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Sail Date: June 2019
We selected this cruise for a newer ship and all the perks received. We had the unlimited beverage package, 3 free nights in specialty restaurant, and OBC. The ship was spotless, great friendly service and crew in all areas. After ... Read More
We selected this cruise for a newer ship and all the perks received. We had the unlimited beverage package, 3 free nights in specialty restaurant, and OBC. The ship was spotless, great friendly service and crew in all areas. After Midnight and Choir of Men were exceptional, make sure to make reservations for both. We were pleased with food in all areas. The only complaint - we were billed for 4 people in Margaritaville, when it was only for 2 - my wife and myself. I saw this on TV - went to guest services, and the correction was made. We are Royal Caribbean and Celebrity fans, but cruise NCL also since out of NYC and no flying - and additional perks. We are booked on Dawn for October - hope service and food is just as good. Also, one really nice feature that is not offered on all cruise lines - we had a relaxing lunch in MDR - great service and avoided the craziness of buffet on embarkation day - wish more lines would adopt this policy. Till we were done with lunch cabins were just about ready. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I adore some of the staff on this ship and I struggled as to whether to give this five stars but in the end I decided I need to raise it as a concern simply because it happened literally every single time I sat down for a meal as a solo ... Read More
I adore some of the staff on this ship and I struggled as to whether to give this five stars but in the end I decided I need to raise it as a concern simply because it happened literally every single time I sat down for a meal as a solo and I hope they make adjustments. In no way will this review impact my decision to sail with them again. Embarkation was awesome. No delays at all, very short wait. I boarded around 1 and decided to go to one of the dining rooms for lunch. I was seated very quickly and ordered a bloody mary with horse radish. I got a bloody mary without the horseradish but they brought me an entire ramekin full of it. I just cannot imagine that anyone would think a person could possibly want or need that much in a drink but since I didn't have the drink package I didn't do anything other than put a small amount in my glass. The meal was good as was all of the food I ate in the dining room although I will do a deep dive on the service shortly. I loved my studio cabin and I loved the studio lounge. I did not love 5PM solo get together and 5:30 dinner because that's too early for me but that is not a negative as some want to get a meal out of the way so they can focus on other things. Solomon was awesome as a host and I hope to see him again on another ship in the future. Many thanks for the chocolate covered strawberries sent to my cabin.Without a doubt, the best ones I've ever had. Since I did not have the alcohol package I opted to buy the six bottles of wine package. I was surprised to find out that this meant that when I asked for a bottle they'd bring it to me, open it, pour a glass, leave the cork on the table and walk away. YES, this was epic. That meant I could take the bottle with me anywhere and no matter where I went (I didn't take it with me up on the pool deck so this would be limited to decks 6-8) the bartenders brought me a glass when I asked (had they offered to pour for me I would have tipped them). I was very happy to have a bottle to bring back to my cabin and even happier I could walk down the hall, down a flight of stairs to get a glass of water/ice anytime I wanted. Brilliant, don't ever change the concept of the studios. The only time I would not want to do one is on a transatlantic or where the weather could be rocky. I don't get seasick but I'd like to have the option of sitting out on the waterfront. My cabin steward was good, very personable and having asked for ice to put the champagne on once, he made sure every single day to replace it. Unfortunately I never had the right opportunity to drink it (see above) so hopefully he was able to find another crew member who could enjoy it. So now that brings me to the single diner. When you are seated at the complimentary tables, you are given a menu and someone will ask if you want water/juice. As a solo, when the waiter/waitress comes over to take your meal they don't introduce themselves as they do at other tables (there's a million hours of video tape available to back this up) they just say "Hello, are you ready to order". If it's dinner, you tell them what you want for an appetizer, and what you want for your main course. They bring out from the kitchen two plates. Both are covered. They present you with the first and walk away. They (and their assistant) may tend to other tables but they do notice when you are done and voila they take your plate away and simultaneously put your entree down. That's very efficient for them, trying to get you, the single diner out of the dining room, but that doesn't help if you are the type who wants to dine slowly. After I experienced that once I told them before I ordered to NOT bring out both plates at once and when I saw they brought two plates on the tray the next night I told them point blank I would not accept that second plate and to send it back. Maybe it was a language barrier, maybe it was because they thought I was in a hurry but that's not how one should "dine". Maybe I am just picky and perhaps other people who are alone just want to get it over with but I would rather have someone ask me if I need anything else while I'm eating or just let me enjoy my meal and treat me as if I'm as important as if I were part of a group of 8. So while I did not enjoy the dining aspect, the entertainment was awesome. So very excited about Choir of Man. I don't know why more people don't go see After Midnight but that was awesome. I loved meeting members of management around the ship. Maybe I should have told them how single travelers are treated but quite honestly I needed to see it three times to be able to say this is the instruction they are giving! I'm not sure why but they are because they all served me identically. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Have sailed on all of the major lines but never a ship of this size. Although the crew was pleasant and responsive the experience seemed impersonal due to the large number of passengers they had to deal with. The buffet food was fair, ... Read More
Have sailed on all of the major lines but never a ship of this size. Although the crew was pleasant and responsive the experience seemed impersonal due to the large number of passengers they had to deal with. The buffet food was fair, restaurants much better. Teppanyake specialty restaurant had the best food; quality and quantity, but prepare for an entertaining and loud performance by chefs preparing your meal. My balcony cabin was good size, clean and well maintained. Disappointed in the public areas; seemed in the attempt to make areas more intimate they felt small and cut up. Biggest disappointment was the lack of a grand and elegant open lobby most ships, especially of this size, boast. Mid ship is an attractive glass staircase but due to the fact it was open to the casino an awful stench of stale cigarette smoke infiltrated all three decks adjacent to it. I'll sail again with NCL but not this ship. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted to take our grandchildren, ages 5 and 9, to Bermuda as we can take the train to New York City. We had a family suite booked, but were offered the chance to bid on a Haven suite and I bid on the Aft Penthouse Suite and got it. ... Read More
We wanted to take our grandchildren, ages 5 and 9, to Bermuda as we can take the train to New York City. We had a family suite booked, but were offered the chance to bid on a Haven suite and I bid on the Aft Penthouse Suite and got it. From the moment we stepped into the terminal, everything went so smoothly. The check-in process was a breeze, very fast and efficient. Our suite was ready when we got on board so after a light snack in the Haven lounge, we settled in. We were in Suite 11912--living room, dining area, two baths, bedroom, and huge balcony. It was great for the four of us. The largest bathroom was particularly luxurious. We had a butler who brought snacks every day and served us dinner in the stateroom one evening and breakfast another day. Musa was excellent. We don't normally take in the shows and entertainment, but we enjoyed the lounge in The Haven and the kids loved the pool there. They also used the Splash Zone area, but enjoyed the more private pool more. We enjoy Bermuda and we have been there four times now. We had a glass-bottom boat tour scheduled, but it was canceled due to the weather. We took a cab to Horseshoe Bay Beach on our own ($32) and took a mini bus back ($7/person). It's a lovely beach and was not overly crowded the day we were there as the weather was a little iffy with rain off and on. We were very happy with The Haven. The wait staff in the dining room quickly got to know the kids and their preferences. The food was excellent and the service was also excellent.We ate most of our meals in The Haven dining room. The kids were always able to get into the pool. Our suite was not directly in The Haven, so we walked the length of the ship whenever we wanted to use their facilities, which we did often, but for us that was fine. Our grandkids were thrilled with the ship, particularly The Haven. My granddaughter has been on a cruise to Bermuda once before with us in a regular cabin, so she really understood the differences being in The Haven. We have probably spoiled our grandson forever with The Haven! Embarkation was very easy, but we really appreciated the private escort off the ship for disembarkation. We had a terrible experience leaving the ship on our last Bermuda cruise, so this was wonderful. We absolutely loved being in The Haven and will be looking at other destinations in this category suite. And that;s saying a lot for us as we don;t like ships this big (we usually cruise on Viking). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We had an amazing time on the Escape. My first time on Breakaway Plus. I absolutely love the Getaway. I have to admit I do think the Getaway was the nicer ship. I noticed the Escape did feel a bit more crowded than the Getaway even though ... Read More
We had an amazing time on the Escape. My first time on Breakaway Plus. I absolutely love the Getaway. I have to admit I do think the Getaway was the nicer ship. I noticed the Escape did feel a bit more crowded than the Getaway even though the Getaway was at max capacity and the Escape was not. We had a great time. Really good food and the Art Auctions are always a highlight for me. We really enjoyed the Manhattan Room. We did not go to the Buffet really at all. We loved that Taste and Savor were open every day for Breakfast and Lunch since we tried to avoid the crazy buffet. We got a nice inside cabin on deck 14. We were right next to the Elevators so it did get noisy at times. Overall we really had a great experience on the Escape and would certainly go again. In terms of Bermuda it was my second time there and it was once again really amazing. Horseshoe Bay Beach is definitely not to be missed. Tobacco Bay also is amazing. The Crystal Caves were really great as well. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this cruise due to price, destination and inclusion of airfare to/from New York. The cruise was to Bermuda with a three day porting. The excursions were good. The mini suite should titled as a balcony room because it was not any ... Read More
I chose this cruise due to price, destination and inclusion of airfare to/from New York. The cruise was to Bermuda with a three day porting. The excursions were good. The mini suite should titled as a balcony room because it was not any sort of a suite. Cabin and balcony very cramped. The main floor (6th) with the Customer Service, Shore Excursions, Next Cruise, and Internet were all cramped into a small area with a very loud venue right next to them. It was so loud a person could not hear any of the personnel at any of the services counters. In addition, directly down the hall was the open cigar lounge that permeated the entire floor. And further down the hall was several of the up class dining areas that were directly under a open casino and the cigarette smoke was also permeating the area. Totally unpleasant unless you enjoy the smell of cigars and cigarettes. Too congested and smelly. The Spa and their personnel were nice but very aggressive in selling their oils and herbs. The coffee bars advertised having Chia Tea Lattes but neither had any and personnel seemed offended that I even asked for one. No caffeinated teas on the ship so if you don't drink coffee, which I don't, you are in for caffeine withdrawal. The dining on the ship was good but again no caffeinated teas were available. We enjoyed Cagney's steakhouse and it was very good. The Japanese hibachi restaurant was also very good and entertaining. The bar service was slow and one drink we received had no alcohol in it, only the mixer. I did not enjoy the entertainment as it was not entertaining. Just loud. The activities were not well advertised and changed without any notice. The shopping aboard was poor and sale times were changed without notice. The pool area was very crowed and difficult to get lounge chairs. The only thing really good about the ship is that they had the disembarkation down. Easy to get off of ship without having to deal with the usual crowds at Customs. I will not cruise NCL again. I do not have any photos of the cruise ship because I did not see anything worth photographing aboard ship. One does not want to photograph unpleasant memories. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I have thoroughly enjoyed all of my Norwegian cruises except for my recent one week June cruise (June 2019) roundtrip from New York City to Bermuda. The cruise was aboard the Norwegian Escape. I was shocked by how poorly designed the ship ... Read More
I have thoroughly enjoyed all of my Norwegian cruises except for my recent one week June cruise (June 2019) roundtrip from New York City to Bermuda. The cruise was aboard the Norwegian Escape. I was shocked by how poorly designed the ship was for over 4000 people and how unfriendly some of the staff was. I have been on large ships (4000+) of two other cruise lines -- Princess and MSC. These ships were comfortable and could easily accommodate all of the passenger. HOWEVER, THE NORWEGIAN ESCAPE WAS FILLED WITH CRAMPED AND UNCOMFORTABLE SPACES AND DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH STAFF TO PROPERLY HANDLE ALL OF THE PASSENGER. The Design of the Escape First of about the cabin. I have never had such a small balcony cabin on any ship that I have ever been on. The cabin was long and narrow -- Not really enough space to easily move around the cabin. There was insufficient storage for clothes so we had to keep some of our things in our suitcases. The bathroom was a comfortable size, but I would have accepted a smaller bathroom to have increased living area. The balcony was the smallest I ever stepped foot on. The lounges and bar areas were extremely small and some were oddly shaped so that patrons could not view the stage entertainment from where they were seated. The pool area was small and the pools were small as well. The whole area was cramped and because of upper decks, we felt like we were surrounded by skyscrapers which blocked most of the sun. The gym area not only was not tiny with insufficient equipment for 4000 guests,, but also did not have showers, saunas, and only had single patron washrooms. I could go on, but I think I have given you a good idea of why we will never go on the Escape or other Breakaway class ships of Norwegian Cruise Lines. The Staff The Guest Services Staff, the Casino Staff, and the Future Cruise Consultants made excuses about problems rather than being helpful. Many times they were very defensive about what had happened. Just one example. The Casino occasionally gave Canadian and Bermudian money in change when casing a ticket for a guest. They have given me 80 cents -- 60 cents Canadian and 10 cents US. When I returned to the Casino cashier, she denied that they had given me the change. Guest Services was no help either. So I returned to the Casino staff and argued my case. Eventually they gave me 70 cents for the Canadian and kept the Bermudian dime. Housekeeping was not responsive to us at all. When we requested that our towels be replaced, they said they would. We contacted them a second time. However, we had to go to Guest Services in person to request towels. We tried to call Guest Services and they never answered the phone for us. Our Cabin steward was lackadaisical. This cruise was the first time that we did not give our cabin steward an extra tip. However, the serving staff in the restaurants and in the buffet were absolutely excellent. The food was very good. Bermuda was great as well.The only positive things about the cruise. Overall, the cruise ship and staff were a disappointment and I will avoid Norwegian's larger ships. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We had an excellent time on this cruise. I cruised with my husband and three daughters and my parents. The best part about this itinerary is that they spend 3 days in Bermuda, which allows you to do more on the island. Cruise ... Read More
We had an excellent time on this cruise. I cruised with my husband and three daughters and my parents. The best part about this itinerary is that they spend 3 days in Bermuda, which allows you to do more on the island. Cruise Terminal: This ship left out of the Manhatten Cruise Terminal and I would suggest that if you are planning on cruising out of this terminal that you research where you are going to park ahead of time. there is parking at the terminal but it is expensive. $40 a day. We researched ahead of time and found a parking garage within only a few blocks from the terminal for half that price. Embarkation: Boarding the ship was relatively smooth. There was a long line but it moved quickly and the staff checking people in was efficient. Ship: The ship is huge. This was our fifth cruise with Norwegian and the layout was identical to their other large ships in the fleet such as the Breakaway, Bliss and Getaway. The ship was very nice and clean. Certain areas tended to get congested such as the Garden Café, and the theaters during show time. The Escape has waterslides, a ropes coarse, plank and mini golf, in front of Spice H2O there is the grotto with a waterfall area you can walk through. The pool area fills up quickly, two of the days we were not able to find a lounge chair that was empty. Get there early if you want a chair especially on sea days. For the shows we watched Choir of Man, which was outstanding, if you do nothing else, you must see this show, and we watched After Midnight which was also very well done. The only specialty restaurant we did was Teppanaki which was amazing. As soon as you set foot on the ship book your shows and restaurants right away, if you wait then everything will be booked out on the first day. Cabin: We had 2 adjoining rooms that were interior rooms on the 13th deck. It's nice and quiet up there. My kids were in one room and my husband and I were in the other one. Before this cruise we had always done a balcony but I was impressed with the interior room. Still enough space and it was cozy. The only thing I was unhappy with was the cabin steward. He took our pool towels and never replaced them and he lost our laundry, it ended up being found later that day. Aside from that, the rest of the service was off the chart. Bermuda: Bermuda is a great destination. It's such a beautiful island with the most stunning beaches I have ever seen. The one thing I will say is that it is extremely expensive. I forgot to pack sunscreen and when I bought it there it was $18.You will save a ton of money if you go back to the ship to eat all your meals. the first day we did an island tour that lasted 3 hours. This was a great way to get oriented with where everything was on the island. We also did snorkel park beach which is s short walk from the ship. No waves so it is great for children and you can rent kayak's and snorkel gear, and they have a beach bar. On day 2 we did a catamaran swim and snorkel. This was the highlight of the trip. They take you out to a reef a few miles away and you have 3 hours to snorkel in no more than 15ft of water. Snorkel gear is provided, along with kayak's and paddleboards. There is a bar on the boat and you get a free rum swizzle. It was great. For beaches we went to Horseshoe Bay which is a must see, it is beautiful and Tobacco Bay in the town of St. George, another beautiful beach with no waves and good snorkeling. Dining: We only ate at one speciality restaurant and it was Teppanyaki. All the food in the complimentary dining rooms was excellent. Overall we had a great time and would go again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We were pleasantly surprised by the service, facilities and food on Escape. It is the biggest ship we have ever sailed on. The lounges, restaurants and bars are well designed and well maintained, the deck areas were always spotless and ... Read More
We were pleasantly surprised by the service, facilities and food on Escape. It is the biggest ship we have ever sailed on. The lounges, restaurants and bars are well designed and well maintained, the deck areas were always spotless and there were plenty of available sun beds throughout the voyage, something that has not always happened on smaller ships. As on most ships we had to wait for the lifts and they were usually crowded, specially during the stop in Bermuda when everyone was returning from shore excursions. We only used the complimentary restaurants, Taste, Savour and Manhattan, it was disappointing that they all had the same menu. We never had a problem with table availability though as we don’t eat early but there were queues between 5pm and 6.30 and you couldn’t reserve in advance. The food was good and there was plenty of choice. Breakfast however was rather a nightmare for us, being English, the waiters never seemed to understand us. Every day we had what we called the ‘Tea Ceremony’ because we had to wait so long for cold milk the pot of hot water went cold and had to be replaced. As we never had the same waiter twice it was the same every morning. They didn’t understand us wanting A1 sauce with eggs, a selection of pastries for our table or needing extra tea bags. My husband often asked for white toast but kept being served wheat. Do ‘white and wheat’ sound the same!? One day we sat for three quarters of an hour waiting for our main breakfast and we complained. The next day we were only half way through our cereals and fruit when came our eggs so there was no room on the table. We ended up receiving chocolates in our rooms, which was a nice gesture. We didn’t see any shows because The Americans book everything in advance on the first day or so, so we only saw a magician because it was free seating. I find it hard to understand why entertainment was put on in the Atrium, we weren’t bothered about the silly game shows and bingo that were so popular with many passengers. However there is not enough seating there and because there were chairs moved around to be in front of the screen it blocked the passage through the ship and was also incredibly noisy. One of our main issues was the noise around the ship, not everyone wants loud music pounding out all the time. There were no quiet bars on board where you can sit and chat with a cocktail or have a game of cards accompanied by a discreet singer or background music like other ships we’ve sailed on. Our other issue was the tiny swimming pool. It was impossible for people to have a dip to cool off because people are allowed to sit on the edge with feet in the pool. They sit so close together drinks in hand that it is impossible to get through to access the pool. We considered this to be a safety issue, the pool is deep and if there was a problem it would be difficult for anyone to gain access quickly. Apart from this is stops people from the sun decks from being able to have a cooling dip. Never had this problem on other ships. This should be looked into. Our room was spacious with ample storage and a decent balcony, the staff on the whole were helpful too. We didn’t appreciate the announcement the day before disembarkation that there would be a shortage of taxis at the port so it would be best to pay $45 pp for the ships transfer to the airports. Of course there wasn’t a shortage and the four of us paid $92 for a taxi with no wait at all. This also applies when in port, not everyone wants to take overpriced tours. In Bermuda we took a taxi to Horseshoe Bay for $35 between us. They were freely available at this set fee. That’s as it is, on the whole we had a great cruise on a sport ship to what for us was a new and fabulous destination. i hope the powers that be will listen to it’s passenger’s comments. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Norweigan Escape Ny to Bermuda: Food was a disappointment, some of the staff was not friendly, no captains night, freestyle was not freestyle because if you dont do all your planning before you go you have very little options for shows and ... Read More
Norweigan Escape Ny to Bermuda: Food was a disappointment, some of the staff was not friendly, no captains night, freestyle was not freestyle because if you dont do all your planning before you go you have very little options for shows and some specialty dining because everything gets booked . They have a huge theatre, and instead of using that, they cram all the guests into the atrium for almost all entertainment events like game shows, dance offs etc. So when they have events like these especially during at sea days there are no chairs, it clogs up the hallway for passing traffic because there can be a ton of people standing trying to see what is going on ,all while the theater is empty, it makes NO sense! Some tips if your booked for this cruise: 1. Make sure you use the purell they have or bring a travel size . Every time you use the stairs( which i am assuming you will IF you can because catching a elevator sometimes takes a long time) use it after every flight cuz i never see them cleaning the handrails and i got sick and now I am on antibiotics. 2. I was told I could get two liters of alcohol or i have to fill out a customs form. So i got 3 , when i went to front desk to get the form and they told me i only need form if i spent $800 in liquor / cigarettes. When i left no one checked my bag so I dont know how they would know what i had anyway. 3. Book everything you can possibly book as far as dinning or entertainment online before you board. 