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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Who Traveled: -4 Adults, 8-year-old, and 7-month-old (babies must be at least 6 months old on date of departure and have no more than 2 consecutive days at sea) Getting to NYC: -We took a Yankee Trails Cruise Express Bus from ... Read More
Who Traveled: -4 Adults, 8-year-old, and 7-month-old (babies must be at least 6 months old on date of departure and have no more than 2 consecutive days at sea) Getting to NYC: -We took a Yankee Trails Cruise Express Bus from upstate NY to the city costing $90/person for a round trip. -They took care of all our checked luggage so we didn’t have to deal with that at all when arriving -We arrived around 9:30 am Embarkment: -Once inside the terminal we were queued up waiting to go through security, all employees telling you to dump or dispose of any liquids, but since we were traveling with a baby we were liquid exempt and once we asked an employee about what we should do they took us out of line and escorted us to the front, saving us a long wait in line. -After security we went to check-in, after a short wait there we were done with everything and had to wait until the cruise ship was ready to be boarded. (It probably took us 45 minutes to get through everything including using the bathrooms and finding seats) -I was disappointed in the amount of seating they had while waiting to board the ship. Most seats were taken and I ended up having to stand with my baby until we began boarding around 11:30 am -Once they called our boarding number, we were on the ship within 10 minutes and looking for a place to eat. The Escape Ship: -The ship was clean, no chipped paint, and every where you went there was hand sanitizer and hand washing stations at food areas. -Easy to read maps at every elevator. Maps had categories such as entertainment, dining, etc. and which floor to find it on. -Crew members were always found around the ship cleaning, fixing, and upgrading something. The Cabin: -We were in an adjoining balcony room on deck 9 aft port side. We were above Cagney’s Steakhouse and didn’t have any problems with noise from the restaurant. -We got to our room around 1:30 pm. The room was clean and everything we needed. Our housekeeper, Xiaofang or Grace, was happily willing to help us. -Our room had a drop-down bunk which our 8-year-old loved and they provided us with a pack and play for our baby. -The room was a little tight once the pack and play was in there but we expected it. -We were expecting our balconies to also be adjoining because that’s what we were told over the phone so we were a little disappointed in that but were still able to fit 3 adults in chairs and 2 kids on the floor with fourth adult sitting in the doorway. -Xiaofang was an incredible person. She was always happy to help and kept our room stocked with whatever we needed. She even taught my 8-year-old how to make some towel animals! Dining: -All adults had the drink package, which is definitely worth it even if you just want to try things that you would normally not. We even got virgin drinks such as strawberry daiquiris for our 8-year-old which she loved. -We decided to purchase a 3-meal specialty dining package. You only have to pay for the adults and the kids can choose from the children’s menu, which is the same at every restaurant even complementary ones, but they can order an appetizer and dessert from adult menu. We choice to eat at Teppanyaki (Hibachi), Cagney’s (Steakhouse), and La Cucina (Italian). -Teppanyaki was great! The chef was also a great entertainer and interacted with everyone in the group. The rice, filet mignon, and chicken were definitely our favorite parts of the meal. Both our kids even enjoyed them. The main course didn’t disappoint and you left very full and satisfied. -Cagney’s had incredible food and wait staff. Located on the back of the ship making it super easy for us to get to from our room which was just a short walk down some stairs. The back wall was all windows so you could see the ocean and clouds changing color with the setting sun. From appetizers to dessert everything we had was delicious and I would have gone there every night if we could have. -At La Cucina we had a 4 or 5 course meal including the dessert. The food was authentic Italian food not American/Italian so you won’t be finding spaghetti and meatballs or chicken parm, but the food was all great! And the wait staff helped my mother in law find something that she would enjoy. -Taste and Savory were the same restaurant across the hall from each other. The staff were always so welcoming and knew our kids’ names and even on nights we didn’t have them as waiters they would still come over and say hi and talk to our kids. -The Manhattan Room was a fancier version of taste and savory and had live music. Again, the staff was great and made everything so much easier travelling with 2 kids. -Each dinner meal probably lasted around 2 hours from arriving to leaving so if you have a tight schedule you will probably want to go to the Garden Café (buffet). All restaurants were clean and so were the high chairs. -We made sure at every restaurant we left a comment card with staff names and what they did to make our vacation that much better. Bars: -All bars were clean and staff amazing. -Favorite bars were The District Brewhouse, which had tons of beers on tap and also served mixed drinks and finger foods but its an adult only bar and Sugarcane, which was a Mojito bar. The reason we liked these 2 bars the most was because of the staff. The District and Sugarcane staff were very friendly and informative. Erwin from the Sugarcane bar even did card tricks for our kids as entertainment! Entertainment/activities: -Our 8-year-old loved the water slides and splash pad, arcade, and mini golf. We wanted to do the ropes course but it was either too windy or they were working on it while in port. Also, babies are not allowed in the pools or splash pads unless potty trained, which is kind of disappointing but I understand why. -We didn’t expect Norwegian to have children’s activities but they did! Our oldest loved the Origami lessons and cupcake tutorials and trivia. They also had activities for the 0-3 crowd such as wake up wiggles. -We weren’t able to get into any of the shows because they quickly sold out and we weren’t fast enough. -I do wish they had a kid’s channel on the TV for early morning or right before bed because a lot of the time before bed they would be playing something not appropriate for children. Service: -Service with Norwegian was spectacular! They made traveling with 2 kids so easy. We had a few vacation heroes that we will never forget but they are not the only ones who made us feel special. First Charry, the Hotel Director Secretary, we met her in the begin of our cruise and she made our cruising experience that much better. Charry helped us with tendering and the disembarkation making our lives easier with kids. Deepak, the hotel director, sent us chocolates, cookies, candies, and chocolate covered strawberries almost every night and invited us to private parties to meet the top officers which was great because we were able to thank them in person. Xiaofang, our housekeeper, helped us with everything we needed and my older daughter fell in love with her kindness and taught her how to make towel animals. And then there was Erwin, Bartender from Sugarcane, while we were waiting for our dinner reservation at La Cucina we stopped there and Erwin entertained my oldest with so many card tricks and my daughter wanted to go back many times to visit him again. Ports: Port Canaveral- we didn’t get off because you had to take transportation if you wanted to go anywhere, there isn’t anything within walking distance, which we knew going into it so we were not disappointed and enjoyed having less people on the ship so we were able to do onboard activities. Great Stirrup Cay-we got off with the help of Charry and were one of the first boats to arrive on the island which gave us great options of where to sit. We found a spot close to bar, bathrooms, and it was under trees near water. The island was clean but the water had lots of seaweed towards the beach so you had to wade through that. My older daughter saw different fish and even got to experience tidal pools with minnows and snails. There were tons of waiters walking around taking drink orders (please remember to have dollar bills to tip them). They also served us a lunch buffet which had many options from pizza to burgers to chicken also had fresh fruits and many desserts. Nassau- Nassau was not the greatest place to visit. When getting off the ship you are on the docks where most locals aren’t allowed and once you exit the docks you are in a fenced in area where locals are only allowed if they have a permit. The whole time we were off the ship we were hounded by locals to buy things from them and the whole place just didn’t seem like a nice location. -Besides Great Stirrup Cay I would recommend either staying on the ship or doing shore excursions. Cruising with Kids: -We didn’t set our expectations very high because this was our first time traveling with 2 kids and our first time on a Norwegian cruise but we were very surprised with how welcoming everyone was and how concerned they were with making sure our experience was a great one. -Cruising with a 7-month-old was pretty easy and a front pack is definitely recommended. My daughter refused to sleep in pack and play so that made it a little more challenging. -cruising with an 8-year-old was also easy she loved all the crew members and activities on board. She did wish there was more variety with kids’ menu but it helped that she could order off adult menus because she is more of an adventurous eater. -We would definitely recommend Norwegian to other families even with small children and would definitely cruise with them in the future just based off the friendliness of their staff. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Introduction: Myself (22), my brother (19), and both of my parents went together on a 7 day Florida and Bahamas cruise from New York in Mid-March. We originally booked an Aft-facing Haven Suite but upgraded a few days prior to the cruise ... Read More
Introduction: Myself (22), my brother (19), and both of my parents went together on a 7 day Florida and Bahamas cruise from New York in Mid-March. We originally booked an Aft-facing Haven Suite but upgraded a few days prior to the cruise to a Haven 2-bedroom family villa, which was well worth it! We have cruised NCL in the past (Getaway) and had such a blast so we chose to return. Embarkation: We chose to drive to the terminal from Maryland the day of the cruise (I-95 traffic was a breeze on a Sunday morning) and we parked on the pier next to the ship (~$200 and well worth it!). Our car was parked less than 100 feet from the side of the ship and you really cannot get any closer. You absolutely pay for the convenience. We go tlost trying to find the inside of the terminal from the parking deck (they need more signage) but we found it eventually. The porters saw our priority embarkation tags and whisked our luggage away quickly. The terminal just opened and the line to security was full, but moved very quickly. We did not notice or see any signs for Haven guests at this point (there was apparently priority security screening for us but we missed it). After security, we found the line for the Haven and we were taken to their private check-in room. A little tight on the inside with lots of furniture stacked up on the walls but it was quiet, comfy, and they had good food. Within an hour of entering the terminal, we were boarding the ship as one of the first guests. As soon as you board, they take you to the Haven where they give a welcome speech and provide cocktails and sliders (they looked SO good!). Lunch was offered in both the Haven restaurant and La Cucina. We chose to go there since we did not have a reservation on the other nights and the italian lunch was delicious. Stateroom: Our stateroom was ready very early in the day and it was truly perfect. The parents loved the king size bed and luxury shower. Their favorite part was all of the jets in it, equating it to a "car wash". Myself and my brother stayed in the separate bedroom, which was comfy and the perfect size for both of us. We appreciated that there were two separate beds (one pull-down) for us. The living area was perfect with the most comfy couch ever, private dining area, and tea/coffee nook. We loved all of the furnishings in the room and our Butler, Henry, made our cruise. My only criticism is that the balcony is very small and I wish it was a little larger but it was not a big deal. Dining: We ate in the Haven restaurant most nights and we thoroughly enjoyed the service. We quickly noticed that the menu does not change and I wish they offered just one or two appetizers, entrees, and desserts every night that would rotate. We enjoyed every meal in the Haven. On the first night, we ate at The Supper Club and watched a magic show by the same guy who was on The Worlds Best. Did not care for the food at all since it was a pre-fixed menu. The salad dressing had an odd taste to it but the dessert was very good. Good dinner show. We also ate in Cagneys and Moderno (loved both of them on the Getaway so we had to return). Moderno was delicious again, will always come back. Cagneys on the other hand was a disappointment. I enjoyed my seafood plate as it had a good variety and seemed very fresh. My father chose to get their signature Porterhouse and claimed it was the worst cut of steak of his life, simply too tough to eat and you had to use a chainsaw to cut it. Our server was very understanding and did her best to accommodate us but this was simply the one "off" meal we had. The desserts at Cagneys were probably the best though, we loved their creme brulee. Our third specialty dining experience was Bayamo, which was a complete RIP OFF. They take the specialty dining plan but they add a surcharge to it, which is fine since it is a special specialty restaurant. However, once you sit down a lot of the menu items have an additional surcharge to it. Even the lobster has a $15-$30 surcharge (couldn't remember the exact number). All of the seafood presented on the menu we could get in the Haven for no surcharge and down in Bayamo, they charge you left and right. Plus, their menu was not that appealing, simply too basic with subpar fish options (including fish and chips). We explained this to the Maitre D and he understood, refunding our specialty dining reservation and giving us a free bottle of wine. Instead, we went to Le Bistro (which we also went to on the Getaway and we absolutely loved but wanted to try something different). It was delicious as always with sophisticated french food and fantastic service. My only gripe with NCL's dining is that you cannot get lobster anywhere on the ship but Bayamo. Too bad cruise ships are doing away with lobster night. We also frequented O'Sheehans, a favorite of ours from the Getaway. The wings tasted even better this time and the loaded nachos (even though you can tell they used fake cheese lol) were so delicious, I had to get them every time. Service was great every time and the venue is always so much fun. We loved going here in the afternoon for a mid-afternoon snack. Favorite complimentary option! Entertainment: The magic show on night one was okay. Entertaining but the tricks were very basic. The trivia throughout was so much fun and we liked to go to their special trivia contests they would have on specific topics (like Airlines of the world, Harry Potter, etc.). We chose to see "Choir of Man" and we were absolutely blown away. I believe it was their last show on the Escape but I really hope they return. The show was very interactive with the audience (they gave away free beer haha) and they delivered a showstopping performance. I cannot speak more highly of them and Choir of Man has to be my favorite show ever. Service: Service was impecable throughout the cruise. Our butler, Henry, made every request possible and truly went above and beyond to make our cruise special. Our stateroom steward Erlito was also very very nice and always so happy. Once we communicated our preferred turndown times with him, he made it work. Fantastic job! Also, the host at the Haven, Made, did a fantastic job and always made us feel special. She was always cheerful and knew us by name very quickly. All of the staff in the Haven were fantastic and made us feel special. It is very easy to get wrapped up in the Haven and I have to say, the staff on the rest of the ship, from the entertainment staff to dining staff, were fantastic as well. It is always interesting to get to know each one and they truly do work very hard so we can enjoy our cruise. Service on NCL exceeds our expectations again. Ports: The cruise stopped in Port Canaveral, Great Stirrup Cay, and Nassau. We have been to all of these ports except great stirrup cay (their private island). We arrived to Port Canaveral (1pm) on a wet, foggy day and we had no shore excursion planned as there really isn't much to do except go to Cocoa Beach (a tourist trap) or Kennedy Space Center (a must-see, already did it). Instead, my brother and I grabbed an Uber and went to the mall nearby to watch Madea's Family Funeral at the movie theater. Uber was about $20 each way and it was only 15 minutes from the port. The mall itself is run-down but when the ship is in port (hopefully a Tuesday), it is $5 movies at the movie theater, a bargain! Highly recommend doing if you just want to get off on the ship on your own. The ship left at 9 or 10pm and we were back by 5pm. Thankfully, we were the first cruise to be able to tender to Great Stirrup Cay in a while. The tender process was very easy and the island was beautiful. The water was a little cold but the sun was definitely shining (my father got really bad sunburn). Everything about the private island was good. Pretty generic in my opinion but it was a fun day in the sun. Lastly, we arrived in Nassau. We have been to Nassau previously and we were aware of the high crime around the port so we believed a ship-sponsored tour was a must. We went to the Atlantis waterpark (did the same excursion on the Getaway and loved it) on a cloudy day. We arrived very soon and walked with our tour guide through the property (it's massive!). We quickly grabbed a lounger by one of the pools and went on the waterslides (no line at first so go quickly). Once the lines got long we chilled in the rapid river. Always so much fun and we enjoyed it. It did rain two times throughout the day (torrential downpours for 15-30 minutes) which helped keep the lines down and may have made some people sad but hey, you're at a waterpark, getting wet in the rain is okay. It wasn't that bad! Haven: If you want personalized service with your own private area of the ship, the Haven is for you. The area itself was nice as the lounge and bar were never busy and the restaurant was just the right size. Our favorite part was the courtyard with loungers on the main deck and above. The roof does retract and stayed closed most of the cruise so we could swim all seven days. My only gripe is that there were way too many young kids (expected for a spring break cruise though). I wish they had adults-only hours in the courtyard, particularly in the afternoon (i.e. 2-4pm when kids sleep). Overall, we loved staying in the Haven as it was very quiet and relaxing. We do think our experience would have been completely different if we stayed in our original aft-facing haven suite outside the Haven (which means you would have to walk from one end of the ship to the other just to get inside the Haven). Ship Layout: Very similar to the Getaway but slightly larger. We did notice there was a lot of wasted space throughout. For instance, the wine venue on Deck 8 was almost always not open and never had people in it. I wish they could make the venue something new. Also, I was not a fan of the lounge/bar in the casino, which seemed to be the only place on the ship where they had live music late at night. It was simply too dark and way too smoky. I think the ship layout flows well as everything is pretty much up top or on decks 6, 7, and 8 but the venues themselves need work. Overall: I would recommend the Haven if your ship has many days at sea. It was very relaxing and the perfect spot to relax. The cruise itinerary itself was okay, not too exciting, but we would do it again just for the ship. NCL does a great job with the little touches (i.e. damp towels when you return to the ship and a live DJ) and they maintain their ships very well. We will absolutely cruise NCL again and we will probably start building loyalty with them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Honestly stay away from this company!!! Hideously over charged Wi-Fi services and they have a lot of hidden fees once you're on board. The water park on the roof deck was not open throughout the entire trip, i consider this as false ... Read More
Honestly stay away from this company!!! Hideously over charged Wi-Fi services and they have a lot of hidden fees once you're on board. The water park on the roof deck was not open throughout the entire trip, i consider this as false advertisement btw. We had chosen the free wife and $50 on board credit which was not given to us. They are claiming it was the third party's fault and asked us to contact them while there was absolutely no signals on the ship! What a joke. One MOST IMPORTANT THING: Their shore excursion programs are WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY OVER PRICED!! For example, play with stingray is $39 ticket per person at the door and Norwegian is charging $135 for the EXACT SAME activity. Swimming with Dolphins are $212 when you are at Blue Lagoon, and Norwegian was charging $$279. etc..... So please book your own tickets either on Expedia or at the activity center when you're landed. Overall experience was average. Also, this ship does not give people much time on land to enjoy the activities, most of the time will spend on the ship which leading you to spend more money in their casino.. I wouldn't book a trip with this company in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The ship is huge but the atrium (where it all happens) is tiny. There’s no room for the amount of people on the boat to attend the shows and fun things going around. There aren’t even enough show times for everyone to attend in the ... Read More
The ship is huge but the atrium (where it all happens) is tiny. There’s no room for the amount of people on the boat to attend the shows and fun things going around. There aren’t even enough show times for everyone to attend in the main theatre. You have to make reservations right away or you won’t get in. Some shows were BORING. Entertainment was not good. I liked the entertainment in the supper club, which is kind of hidden and no one knows is free. There’s so much on the ship that has a hidden cost. We had lots of incorrect charges on our account that Norwegian made nearly impossible to have removed. We were charged for the mini bar that we had removed on day 1.. as well as charges from one of the restaurants for the drinks that they brought that were incorrect. Still have not been reimbursed. We only saw the cruise director once... and we attended a lot of things. He didn’t go above and beyond. We wanted to go to the staff talent show but the theatre was so full you couldn’t get near it. The pool is also so small we were only able to get in it once. The hot tubs there were maybe like 2 on the main deck and 2 elsewhere on other decks. Could not even get into! Why such a big ship and not more on the decks? The gym is the tiniest little sad thing. They must have really just overbooked the cruiise ship or have way too many staterooms. I thought the food was good but at the buffets the food wasn’t hot which worries me a little bit. The main dining room food was really good and hot though. Port Canaveral is not a good port to stop at. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
For starters, I had my worries about this trip. This was my first cruise with Norwegian and I had previously read a lot of poor reviews about Escape. I was truly surprised about how incredible this trip turned out to be for my spring ... Read More
For starters, I had my worries about this trip. This was my first cruise with Norwegian and I had previously read a lot of poor reviews about Escape. I was truly surprised about how incredible this trip turned out to be for my spring break. Checking in was fast and organized, considering the fluctuation of people boarding. I shared a balcony room and it was spacious. We were assigned a cabin steward and he was excellent! The entire cruise staff was FANTASTIC! I am not exaggerating! They were on point every single moment of the trip. Every dining room, restaurant, and bar, the staff was amazing. Very friendly and always helpful. I’m not sure what it was like for other escape cruises, but our entire ship loved “washy washy.” Everytime we entered a dining room, we were given hand sanitizer and the staff would sing “don’t forget washy washy.” It was hysterical and I am grateful that the staff was working hard to ensure everything was clean at all times. I have booked every single show on the ship and they were excellent. The choir of man blew me away!!! As a young adult on spring break, some of the parties were very funny, but I wasn’t expecting anything extravagant. They had activities all day long from karaoke, deal or no deal, pool games... you make it. The food was incredible! Every single dining room, buffet, and restaurant was amazing! My advice, pay for everything ahead of time. I had paid for gratuities and charges I’m advanve, which left me to not worry so much about spending and being charged onboard. Keep in mind, it is cheaper when you pay the gratuities and fees in advance. Great stirrup was beautiful and I did the Atlantis excursion. The weather was good in the Bahamas. It was cold on some nights throughout the ship considering it’s March. Overall, incredible time. I am very pleased with NCL. Most importantly, they did make us all feel like family. I met a lot of people my age (early 20’s) and a lot of people who are a little older. We all enjoyed it together. It was a family friendly trip but it was nice to see that they organized karaoke nights and party nights based on themes and age groups. Out of almost 5,000 people who went on this cruise, there is bound to be a handful who are unhappy with their trip, and that’s okay! But I would like to show my appreciation to NCL and their beautiful and incredible staff. They truly work very hard to give each of us a fun and relaxing vacation. I will definitely continue to be apart of the NCL family. Thank you for making my first cruise incredible. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Overall, I was extremely unhappy with this cruise. Thankfully, I received the cruise for free from Casino at Sea and only had to pay the taxes & port fees. The ship was full of spring breakers partying hard all day and night. The ... Read More
Overall, I was extremely unhappy with this cruise. Thankfully, I received the cruise for free from Casino at Sea and only had to pay the taxes & port fees. The ship was full of spring breakers partying hard all day and night. The people staying all around me were screaming on their baloncy until 4am everynight. At one of the late night clubs a spring breaker dumped a drink on top of my head after I accidently bumped into her. I couldn't believe someone actually dumped a entire drink on top of my head. I've never experienced anything like that in my entire life and I'm nearing 40. I didn't even know how to react when she dumped the drink on me. I was stunned. The elevator situation was a total nightmare. The staff are worked to the bone and the bars are extremely understaffed. I had the worst meal of my life at Bayamo. We sent it back and it was removed from our bill. The worst Norwegian cruise experience out of the 4 previous Norwegian cruises I had been on. I would not recommend this ship to anyone. The staff was great and the shows were worth attending! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We were on the NCL Escape the week of 3/17/19 out of NYC. It was cold and crowded with college spring breakers. Despite this, the crew made this cruise. Never did I see a frown. We were at a CC Meet and Greet on the 1st sea day, and ... Read More
We were on the NCL Escape the week of 3/17/19 out of NYC. It was cold and crowded with college spring breakers. Despite this, the crew made this cruise. Never did I see a frown. We were at a CC Meet and Greet on the 1st sea day, and from that point on crew members would say hi to us by name. Imagine that - one little person out of 5000. They took all of the extra little steps to make us feel special. We went to Port Canaveral. Meh. Didn't care for this port at all, but I really loved our outside shore excursion group. He made the day for us. We were able to get to Great Stirrup Cay. It was so pretty!! Loved this port. Nassau...first time there so we "had" to go to Atlantis. Glad I did, but for that price I'd never go again. I can see why a lot of frequent cruisers stay on ship that day. Choir of Man is a must! Great show. The comedians were hysterical. Howl at the Moon was great. Most of the shows the Cruise Director (Scott) had were in the Atrium. It was way too small of a space. Always packed due to aforementioned cold and copious amounts of spring breakers taking over the pool decks. Food in the MDRs was ok...not great...not bad. The options seemed to be getting less exciting. We didn't care for Manhattan due to the noise. The space was pretty though. We opted more for Savor and Taste. They were so similar, I called them "gold" and "blue" based on the color of the glass decor. Blue tended to be slower, but the staff was friendlier. We ate at two specialty dining places: Moderno and La Cucina. If you can, go for the upgrade. AMAZING food. We were in a Balcony "hump" room 13282. Our cabin steward, Kurt was awesome! Embarkation was extremely smooth. Debarkation was an absolute cluster Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I went on the Escape with my family of 5 on 3/17/19. We were in room 5742. I chose this deck because it could accommodate my husband, 3 children (7 and under) and myself. It was also very close to the the Guppies room and Splash Academy. ... Read More
I went on the Escape with my family of 5 on 3/17/19. We were in room 5742. I chose this deck because it could accommodate my husband, 3 children (7 and under) and myself. It was also very close to the the Guppies room and Splash Academy. The room although a little tight between the bed and the wall it was great for our family. The couch turned into a bed and there was a pull down bed from the ceiling as well. Embarkation: We were at the port to park around 9:30 am. We parked at the port parking, although a little pricey it was nice to be right there. Getting into the terminal was very easy. We waited on line for security for about 30 minutes before they opened. Once it opened it went very fast. We then waited to board and were on the ship around 11:00 am. Guppies/Splash Academy Once on board we went right to the guppies room and splash academy to sign our kids up. I had heard the guppies room fills up quickly so I wanted to get there and pick the times I wanted. It worked out well and I was able to sign my son up for every spot I wanted. He is 2 and a half and for the guppies room you have to pay $20 / session (2 hours per session). I did back to back sessions every night. He LOVED going and asked to go all day. The staff were very nice and loved welcoming him back every night. My 7 year old twins also loved splash academy. Every night there was a theme and it was done very well. My kids met many friends and truly loved every second they spent with the staff. At the end of the cruise the kids put on a circus show that was very cute and sweet to see that in such a short time they did this. The staff at splash academy were always smiling and having a good time. Food: We did not have one bad meal on this cruise. For dinner we ate mostly in Taste/Savor/Manhattan room. My favorite dish was the Chicken Medeira over risotto. It was delicious. The service was always great and we never felt rushed. We had many great desserts but for me the molton chocolate cake and the snickers pound cake were my favorites. Many days we had breakfast and lunch in the Garden Cafe (Buffet). Everything was always great and there were many options. I never waited on a line to get food because there were so many places to grab stuff from. For breakfast it was very crowded and we could never find a seat but on day 2 I remembered that Margaritaville just one deck up had a lot of seating and food as well. After that we never looked for breakfast seating at the buffet again. We would either get food from the buffet and bring it up or we would just get food from Margaritaville which was the same food the buffet had just less options. We had one dinner at Cagneys. It was good but not great. I enjoyed my steak but nothing blew me away. Entertainment: There was so much to see and do on this ship. The game shows in the atrium were always a lot of fun. They had a lot of audience participation and just a fun time. The Entertainment staff was a riot and really had fun with everyone. For this sailing the cruise director was Scott, he was really fun and always having a good time. One of my favorite things to do was going to see Howl at the Moon. The performers were wonderful and really funny. Once 11 hit it was adults only and it was a lot of fun and laughs. They truly love what they do and had a blast. I also really loved Choir of Man. That show was very entertaining and the cast was fantastic. We also saw After Midnight. The performers were very talented but I was not a fan of the show. There is no story line to follow just different sets with songs and dancing. I wish there was a story. Try not to miss the themed parties in Spice H20. I attended the glow/white party, 80's party and 90's party and all were a lot of fun. If it rains or too windy they move the party to a bar close to the casino. Pools and outside fun: The family pool was very small but the kids still loved it. It was heated and had a life guard. It is right next to the small splash area so the kids can go back and forth between the two. The only complaint I had with this was the lack of chairs by this area. There were no loungers here, there was just no room but only about 6 regular chairs for many people with children. This ship had a lot of young kids and a lot of parents standing around watching this area. We did not do the slides or ropes course because we waited until the last two sea days and unfortunately it was too windy. I heard from others those were a lot of fun though. My kids also enjoyed mini golf and basketball a lot. Ports: Port Canaveral: We did the shuttle to Cocoa Beach. Unfortunately it was a rainy cold day for Florida but we made the best of it. We walked on the beach for a little bit, had some key lime pie and then walked around. We stayed for about an hour and a half and then took the shuttle back to the ship. Great Stirrup Cay: Before the cruise I thought there was no way we would be stopping here. Many sailings have to skip this port due to high winds and it being a tender port. We were very lucky and were able to enjoy this beautiful island. It was really a wonderful day at the beach .The weather was warm and the sun is very strong. Everyone left burnt even with sun screen. They have a barbeque set up and it was really good. They also have a taco bar that was good as well. There is a small shopping area but save your money and ship in Nassau the prices were a bit high. Nassau: I have been to this port four other times. I know many people are not a fan but I enjoyed it. We went to the British Colonial Hilton and bought the beach pass from Resort for day. Before we left I read there was construction next door. I went back and forth about going but in the end we went. Although a few years ago when we went it was a better time and more relaxing it was still fine. There was noise from the construction and the place is a bit more run down now but the beach is still nice, the food was still good and overall we did have a good day. Debarkation: This was very smooth. We got into port early morning maybe around 2-3 am. They started calling self assist passengers off around 7:30 am. We selected a purple tag and were off the ship by 9 am and on the road by 9:20 am. Overall we had a really great cruise. We met really nice people and very nice staff. I would go on the Escape time and time again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our first cruise and it was great. The dining was excellent and there were lots of choices. I highly recommend the speciality dining. The Sting Ray experience shore excursion was the best. The shows we saw were great. Choir of ... Read More
This was our first cruise and it was great. The dining was excellent and there were lots of choices. I highly recommend the speciality dining. The Sting Ray experience shore excursion was the best. The shows we saw were great. Choir of Men was our favorite show. The spa and thermal suite were great. We spent lots of time in the spa. They offered many options at reasonable prices. Our cabin steward was the best. He was very helpful, friendly, and courteous. We had a cabin with a balcony with an ocean view. We spent a lot of time on the balcony, which really increased the size of the cabin. The spa shower was a great addition. We could have used a first time cruiser guide. We missed some things due to inexperience. On-board activities were diverse and fun. We will definitely cruise again and Norwegian will be our first choice. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We got home on Sunday and had a wonderful trip! I can confirm first hand that the rumours are true. The Escape is a beautiful ship with a warm and friendly staff. We had one dud server, but instead of dwelling on it, we filled out many ... Read More
We got home on Sunday and had a wonderful trip! I can confirm first hand that the rumours are true. The Escape is a beautiful ship with a warm and friendly staff. We had one dud server, but instead of dwelling on it, we filled out many hero cards about the great ones. The good vibes started when we got word the Thursday before that our bid for an upgrade was accepted. We went from family balcony to mini-suite. I got the spa pass for the last 3 days of the trip and spent many hours on the heated tile beds. Ahhhhhhh..... The food was the best I have had in 12 years of cruising (mostly NCL and MSC). We rarely hit the buffet because my hubby has a mobility issue, but Taste, Savor and especially the Manhattan dining rooms were wonderful experiences. We often got 2 appetizers each and if we were too full for dessert, hit the midnight buffet for a "sweetie" before turning in. My 16 year old took a few days to warm up to the Entourage program, but we hardly saw him the last 3 days of the cruise. As far as accommodating my hubby's mobility issue (CP), the access desk made very few promises, but delivered on them in spades! Boarding and disembarking were smooth as silk with wheelchair service and priority boarding. Remind me to take him with me EVERYtime I travel to bypass the long lines. :) Hubby was very happy to remain on the ship while my son and I took in the ports. No Great Stirrup Cay this trip, and the buzz on the ship is that the stop is more miss than hit at this time of year. NCL returned $32 in port fees pp which almost covered my spa pass. The greatest testament came from my son and hubby who are both first timers. Both want to know when we are going to do it again. Literally again. Same ship. Same itinerary. What nubes! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We were on the famous “strong winds hit a cruise leaving New York city” that was on the news the first week of March. Many injuries endured by passengers and entertainers: bone fractures, sprains and wounds. My husband and I were ... Read More
We were on the famous “strong winds hit a cruise leaving New York city” that was on the news the first week of March. Many injuries endured by passengers and entertainers: bone fractures, sprains and wounds. My husband and I were in our room with our children when it happened and no one came to check to see if everyone was ok after the incident. I thought of older passengers, maybe alone in their cabin, and hoped they were ok. My daughter almost slid off her bunk bed when the ship tipped to the side. Things did not get any better after that frightful night. We ended up not stopping at Stirrup Cay, as planned in our itinerary, but going straight to Nassau to spend 2 days. When you pay for a trip that includes 3 stops and you only do 2, you would think there would be some kind of compensation, nope! In addition, when you have an ultimate beverage package, you need to pay taxes on drinks when at port. Therefore, since we were at a port in Nassau for two full days, we had to pay extra taxes on the drinks. If we had been at Stirrup Cay and then at sea to Nassau the next day, as planned, we would have saved paying taxes. Do you think we had some kind of compensation for this? Nope! Big disappointment not visiting a private island (the most interesting stop of the cruise) and big disappointment having to pay unforeseen taxes, which do add up in the end... We have reserved the same trip next March, in 2020, but we will most certainly cancel. Even if the strong winds were a surprise and not stopping at Stirrup Cay a security measure, there could have been some kind of compensation. A message of apology from Norwegian and a rebate on a future cruise would have been highly appreciated. A travel agent on vacation on the cruise told us not to expect anything... Shows: excellent, especially Choir of Man, saw it twice. Food: delicious Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
My expectations may have been too high and or wrong before coming on the cruise, therefore it wasn't exactly the trip that I hoped I had saved up for. As far as vacations go, I usually can only afford places that I can drive to. My ... Read More
My expectations may have been too high and or wrong before coming on the cruise, therefore it wasn't exactly the trip that I hoped I had saved up for. As far as vacations go, I usually can only afford places that I can drive to. My girlfriend and I decided to come on the cruise because her parents suggested it and were offered 2 additional guests as a perk. I am in college so this was the only week I would be available. They booked the cruise and we split it 4 ways which was the only way we could afford it. The cost of booking including taxes and fees ended up being about $1000 a person which was manageable. Because we had a balcony room, we got to pick a second perk. We would have picked the ultimate drink package for the main 2 guests but due to misinformation by the Norwegian employee on the telephone (who said we would need to purchase for all 4 people) we chose the $50 per port for excursions. If we had the drink package for the main 2 guests, we would have split the cost of the drinks for my girlfriend and I between the 4 of us and saved much more money. On top of that mix up our second excursion was cancelled (Stirrup Cay) and we lost out on that $50 and the part I was looking forward to, riding jet skis in the Bahamas. I don't blame Norwegian for the weather as that would be ridiculous, but I am a bit jaded because almost every day was cloudy, windy, and cool (low 70's). This most certainly affected using the pools and waterslides on the ship. As I said our second port was cancelled, and our excursion to Aquaventure in Atlantis was a bummer. I just hadn't expected to pay $180 for a waterpark in the Bahamas only to freeze getting in and out of the water. The beach looked beautiful, but the water was off limits due to dangerous swells and riptides. Orlando, our first port was our favorite. We chose the Airboat ride and Alligator Jungle. It was a great day for the weather and my only complaint was how rushed the Airboat ride was. Since we missed Stirrup Cay we had two days at port in Nassau. This ended up working out for us as we didn't have a curfew the first night and were able to experience the bars and nightlife. I brought my mask and snorkel to the beach there, but the water was too rough. Onboard the ship I hadn't expected the prices of everything to be so high. I really had to limit myself to make sure I didn't go too far over budget. If I cruised again, I wouldn't do it without the drink package. Even though I spent less on drinks than the package would have cost I felt like I would have had been more relaxed if I didn't have to keep a running tally every time I ordered a $10 beer. It just seemed like everything we wanted to do was going to cost extra plus taxes and gratuities. I chose to go without internet because of cost although I did enjoy being disconnected for a week. The buffet food was above average, but I preferred O’sheehans because of how crowded the buffet was all the time. O’sheehans did everything extremely well except for the prime rib special one of the days. The other complimentary dining was average to me. The waitstaff was courteous, the food was good, but the menus were boring and very similar to each other. The one specialty dinner we chose to go to was Teppanyaki. The food was delicious but personally I didn’t consider it a value at $38. There were positives on my trip, and I wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t share. First and foremost, our room Steward Derrick was amazing. Our room was always perfectly prepared and clean, and his towel animals were amazing. I asked him a lot of questions because I am very inquisitive and he was always honest and polite, and never looked remotely annoyed. This was true of most of the staff. The entertainment was all very good. Wen went to Howl at the moon twice because it was our favorite show. The man who played piano at the Brew pub was also very entertaining. After midnight, and Wine lovers the musical were great, and it was exciting to see the performers out and about on the ship. Matt Johnson and the comedians also had great acts. Will I cruise again? Possibly when I finish college and can afford to spend much more. I do feel I could have offset certain things if I could afford to replace them with other things. I would also probably cruise from Miami next time so that even my days at sea are in warmer weather. All in all it was a learning experience for me. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was mine and my husbands first cruise and we had a wonderful experience. All the staff on the cruise were kind and helpful. The ship was always clean and well taken care of. Our room steward was fantastic. He always did a great job ... Read More
This was mine and my husbands first cruise and we had a wonderful experience. All the staff on the cruise were kind and helpful. The ship was always clean and well taken care of. Our room steward was fantastic. He always did a great job cleaning the room and taking care of any needs. The food was perfect, very presentable and tasted amazing, we never left unsatisfied. The bartenders gave fast and great service, my favorite bar on the ship was O'Sheehan's. The wings at O'Sheehan's were great! There were lots of activities to do on the ship, some of my favorite ones were bag toss, the ropes coarse, the dance classes, playing blackjack and bingo and also the magic shows. The themed parties at night were always a blast. I highly recommend cruising with NCL on the Norwegian Escape. Thank you NCL for such a great experience, will definitely be returning to you for future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
My boyfriend and went on the cruise over spring break. This cruise was awesome! They had a lot of complementary food options including a buffet, 3 restaurants, and a bar and grill. You got to choose when you wanted to each instead of being ... Read More
My boyfriend and went on the cruise over spring break. This cruise was awesome! They had a lot of complementary food options including a buffet, 3 restaurants, and a bar and grill. You got to choose when you wanted to each instead of being assigned a time, which was nice so you could go to as many activities that you wanted. The servers were hard to understand at times but the crew diversity is really cool. The bartenders were fairly polite and they even began to remember your name and orders. The water was too rough to dock at Great Stirrup Cay so we had to skip it but we got to spend 2 days at Nassau instead so that was cool. The entertainment was amazing! We went to dueling pianos 3 out of the 4 days they performed. Choir of man was super fun and completely different than any show I have ever seen. The beverage package is a must because beers are around $8 and cocktail averaged about $11 per drink. Overall, it was my first cruise and loved it! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because my husbands parents have cruises with Norwegian multiple times and have loved every single one. I can say say thst this experience wasn’t all that pleasurable this time around. The ship was extremely crowded ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my husbands parents have cruises with Norwegian multiple times and have loved every single one. I can say say thst this experience wasn’t all that pleasurable this time around. The ship was extremely crowded in which we had to wait several minutes up to 15 minutes for an elavator thst would accomadate our family with two strollers. Our cabin was not fit for a family with A toddler and an infant therefor our two year old had to sleep in between me and my husband. We did not have a bath tub in our room which made it impossible to bathe our small children ( 2 year old and a 10 month old) we had to go three floors down to my husbands parents cabin to bathe our children. That in itself was a inconvenience. A basic standard stroller did not fit in our doorway, having us take our daughter out each time and collapsing the stroller before entering our room.. yet another inconvenience. We had long wait time in restaurants after being seated. People who arrived after us got their food first and left before us. We needed to keep asking for our beverages and our dinners averaged about two hours long for 4 adults and two children. Overall, we were not satisfied with our crusing experience and I can’t say that I would recommend the Norwegian escape to any of my family or friends Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Let me start my rant with the staff was very good and fun to be around. The ship (in my opinion) is built very strong. After enduring the major list from a major blast of wind was able to be righted much to my surprise and she didn’t ... Read More
Let me start my rant with the staff was very good and fun to be around. The ship (in my opinion) is built very strong. After enduring the major list from a major blast of wind was able to be righted much to my surprise and she didn’t seem to take much damage for i feel was an unrecoverable port side list. NCL did not handle this to my satisfaction in that we didn’t receive any Comp or even and apology. In conjunction with that, that ship MUST be outfitted with life jackets in every state room for safety reasons. Heck even the unsinkable Titanic sank! Bed bugs seem to have been lingering and food poisoning from the restaurant “savor” didn’t make a fun trip. Missing there private island was also a real bummer, but that seems to be stand issues for NCL! I understand weather can not be controlled however the way passengers are accommodated is entirely in the hands of the crew/captain and more importantly the company. This was our very first cruise and our very last! Thank you Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
To start, I was on this cruise that got hit by 115mph winds and made some news headlines. I would commend the crew for their professionalism and help during this incident and afterwards. The remainder of this review reflects the cruise ... Read More
To start, I was on this cruise that got hit by 115mph winds and made some news headlines. I would commend the crew for their professionalism and help during this incident and afterwards. The remainder of this review reflects the cruise overall. Being in the Haven made this cruise a bit more bearable. My wife and I traveled with her mother who was turning 76, she has mobility issues, and this suite made it very easy for us to travel together. The ports and excursions were not terribly appealing so at least we had a nice room! The BEST part: The Haven experience was good and the benefits for priority to boarding and and show reservations and disembarking were invaluable when traveling with an elderly with a scooter and mobility issues. Haven Restaraunt hostess Made' (?) and Charlotte were the stand outs here). The WORST part: The ship overall is a huge headache for anyone with GLUTEN FREE dietary needs. (this is why dining is getting a poor rating btw) Yes, they can accommodate GF requests for dinners but for example, the main buffet area not only lacked a dedicated GF section and much less noting what (if any) foods would be GF. you always had to ask. and sometimes they go in in the back and get you a prepackaged off-the-shelf cookie, or the standard GF dessert of "flourless chocolate cake". We've sailed other cruise lines that were far more accommodating to this. AND it's not that hard to implement. (Charlotte in The HAVEN was very helpful in coordinating GF dinners.) It's a small thing, but it's a big deal for my GF wife. The level of service and price point that we paid for on this cruise, we were disappointed that we had to ask the butler staff to bring GF options. Frequently something would be forgotten for room service and we'd have to remind the staff. Personally I think the Butler staff is stretched too thin. our Butler had to 14 rooms to handle. He was often rushed, seemed overwhelmed at times to the point where we felt bad asking him for things. And we never felt we were getting the attention we were promised. in the Haven restaurants and others there was poor follow up by wait service., for getting to take a drink order with our meal, we'd have to wave someone else down to get a drink. And on a cruise ship your glass should never be empty. ( again for the price and level of service that was paid for I was not impressed. comparatively other cruise lines attention to such details and service were stand out even at the general dining rooms.) The Moderno stood out as one of the best overall experience and other restaurants on the Escape should look to the Moderno as to how to wait service properly. Anna stands out as the exemplary server here. The shows that stood out were Choir of Man- excellent, and After Midnight was very impressive.. There WAS a Brat Pack show when we booked ,but had ended it's run by the time we sailed, so there was less entertainment to choose from as no replacement show was in place. THANKS NCL! We were hard pressed to enjoy any of the shows in the supper club. Port of call and shore excurisons- Port Canaveral- we spent the day at epcot and the hour or so bus ride there and back. but we were hard pressed to find any interesting excursions. GREAT STIRRUP CAY. we did not visit, as weather to risky for the tender boats to ferry. from other reviews this seems to happen a lot and I would hardly promote this as viable port call. but looking at those excursions, there doesn't seem to be much to do there anyway that doesn't involve immediately going somewhere else. NCL needs to significantly improve this experience. with out this stop, when made it too NASSAU Bahamas a day early and I appreciated having the time and overnight stay here. NOTE: Nassau Bahamas has very poor "disabled" accommodating excursions and such. and note you are at the end of a very long dock that takes along walk to get to the main shopping area. I made excursion arrangements not affiliated with NCL. and had a great time! Getting back to the ship with 5 minutes to spare! The other activities (pools slides, rope courses etc outdoor stuff )of the ship seemed better suited for southern ports and warmer weather, leaving from NY in early March tends to temper this a bit. I don't feel I got my money's worth here as there were a couple of days on the 7 day cruise where it was too cold to take advantage of this. Lastly, the 678 section with the shops and such restaurants and such. the casino is located on deck 7 and the openness of these atrium type sections means you can smell cigarette smoke throughout the floors. The selections of shops is mostly jewelry and watches. Seriously NCL how many of these repetitive stores do you need??? Get some variety in those shops! And a side note.. their photo area doesn't even sell any gopro stuff. Overall the cruise was just okay, mainly because we stayed in the Haven section of the ship. Doubtful I'd consider another cruise with NCL regardless of the Haven. NCL is welcome to try and change my mind though. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
My 60th BDay cruise and I had a blast. This was a last minute decision and I'm so so glad I did. The price was right, I live in New York so its convenient. The Entertainment was great. They also have Celebrities on the ship. I went ... Read More
My 60th BDay cruise and I had a blast. This was a last minute decision and I'm so so glad I did. The price was right, I live in New York so its convenient. The Entertainment was great. They also have Celebrities on the ship. I went to a show to see the fabulous Sharon Wilkins. Matter of fact it was Dinner and a show, A 5 course dinner and a show for a very small fee. I absolutely loved it had a great time watching her singing and mingle in the audience it was up close and personal. I visited all the Specialty restaurants on the ship and enjoyed each and every one. My cabin steward Charlie was great he catered to my every want and need . What I want people to know is fill out those comment cards let the higher ups know you appreciate when all goes right on your vacation. I Did. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise since it was close to home and available during the week we wanted to go on vacation. It was a pretty terrible cruise with the Captain almost getting us killed sailing into a storm with over 100mph gales that were ... Read More
We chose this cruise since it was close to home and available during the week we wanted to go on vacation. It was a pretty terrible cruise with the Captain almost getting us killed sailing into a storm with over 100mph gales that were forecasted, We woke at night with the ship listing and everything flying in our room. Many people on the ship were injured. Shame on the Captain for proceeding with this sailing into the storm. The cruise line has not refunded us or given us a credit. This cruise also had very few and terrible shows with the exception of "After Midnight". The Choir of Men was pretty bad. I do not want to see men urinating on stage. There were only 2 shows and the magic shows was horrible with just card tricks for one hour. I felt bad for the bored kids. The comedy sows were in small lounges so you would have to arrive at least half an hour early. There is no place to go on deck to relax in the cold unless you want to pay a cover charge at the Haven or Margaritaville. The Internet is the most expensive at sea and the slowest of all cruise lines! The only positive part of the ship was the dining in the main dining rooms. The service was generally very good as well as the food. The SPA customer service was horrible and they have a nasty SPA manager. This was my first Norwegian and it will be out last. Why would I want to pay more to receive less?? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
First let me start off by saying the embarkation was very organized Maybe it took 30 minutesstart to finish. The food was excellent the service was amazing. I have been on 30 cruises this was the best service and food. BUT AND THIS ... Read More
First let me start off by saying the embarkation was very organized Maybe it took 30 minutesstart to finish. The food was excellent the service was amazing. I have been on 30 cruises this was the best service and food. BUT AND THIS IS A BIG BUT!!!!! The shipped sailed into winds of 115 mph hurricane 3 force winds And this 19 story 165 thousand ton ship tilted and listed a On a 45 degree angle for maybe 5 -7 minutes which is quite long when your terrified . Glasses and dishes breaking . People crying screaming sliding holding on for dear life. A slot machine feel on top of a woman causing her serious injury . The Rccl Athem left the same time and same route managed to avoid this ..... how could the Captain not know what he was sailing into. The ship looked like a scene from the titanic... that being said the crew worked all night to put it all back to normal .... hats off to them ..... I am a world trade survivor I know terror this came very close we just kepted tilting you really thought we where going over ..... so no matter what the ship offered after that it was impossible to enjoy. The deck are in adequate to House 4500 people not enough Area for everyone . It is the biggest ship as if I’ve been on but felt like a small ship because whenever they were space it was either a cabin or a bar but not a real open area I just got off the breakaway in November which is 20 tons smaller but it actually felt bigger. We were on able to go to GSC due to winds It was very disappointing and the weather was crummy that you cannot blame on Norwegian but the fact that we sail through a hurricane wind and what terrorized on the first night of a trip there is not much more to say Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This will go down as one of the most "eventful" cruises I've ever taken. Had some time off and at the last minute (say less than 3 weeks) I decided to take a cruise. Didn't care where it was going to, or what port. ... Read More
This will go down as one of the most "eventful" cruises I've ever taken. Had some time off and at the last minute (say less than 3 weeks) I decided to take a cruise. Didn't care where it was going to, or what port. I just wanted to get away after a grueling Holiday (personal reasons). Going solo, I thought about getting a solo cabin. But, I just so happen to like nice cabins when I cruise....balcony? Check. No obstructions visually? Check. Easy to get to and from the "action"? Check. That's the kind of cabin I want! While looking at pricing on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, MSC, and Celebrity, I found a mini-suite cabin with a large balcony on the NCL Escape. And, it was nearly the same price as a regular balcony cabin. Plus, it was less expensive than all the other cruise lines I was looking at. I'm in! Going out of NYC to the Bahamas (as the Escape was) in February is a bit of a crap shoot, which is probably why the cruise was such a good deal. But, I've sailed out of NYC before (albeit to Bermuda instead of the Bahamas for this cruise). I knew the Atlantic could be a bit rough sailing, particularly in the winter. Flights booked, cabin booked, hotel booked (Sofitel in Mid-Town NYC). All systems go. Flying in and out of NYC is always an adventure. Using my Delta points, I flew in to LGA, but could only get reasonable flights out of EWR. No matter....I'm flexible. Flying into LGA was uneventful, and actually on time. I used goairlinkshuttle.com, which I arranged in advance, to get me to the hotel. Again, uneventful.....they were prompt, let me know where they were outside the airport. And, everything went off without a hitch. $20 + tip and away I went. This is all good. While it was cold, again I expected the weather. Got settled at the hotel (points used meaning it was a free stay for me). Was close enough to Times Square that I had the evening to hang out, walk around, people watch and get some excellent street food. Followed that up with couple of drinks at a dive bar (which are the best) headed back to the hotel for a good night's rest. Next a.m. (Sunday), I was up early. Walked to Starbucks, two coffees and one muffin later, I was back in the hotel room, repacking to leave. Called up an Uber about 9:00 a.m., headed to the hotel front door, Uber driver called twice saying he could not find me. I had texted him the name and the EXACT address of the hotel, but he could not find me. Getting ready to hail a taxi after about 20 minutes of this craziness, Uber showed up. Driver swore I was not at the entrance. I was, waiting, looking for his white Toyota Sienna (which is a big mini-van, and very hard to miss), which was nowhere to be found. I "harrumphed", got in the van, and off we went. Driver seemed confused as to where the cruise terminals