4200 cruisers and 1700 staff. Like being stuck in NYC. We waited in lines all week for elevators, excursions, drinks, dinner. You could not get into buffet and find a table or a chair at the poll. Taste & Savor had horrible service ... Read More
4200 cruisers and 1700 staff. Like being stuck in NYC. We waited in lines all week for elevators, excursions, drinks, dinner. You could not get into buffet and find a table or a chair at the poll. Taste & Savor had horrible service with buffet quality food. I can say the Manhattan room was best dinner on board. Great Stirrup Cay Island was so crowded with 2 other ships there you could barely get in water in the designated swim areas. Most non relaxing vacation I have ever had.
Bahamas was nice but it took long to get there only giving us 4 hours at the Blue Lagoon. Disembarking was a nightmare and we had to walk down 4 flights with all our luggage to get in line as there was no elevators available. We walked more stairs all week and I am a cardiac patient.
I will never cruise again Read Less
We had an amazing time! Awesome cabin steward, room was very spacious although the sofa/bed where my son slept was not so comfortable--we didn't know until late in the week to ask the steward for something to help (our first cruise). ... Read More
We had an amazing time! Awesome cabin steward, room was very spacious although the sofa/bed where my son slept was not so comfortable--we didn't know until late in the week to ask the steward for something to help (our first cruise). Food was wonderful, private island was fun. Pool was too small and too crowded. There were actually 2 pools, one was designated for adults only and the child friendly pool was full of 4 and 5 year olds--no fun for my 14 year old. Good news is the water slides were fun and he LOVED the basketball court!! There was more than enough activities on board (we did not partake in some) and the shows were fantastic!!! My son loved the comedians--and most were family friendly! My biggest complaint is the awful dirty ashtray smell from the casino. It was gross and unavoidable. Not sure why they still allow smoking on board, kind of nerve wracking since we were in the middle of the ocean and God forbid there was a fire. We are excited for cruise # 2 next year! Beautiful ship!! Read Less
We always cruise out of NYC, I cannot fly and the Port in NYC is fantastic. The pierside team was very helpful and the Port manager Kenny could not have been any more helpful. We arrived a little before 10:00 and were onboard by 11:00. ... Read More
We always cruise out of NYC, I cannot fly and the Port in NYC is fantastic. The pierside team was very helpful and the Port manager Kenny could not have been any more helpful. We arrived a little before 10:00 and were onboard by 11:00. This was our 7th cruise with NCL and 2nd on the Escape. We sailed one previous cruise with another line and were less than pleased almost to the point of not wanting to cruise again.
We sailed this past July and had a great time. We went to the CC meet and greet, and had the opportunity to meet some of the executive staff. We booked this trip, with 4 other families and there was a total of 15. We bid on the Haven upgrade and were successful. Since sailing in July and having made friends with the restaurant manager Mr. Melroy, we have stayed in contact and were happy to see him back. From day one he took care of the entire group. He was an absolute blessing for a large group.
This is our third NCL ship and by far the best, the Haven was as expected, nothing short of perfect. The concierge Adrian was spot on every time, the Butler Christopher took great care of us and the kids loved him. Dennis our room Stewart was also fantastic, always interested in our day and making sure we had a great time. The haven family two bedroom worked perfect. The kids had there own space and bathroom. Even with some of there friends watching a movie they were never under foot. Ample storage space for the Mrs's and my suit case fit perfect under the bed Read Less
We chose ncl because they had a cruise in the dates we needed.. However we have sailed royal in the past. We have never had a crew argue with is about things we aren't happy with. We usually do a cash account and with doing so ncl ... Read More
We chose ncl because they had a cruise in the dates we needed.. However we have sailed royal in the past. We have never had a crew argue with is about things we aren't happy with. We usually do a cash account and with doing so ncl suspended our account 3 times on this cruise for owing money to them since they also did not allow us to remove automatic gratuities until the last day. So with them suspending the account we weren't able to buyanything on ship or get drinks with our ultimate drink package. They still charge you taxes on beverages as well. Boarding the ship took extremely roo long and getting off the ship was like being sent through a maze. This ship has no organization the ship itself made no sense . they do not enforce the adult only areas.... For such a large ship they only had one adults pool where there were always kids. Smoking on the ship is no where near a pool not even on the same deck. The pool when we did get in it was so crowded and sorry I got out immediately because I had a hand full of hair stuck to me. . the buffet food was aweful .. Just a horrible experience Read Less
My husband and i have cruised 7 times, including this cruise, with 3 of those on the norwegian gem and 1 time on the breakaway. We really love norwegian for the freestyle cruising and i feel like we get the most out of our money with them. ... Read More
