had been more cooperative!
MrsBlackross’s Full Rating Summary
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Dining
Public Rooms
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Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BF
Our cabin was great, though we had issues with the TV remote. Not sure if it was batteries or if the buttons just sucked on it.
I loved the firmness of the bed, husband hated it.
Light fixtures next to the bed had USB ports to plug in phone chargers, woohoo!
Closet had lots of hangers and there were nice cubbies for other clothes. Coffee maker in the room along with our 'welcome back' wine were great touches.
Shower water pressure was not the greatest, but I have had worse on a cruise and with long thick hair water pressure is a big deal for me.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews