Our return to cruising was a "last minute" (10 day out) booking on the NCL Escape, February 26-March 5, 2022, Eastern Caribbean out of Port Canaveral. This was our first balcony ever! This is also the largest ship we’ve sailed as we usually prefer mid-size. The price was great with the four perks included. The cruise was wonderful! We also learned there was only about 1800 passengers onboard a ship that has a capacity of 4266! So the passenger to crew ratio was great and most areas never seemed crowded, except for the pool area and sundecks on sea days. We know that this is an experience that we will probably never have again, so we really relished that. But we also know that it is not cost effective for the cruiseline, so we wish them well on a safe, swift return to full capacity cruising. We were also really lucky to be the only ship scheduled in each of our ports this cruise! And we had perfect weather all week with mostly sunny skies in the 70’s and low 80’s, with low humidity. I only remember two quick rain showers on the ship all week. This is our 19th cruise over many years, including 8th on NCL, Princess, Celebrity, Carnival and Royal Caribbean.
This cruise was one of the last for NCL to offer the required covid testing at the port for all passengers, as the requirement would change on cruises after March 1 (then pax need to do their own tests prior to cruising and present results). Masking was also required on the cruise unless outside, or eating or drinking. Although this also changed in the middle of our cruise on March 1 when masks became optional and most people stopped wearing them. All crew continued to wear their masks. I hope soon, they will also be able to go maskless.
This was also our first time sailing out of Port Canaveral. As we booked last minute, many area hotels were sold out or too expensive, but we found the brand new Avid Hotel in Melbourne/Viera only about 30 minutes away for a reasonable rate. Very nice hotel, with a basic breakfast included. Some nice seating area outside. A small pool, but it gets afternoon shade, so not really well located, and it was cold to the touch. Also, a good BBQ restaurant Sonny’s walking distance across the parking lot. We enjoyed carry-outs.
Great midship location. Quiet on our cruise. Average size. Clean. Nice glass shower door. Good storage.
Enjoyed the NCL Discover Puerto Plata Tour. Saw a nice variety of city highlights. The bus was modern and clean with good A/C, but due to large size bus, it took long to load and unload at each sight. Great tour guides.
First time using PC. Easy in and out with paid parking.