My husband and i have cruised 7 times, including this cruise, with 3 of those on the norwegian gem and 1 time on the breakaway. We really love norwegian for the freestyle cruising and i feel like we get the most out of our money with them. The escape was the biggest ship we’ve been on and it was really nice. However, it might be because its so large that getting on and off took forever at both departure and the ports of call. We were also traveling with our toddler and spent prob 10+ hours during our cruise waiting to get on and off the ship while anxiously trying to keep him from having a meltdown on the ship- not fun. Embarkation was truly horrendous. There was some kind of issue and they made us wait in line for close to 2 hours. My son was screaming the whole time while we tried everything to quiet him and by the time we were getting on the ship i was close to tears. They do have a nursery with drop off available for babies up to 3, and the nursery attendants were really good with kids but if your kids cry for more than 10 mins (which is likely when theyre left with strangers), they buzz you on a beeper to come pick them up. Our son did well the first 2 times and the last 3 times we did a drop off to have dinner we got called back 10 mins later. Not their fault of course and im glad they told me instead of just letting him cry, and again, they were absolute sweethearts, but next time we will prob be bringing family to help watch our kids. The playroom for babies is only available for 2 hours a day on sea days, plus two 30 minute hosted activities where parents joined, so the other 10+ hours a day were spent either in our stateroom or chasing after our toddler while he ran around bumping into people. Oh and there were NO cartoon channels in the room. It was only one channel with tv shows that played randomly. Most other cruises weve been on had the food network, cartoons, hgtv, etc. We paid extra for a family mini suite which had a bath tub and that def helped a lot. But It felt like there was no where for us to go most of the days at sea but the arcade where we ended up spending $400 keeping our 22 mo old entertained. The best time we had was when we stopped at disney. This trip made me reconsider cruising with young kids. I think next time i might just go straight to disney and stay at a resprt or try a disney cruise, which might be more family friendly. Also we chose free wifi as one of our free promotional optio s but it never worked for us and i was too exhausted to figure out what was wrong.
Outside of those annoyances, it was overall still a pleasant cruise. One of the times our son did okay at the daycare we were able to enjoy a nice dinner at moderno, one of their nicer restaurants. And norwegian ships are really beautiful and spacious. It wouldve been 100 times more pleasant traveling without a kid and a lot of the gripes i had would be nonexistent. Read Less
Almost 20 years ago we went on our first and only cruise until now, a Norwegian ship out of NYC. The ships were smaller then than they are today and we were much younger than the average guest. It was okay, our young daughter loved it, but ... Read More
Almost 20 years ago we went on our first and only cruise until now, a Norwegian ship out of NYC. The ships were smaller then than they are today and we were much younger than the average guest. It was okay, our young daughter loved it, but we were mostly bored and had no interest in cruising again until recently.
Now, empty-nesters in our early 50s/late 40s, we began looking at cruising again as a way to see more of the world. We first booked a very port-intensive European cruise with NCL that is still 2 months in the future as I write this. We were telling our friends about this and on a whim the 4 of us decided to book a cruise on the Escape just a few weeks before sailing. The port in NY is very convenient for us to drive to, so it is perfect for a quick getaway. We booked side-by-side spa balcony rooms on the 15th floor. We all loved our rooms and our balconies, and the location was perfect!
Overall, we really enjoyed the cruise and wouldn’t hesitate to book it again. It was a great way to get away to warm sunshine from the cold New England weather! The food was excellent! We made reservations for 3 specialty restaurants (Tepanyaki, Bayamo, Cagneys). Loved them all but the food in the complimentary restaurants was just as good. We never made reservations for these and were always seated immediately. The only restaurant we didn’t care for was O’Sheehans. We had lunch there twice. The food was just so-so and the service was terribly slow. We ate breakfast in the buffet a couple of times, and went there for snacks in between meals. The food was good, but it was always crowded and noisy so we preferred the other restaurants .
We were more interested in relaxing than entertainment and spent a lot of time talking on our balcony with drinks, watching the water. So relaxing! My husband and I enjoyed the spa several times. I would definitely book the spa again for a cruise like this one (lots of sea days out of a port where it was cool) but probably not for more port intensive cruises and probably not in warmer weather either.
We were often in bed pretty early by choice, but my husband and I had fun watching some of the shows in the atrium and really enjoyed the musicians who played in the Tobacco Road bar and the Brewhouse. The dueling piano show was outstanding. I sat and watched them for 4+ hours one night and wouldn’t hesitate to go again! Choir of Men was fantastic! A definite don’t miss! The only disappointment was the comedy show, because we never got to see one. But that was our fault. We didn’t have reservations and when we did decide to watch one spur of the moment, the standby line was way too long, so we didn’t wait.
My two main suggestions: More chairs in the atrium. Or else hold those events in a place with more capacity. We would have enjoyed more of the shows there, but could never get a seat, so we’d watch until we got tired of standing and then move on. Second, I wish there was a third bank of elevators. It got annoying waiting for elevators sometimes. Finally, we didn’t get to the private island which I understand happens frequently. This was disappointing because that was the ONE highlight of our trip 20 years ago and we were really looking forward to it. Such is life. We adapted and still had fun.