were. Again, gave him the EXACT address, along with the large PIER 88 picture I had on my phone. We got there, but he should not be an Uber driver. He reported to Uber than he had to wait on me and they tacked on a $12 wait charge. Oh no...ain't happening. I logged a complaint, and within minutes the $12 charge was deducted. No tip and a bad review for the driver. But, I'm at the entrance of check-in. It's 9:45. All's good. Typical scene, particularly that early in the a.m. People disembarking, looking haggard, trying to find their rides, or lugging their bags to the parking lot. And, then there were us bright eyed, busy tailed folks, early, ready to embark. I'm Platinum Latitudes, so I got a seat in the Platinum, Platinum+ and Ambassador waiting area (right by the embarkation doors to the ship). Checked in, found a seat, it was about 10:15 a.m. I had fun talking to others in the area. All of us excited, talking about what we were going to do first, where we were from.....obviously, we sailed NCL quite a bit, so we all listed our ships, talked about our other cruises, etc. Before I knew it, we were announced to get ready to board. Time flew as it was now 10:45 a.m. By 10:50, we were walking the "plank" to get on the ship. I've sailed enough to know that the less luggage you have, the better the trip will be. Given the days of wearing suits, tuxes etc are long gone, I limit my clothing to the essentials....boxers, shorts, button down short sleeve shirts, a pair of dockers (if I have dinner in Le Bistro), a pair of jogging and swim trunks, some workout t-shirts, socks, shorty socks to use with tennis shoes, a pair of tennis shoes, a pair of closed toe shoes (usually Sperry Boat Shoes), electric razor, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, the Bose Mini-Link speaker (for music sitting on my balcony either having cocktails or early a.m. coffee), iPad, iPhone, Bose Blue Tooth earbuds, Hero Camera, various cords and plugs to charge everything. THAT. IS. IT. So, I use this for all of my main packing.... https://www.awaytravel.com/luggage/bigger-carry-on/brick And, I use this for my shoes, electronics, tickets, passport, cords, plugs, any medicine, speaker, iPad, etc..... https://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/tls-professional-slim-laptop-backpack/249582?productid=10317756 As such, I have no checked baggage, and anything I need is with me at all times. There's a method to this madness. I never have to worry about a porter mislabeling my bag or breaking the zipper (both of which have happened to me. Neither is fun!). I don't have to wait for my luggage to be delivered to my cabin, as it's with me. And, I can just walk off at disembarkation without doing the "hunt for your bag among the 1,000s waiting at the pier. Both are easy to roll (backpack on top of the wheeled roll aboard). So, now I'm able to go straight to "HEADLINERS" area to get VIBE passes. Surprise was one of the things I experienced upon finding they had raised the price of the VIBE from $99/pp (which was the price the last time I bought them on a different ship) to $209/pp. Thought about not buying them, but I had quite a bit of OBC ($450) that I took the plunge. Was it worth it? NO! Will I buy the VIBE again? NO! I think NCL has priced themselves out of the VIBE private area with me. Time for my first "drink of the day". Scored one right outside of HEADLINERS at "5 0'Clock Somewhere" Bar. Ahhhhh.....delicious. Bartenders were very accommodating and quite fun to chat with. I'd stop there often during the cruise. First drink down. Time for some lunch. Experience tells me that there's no way I'm going to the Garden Cafe buffet. I know what that looks like at lunch on embarkation day. Instead, I headed to O'Sheehans. Yes, it was busy. But, I was seated within minutes. Ordered a burger and a beer, both delicious, and just as I was finishing, they announced the cabins were ready. Rolling my luggage to the cabin #8726, opened the door and SHAZAM, this cabin is great. And, the balcony is HUGE, fitting 2 loungers, 2 upright chairs, one small table, one larger table. Plus, I was just a few steps away from "THE DISTRICT" Brewhouse and "FOOD REPUBLIC". Having the drink package, there were no extra charges for anything I drank at THE DISTRICT. Plus, it had a great view with all the windows and couches overlooking the water. I had the dining package, too. But, FOOD REPUBLIC was not included. Still, I ate there a couple of times. Food was outstanding and in reality, I never spent more than $10 each time, came away full. Hitting the WaterFront, which is one of my favorite areas of the ship, there are chairs, couches, bars and even al fresco dining areas. I hit up the bars in and around The Waterfront. Yes, it was cold, but I kept moving (and drinking) so I didn't seem to mind it. Explored more and it was quickly time for the safety briefing. It went on without a hitch. And, something I'd never seen before, those who came late, didn't have their Sea Pass cards scanned (as the people doing the scanning were getting ready for the demo with the life preservers). Those who were tardee had to return the next day and do it again. I liked that. Why hold everyone else up, who also want to get on with their vacation, waiting on a few people? It's not like there weren't plenty of announcements all over the ship (including cabins). That out of the way, I was planning on going to the upper decks to see sailaway, but given how nice my balcony was, I grabbed a beer (actually two of them) from the DISTRICT and headed to the balcony. Sat there, music playing, watching sailaway. One of the best I've experienced. Plus, I had quick access to my own private bathroom in the process. Time for dinner....as a solo, I'm flexible. I have no problems eating alone. And, I do enjoy being seated with strangers, making new friends. Headed to SAVOR, one of the MDRs. I was seated with some interesting people. I enjoyed their company, just wouldn't want to sit with them again. Food was excellent. But, I bolted after desert, not wanting to stick around for any further idle conversation ("no....it's not you....it's me"). The rest of the time I just explored....having a drink here and a drink there. Peaking into this area, or another area. If you don't know, the ship is built around decks 6,7,8 as the hub. That's why it's known as 678 Ocean Place. From that point you can get to the casino, shopping, the HUGE video screen in the Atrium. You can get specialty coffees there, go to customer service, the excursion desk, "Cruise Next" desk. A lot of activities are centered around 678 Ocean Place. This is where it gets "interesting". By about 11:00 p.m. I was about ready to look at the inside of my eyelids for a while. Headed to the cabin, jumped into bed. But, was quickly awakened by the sound of bottles rattling around on the floor (received two bottles of bubbly from NCL and my TA). The ship was pitching, and before I could get awake enough to get my wits about me, I was literally thrown from my bed, onto the floor. I had a plate of chocolate covered strawberries that were hurled across the room, as well as my phone (which was plugged in, but was unplugged by the listing ship). Tried to stand up (sideways), got to my feet, headed to my balcony door, throwing the drapes open, and there was all of my balcony furniture doing a literal dance on the balcony. A minute later, a table and two chairs went flying out over the balcony glass wall and into the abyss. Jeez-Louise!!!!!!!! Threw on some shorts, a t-shirt and my Top-Siders, I went out to the hall of the cabin. People were holding onto the wall. I figured maybe going to the Atrium, I could see what was happening. Glass was on the floor, it was wet, there were some drinks spilled and a few chairs sliding around. Some people had fallen. I did my best to help them up and to see if they were hurt. Myself, another passenger who was a nurse was helping too. No one was really hurt, just scared. Headed to the casino as that was close, too. Helped some people up who had fallen. Again, no one was hurt badly, but had fallen and perhaps had a sprain or a bump on the head. This went on for about an hour. The Captain and CD were on the intercom constantly and calmly, telling the passengers what was going on. Crew were everywhere, helping whomever, wherever they were needed....doing so professionally and calmly. Finally, by midnight, the Captain gave the "all clear" announcement. Found out the next day, we were hit by a sudden and unexpected ~125 MPH wind. The ship actually listed about 15º. That doesn't sound like much, until you get thrown from your bed, or try to walk. It didn't just list and stop. It kept listing back and forth. Went back to the cabin....tried to sleep, but did so only fitfully. Next day, there was quite a mess in my cabin. Went to breakfast at the Garden Cafe. It looked like nothing had happened. The only way you would have known, was from each passenger's own account of what they experienced. Went back to my cabin, and my steward had it looking like nothing was amiss, including replacing the balcony furniture that flew away. I can't say enough good about NCL and NCL's crew. They were "on top" of everything. They did everything within their power to make certain passengers were safe, or to help those who were scared or injured. Not sure I can top the review so far. The weather stayed cold. Even when we hit Port Canaveral, it was chilly. I had been to Canaveral many times before. So, I decided to stay on the ship. Got a massage (again, having to use up my OBC). Yes, it was overpriced. But, it's about the same price you'd pay at any resort. And, it was a good massage. Ate at the Garden Cafe for lunch....no crowd. The produce was fresh and tasty. Plus, I had a burger which was very good, regardless of having it in the Buffett. It was just plain tasty. We missed Grand Stirrup Cay, because it was still windy and we couldn't tender ashore. Another good day just hanging out on the ship. But, it was finally warm enough to spend Tim in the VIBE (remember that ticket?). Wasn't a lot of people there. And, I was there during what should have been a peak time. I'm thinking NCL has over thought what passes to the VIBE were worth. To me, it's worth the original $99, not a penny more. So, won't be doing that again. I found Spice H20 as an "adults" area, to be a lot more fun, particularly with the water grotto and the wealth of loungers, and its own bar. Last stop was Nassau. Had a $50 voucher from NCL for an excursion. Hadn't taken one yet. So, I took a bus tour (that cost $49.95) of Nassau. I've been there before. So, it's typical. You have your downtown area where you find the typical shops....Diamonds International, Ron Jon, etc. The tour bus took us to a rum factory (not a big rum drinker, but enjoyed the tour) and Atlantis (pretty posh on the inside but you're restricted