We like to cruise in January, and chose our cruise primarily based on the Eastern Caribbean itinerary. While Prima was enticing, we couldn't justify the extra cost at this time and wanted to see more reviews on that ship over a period of time. We loved our last two cruises on the Epic and Getaway and knew we wanted to try a different ship, so it was a choice between the Escape and the Encore. The Escape has O'Sheehan's, a favorite of ours, as well as Spice H20.
This was the first time we used NCL's free airfare offer, but flying out a day ahead of time, we weren't discouraged by the negative comments we saw online. We ended up flying United out of Detroit and connecting in Chicago, a little concerning in winter, but it all worked out. The flights were fine, although my husband and I were not seated together. You have to plan to be flexible if you take advantage of this offer. The flight cost us $255 total for two people.
Embarkation day was a smooth process. We had booked a fly/snooze/cruise package with GoPort as we had in the past, but as GoPort pushed our hotel pick up time back an our, we arranged for a private transport with Cruise Control Transporation to get us to the port in time for our 10:00 a.m. check-in time. It was worth it for us as we like to get on board and make our reservations and get on with our vacation. We were on the ship before 11:00 a.m., headed straight to Headliners to change/make dining reservations with only a 5 minute wait, then went on to The Supper Club to make our show reservations. That line was much longer at a 40 minute wait, but it made the rest of our trip easier having everything in place.
Angle balcony #8140...so convenient! Close to O'Sheehan's (just one floor down) and MDR (two floors down).