Overall, very happy we booked this cruise and really looking forward to our next! Read Less
Great first cruise! Disappointed about service in some standard dining and in Bayamo. Overall good but some polish needed. O'sheahan needs work. Wifi is spotty at best. Cagneys and Le Bistro are top notch. Bayamo is ok, can't ... Read More
Great first cruise! Disappointed about service in some standard dining and in Bayamo. Overall good but some polish needed. O'sheahan needs work. Wifi is spotty at best. Cagneys and Le Bistro are top notch. Bayamo is ok, can't understand why the extra charge. Food not as good as the other specialty restaurants. Teppanyaki was lots of fun, but service was off. Watched chef argue with service staff. He was right, but shouldn't have too. Thermal suite was well worth the cost. Cabin steward, Kindick Mustafa, was spot on. Bartenders were outstanding, had old school standards! Activities were fun. Entertainment was fantastic. Howl at the moon was great, did it twice. Choir of man was the best. Must do! Also, Deal or no deal in the Atrium was a great time, plus might make some money. Our first cruise was awesome, some room for improvement, but nevertheless will consider another cruise in the future. Read Less
We chose this cruise because of the extra "Free at Sea" perks and my friend had been on this cruise two years ago. The entertainment was excellent. We saw "The Choir of Man," a magician, and "Howl At the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the extra "Free at Sea" perks and my friend had been on this cruise two years ago. The entertainment was excellent. We saw "The Choir of Man," a magician, and "Howl At the Moon." We also did the Wine Lovers luncheon, which was fantastic and definitely worth the extra fee. We sampled six wines, while dining on a fabulous fancy lunch.
Norwegian's Freestyle Dining is perfect! Dine when and where you choose. One of our dinners was in the Supper Club, which required reservations, but was complimentary, and the menu was fixed. The entertainment was very good-. As a part of the speciality dining package (one of the Free at Sea perks), we selected Cagney's Steakhouse, La Cucina, and Teppanyaki, and the food at each was excellent. One dinner was in the Manhattan Room (a main dining room) and was fantastic! Breakfast and lunch were at the main dining rooms Taste, Savor, which were also excellent.
Disembarkation was a nightmare! It took about two hours to get off the ship. We selected the last group to leave the ship, thinking that others would be off. BIG MISTAKE! Most the others were still getting off and the line was winding through the Manhattan Room FOREVER! I highly recommend selecting one of the first groups, even if you don't have an early flight! Read Less
The Escape was fun and easy to maneuver. The staff was very kind.
The food was great. I especially enjoyed Moderno Churrasco, all you can eat meat. The garlic steak was my favorite but all was tasty and cooked to perfection. I always ... Read More
The Escape was fun and easy to maneuver. The staff was very kind.
The food was great. I especially enjoyed Moderno Churrasco, all you can eat meat. The garlic steak was my favorite but all was tasty and cooked to perfection. I always love the pineapple at the end. Taste and Savor were great places to dine with the family for dinner. We didn’t wait long to get a seat any night. O’Sheehans was a great place to get wings, burgers and fajitas. The buffet was clean and had many food options.
Lots of chairs for all on the pool deck. We were able to trade in pool towels often. Drinks were great from the bar. Everyone seemed to love the hot tubs.
Fun Minature golf. Kids loved it. They also loved to arcade.
The casino was very smoky though. There must have been a lot of smokers on the boat. Read Less
It was my first time going on a cruise, and it has been a great experience overall.
Cleanliness: The ship is very clean. I found staffs cleaning public area at least once every hour. The stewards would clean your room as requested by ... Read More
It was my first time going on a cruise, and it has been a great experience overall.
Cleanliness: The ship is very clean. I found staffs cleaning public area at least once every hour. The stewards would clean your room as requested by simply pressing a button by your stateroom door. We had ours cleaned twice a day. I also looked forward to the towel animal on our bed every night.
Shore Excursions: I was hesitated to get the shore excursions at first, thinking that it would be cheaper for me to arrange my own itinerary, but I'm glad that I added them. NCL prepared all the transportation, so there was nothing to worry about during vacation.
For Port Canaveral, we chose Kennedy Space Center. We read reviews that it is not enough time to visit everything, but we found that it worked out fine if you researched on what you want to see beforehand. My husband and I downloaded the Kennedy Space Center app ahead of time, so we already knew which part we wanted to visit and got to see everything we planned. Our second stop was Great Stirrup Cay, but our ship could not stop there due to high winds. Nevertheless, NCL refunded us for our shore excursion immediately without delay. The captain also notified the passengers promptly, sent out an updated agenda in less than one hour, and stopped for an extra day at Nassau. For Nassau, we chose Aquaventure. They were not many people on the weekday, and you definitely have time to go on all the slides.
It is also a plus that the staffs greeted all passengers with towels to clean our hands and refreshing drinks by the ship every time when we came back from shore.
Food: The food were simply amazing. I'd highly recommend getting the speciality dining package to try a variety of food, just be prepared that the waiting time can be lengthy at times. Read Less
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