where you can go). That's it for the excursions. Not much to tell, mostly because of the weather. Not NCL's fault, though. ENTERTAINMENT......I'll say this up front. I've never seen a show on ANY NCL cruise that I didn't thoroughly enjoy. Highlight of this one was Choir of Man. I went the last night of the cruise. No reservations. Walked right in and sat down about 12 rows back, a shade left of center....great seats, and every seat was filled within 10 minutes of me sitting down. I got there 15 minutes before the show. I can't say enough good about it. IT WAS OUTSTANDING. Hard to describe except to say it's based on a group of men in an English Pub who prefer singing and dancing rather than talking about sports. And, boy could they sing and dance. BTW, there was no charge for this show. Every night I ended up at HEADLINERS, usually late (as in after 11:00 p.m.) seeing either the comedian (good) or the dueling piano playing (great fun). When the weather warmed up, I spent a lot of time on the WaterFront, having cocktails while reading a book. Loved doing that, while just watching the water go by. Every once in a while someone I had met earlier would join me and we'd just have a great time chatting. THE PASSENGERS....I made some great new friends on this cruise. I actually met a fine lady, who we're kind of sort of "seeing each other". A little tough because of distance. But, we aren't expecting anything, so we aren't disappointed. Everyone else was wonderful. NCL passengers just have the same "vibe" I do. Ages ranged from 20s to probably 80s, and everything in between (where I fall). It seems like every cruise, there is someone or a couple of someones who are ill-tempered. Not this cruise. DINING....in addition to the drinks perk, I had the specialty dining perk (3 dinners for the perk, 2 dinners from NCL for being Platinum Latitudes, and one from AMEX for using my card to book the cruise). From my first meal at O'Sheehans (casual pub food) to my last meal at Food Republic, I only had one meal I could complain about. That was a specialty dinner at Le Bistro. I had scallops which were overcooked and way too salty. In fairness, they offered me another dinner as compensation, but I already had all the Specialty Dinners I could use. The MDR (Savor) and Garden Cafe were never less than "good". I also ate at Cagney's (2x) for a filet and prime rib. Both were wonderful. LaCucina did good Italian (Get the Osso Bucco.....it is divine). Teppanyaki (very similar to an Hibachi Grill restaurant where the chef cooks your food in front of you) was great. Ordered scallops again, and they were world's better than those I had at Le Bistro. Even breakfast every a.m. in the Garden Cafe was good. I only had fruit and yoghurt, but it was still very fresh and good. SERVICE....from the wait staff, to my room steward, to every bartender and restaurant server I encountered, everyone greeted me with a smile....many by addressing me by my name. Even customer service personnel (which are probably the most harassed staff on any ship) were kind and helpful. I think NCL must have upgraded their internet. It was quite fast (for a cruise ship) for me. I was getting 20+mbps both up and down loads...which is quite good. No complaints there. I smelled smoke in the casino the first night (the night of the storm). After that, it was a faint smell, but not overwhelming. Even the smoking lounge (cigar lounge?) kept the smoke well contained from getting out into the surrounding areas. All-in-all, a great cruise, even with the storm. I spent more time on the ship with this cruise than any other cruise I've ever taken. I got a chance to see the crew more, and interface with them more. They try so hard to make sure I was happy. That's what really made this cruise. I'll sail Escape, again! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We have cruised over 20 times at least 10 with NCL. The Escape is beautiful, but service is very erratic and not consistent. Waited 14 hours to get room cleaned after after emergency on ship. I needed to use a food tray to push all the ... Read More
We have cruised over 20 times at least 10 with NCL. The Escape is beautiful, but service is very erratic and not consistent. Waited 14 hours to get room cleaned after after emergency on ship. I needed to use a food tray to push all the broken glass to the side so we could walk to bathroom and get out of our cabin. Evacuation details posted on inside state room door has wrong information. They have no safety vest in the room. They are now stored elsewhere. When we followed directions crew told us to turn around and go in opposite direction which added ten minutes time to get to our station. This was brought up to staff and has not been addressed. Restaurant service staff is poor and slow. Did not bring what was ordered, , also we needed to keep asking staff for our order and for beverages. Food temperatures were consistently cold and under the required 160 degree safe food standards. We waited over an hour after we were seated and order was placed for our food to be served. Other people we talked with waited even longer. The premium restaurants had great food and great staff. Entertainment was excellent . Everything now has additional charges.It would be much better if they included everything and be upfront like other cruised do. We sailed out of NYC March 3, 2019. We still have not received a call from NCL regarding the cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The first night we had very rough seas and at the captains request we stayed in our rooms after dinner. After that things were just fine. Cape Canaveral was inspiring and educational. Every person in the world should experience it and at ... Read More
The first night we had very rough seas and at the captains request we stayed in our rooms after dinner. After that things were just fine. Cape Canaveral was inspiring and educational. Every person in the world should experience it and at least every American will feel so very proud. When we got to the Bahamas we were in Nassau. And after the glass bottom boat( ho-hum), we took a transfer ( $4 each - a great deal) to the Atlantis Resort and really enjoyed the experience. The aquarium inexplicably was soo large that there were a dozen snorklers swimming on the top and the fish were amazing. On Board we would recommend the LeBristo French, the Cagney Steak House and the Japanese restaurants. Forget the Italian just not as good as the regular dinning rooms. The entertainment was first class, especially the after Midnight show featuring a 20 piece cast and a big band. Two other male singing groups were outstanding and we saw them each twice. The casino on board had a large non smoking area and we were lucky enough to leave a little ahead for the cruise. These were the best casino odds that’s have seen in 20 cruises on 5 different cruise lines Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We did our first cruise in 2017 on the sky and wanted to experience a bigger ship that had more things to do. Checking in was quick and painless. All was great until bout 8hoirs I to our first day the ship went sideways. We were sleeping ... Read More
We did our first cruise in 2017 on the sky and wanted to experience a bigger ship that had more things to do. Checking in was quick and painless. All was great until bout 8hoirs I to our first day the ship went sideways. We were sleeping when it happened and we're woken by the crashing of our things in our cabin. An unexpected gust of wind at 115mph hit the ship. It was very scary moment but the crew had everything under control and took care of all that were injured during this experience. I kept checking the weather station we had until we got to our first destination so needless to say I didn't get a lot of sleep until then. But after that it was smooth sailings all the way back. We are lookinhg into our next cruise to the Caribbean. The staff were always friendly from the room steward to the restaurants to the bartenders Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We ended up choosing this particular cruise so we could enjoy the best of two worlds. The ship, and the port destinations. Being that this was our first cruise, and one of the biggest ships in the industry, we had to allow ourselves ... Read More
We ended up choosing this particular cruise so we could enjoy the best of two worlds. The ship, and the port destinations. Being that this was our first cruise, and one of the biggest ships in the industry, we had to allow ourselves enough time to enjoy both things. The staff on the Norwegian Escape were the best and truly made you feel welcomed and taken care of. Our first night was an interesting one for everyone. Around midnight, we were woken up from our stateroom from a big gust of wind that tilted the ship and sent things flying. This incident lasted about 3-4 minutes, but it seemed like a lot longer. We were thankfully in our bed when the incident happened. Unfortunately a lot of people were still around the ship and were injured. Again the staff did a fantastic job taking care of the situation. When we woke up the next day, the ship was cleaned up and everything was back the way it was originally. This particular storm made national news and I am grateful to have experienced such an experience, but the way the staff handled the situation, it was like an everyday experience for them. They were amazing and on top of everything. We had a few pieces of broken glass in our room which we were able to clean up a bit, but as soon as they could, they were there to clean it up for us. As our cruise continued on its path to our next port, we continued to enjoy everything the ship had to offer. There is so much on this ship to experience, and take in. The comedy shows were our favorite, and there was always plenty to see from them. They have it all planned out so that particular shows have different material. Next we enjoyed the Broadway shows After Midnight, Choir of Man, and Company of Men. Choir of Man was our favorite and enjoyed the pub style show with free beer before the show starts. The shows were included in our travel fare, and were amazing. I would highly recommend taking in all the shows they have to offer. Overall the ports and the trip was great. It was unfortunate that we couldn't enjoy Great Stir Up Cay, but we did get to enjoy two wonderful nights in Nassau, Bahamas. We used day one for swimming, and day two for shopping. Had we been there for only one day, this would of been difficult to accomplish. On the ship there is so much to take in. There is a rope course, several water slides, a miniature putt putt course, and several pools and hot tubs. If you are thinking of a cruise, and not sure what to choose, The Norwegian Escape will certainly give you an amazing cruise and vacation. Read Less

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