4. Dont expect to find much souvenir shopping onboard,unless you like jewelry or merchandise that says "ife is good".. They had hardly any hats/shirts that said ncl. 5. If you have a balcony and you look out before you leave and see the intrepid museum, you have an advantage of not having to cram in on top deck. You can see Statue of Liberty and see under the bridge all from your side. If you are on the other side of the ship and do not see the intrepid you have another advantage coming back home.You get to get up at aprox 3am and take amazing pics of lady liberty all lit up without going out of your room, and yes you also get to see the bridge lit up. 6. Bring a selfie stick, pics on board are aprox $20 each , my selfie stick broke and ended up buying one on board for almost $40 . 7. Get a luggage lock, i heard a woman nearby say something was missing from her room, so its always good to be safe then sorry 8. Its not advertised very well but they do have painting on board. I got the last possible spot so go to box office and book it early . Strangely you must bring your wine with you if you want. Its a byob or glass lol. 9. Download the app, they must be saving paper. You used to get a daily "what's happening on board " flyer on each bed, now its one per stateroom. Also when checking in, i asked for another flyer of map of ship- i was told no. Really? Im paying close to $2000 and i cant have a piece of paper????? 10. Bermuda: I recommend some type of nighttime sunset sail or something away from the ship at night. Usually theres is not much going on so get out see a sunset , have a rum sizzle or not and see the boat all lit up. I would ask the guys on the tour boat what side has the best view of the boat going back to the ship so you can get amazing oics. I chose Harbor nights but the festival was mostly food vendors, most stores in hamilton were closed except for maybe 3 or 4. If you like festival music, walking in dark ,eating food from local vendors this could be your thing, i did see a lot of security but not something i would do for a solo traveler if you go as a group especially with a guy you should feel safe (just my opinion). **book choir of man the best show i saw THE BEACH:Take a mini bus or taxi to horseshoe bay beach dont waste your money on an excursion. It cost $7.00 minibus, $35 for taxi each way. I took minibus going and taxi back and both are safe, and you get to come and go whenever you want, you dont have to keep looking at your watch. Wear sunscreen and reapply no matter what the conditions. I personally know someone that got a second degree burn on a shady day on horseshoe beach and they had block on. Also this time the beach had seaweed (very unusual). Id get swim shoes because Portuguese Man of War ( a type of jelly fish) are sometimes under seaweed Shopping: If you have the time I would take a ferry to St George and Hamilton see what its like. I would like to go go back to St George, I stopped briefly as part of a bus tour. Hamilton has a few souvenirs type stores, they also have a lot of expensive stores. If your short on time you can pretty much get all your souvenir shopping at port. Side note: When i was there we were the only ship in port (as per tour guide this is very rare it can be 2-3 at one time - that's approximately 10k- 12k people. Dont wait to the last day at bermuda to do your shopping at port. it was crowded at the last day for me , can not imagine if another ship was there. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I've now set out to cruise on all NCL ships, having sailed too many times on one and the first one (NCL Wind) I sailed on was decommissioned many years ago. The Escape delivered! I purchased a guarantee cabin with one perk, which ... Read More
I've now set out to cruise on all NCL ships, having sailed too many times on one and the first one (NCL Wind) I sailed on was decommissioned many years ago. The Escape delivered! I purchased a guarantee cabin with one perk, which was the beverage package. This was my third guarantee cabin, and all of the locations have been great. The Escape is similar to two other ships I've been on: Breakaway and Getaway. They are all beautiful ships with many activities to suit many tastes. The only drawback I see with these ships is that they are a bit crowded overall and much too crowded in the pool area. I thoroughly enjoyed the shows Choir of Man and After Midnight, as well as the piano entertainer in The District Brewhouse. Howl at the Moon is getting pretty old and sloppy, although I admire the endurance and versatility of the performers. I've seen this show on many of the ships over the years. As a Platinum Latitudes member, this was the first time I was unable to use one of my coupons for a complimentary dinner at a specialty restaurant, as they were all booked up. Cagney's delivered an amazing meal and dining experience. Food in general at all of the venues was excellent. As a solo female traveler, I really appreciated the level of service I received at the bars, restaurants, theater, and guest services. I enjoyed a few of the solo gatherings and the coordinator did an excellent job! The New York/Italian/New Hampshire/Pennsylvania/Connecticut crowd was a blast to hang around with! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I will start by saying i must have read 200 reviews of this cruise before booking so i want to give a thorough review for anyone contemplating this cruise and also choosing to upgrade to the Haven. We are a family of 4, my husband and i ... Read More
I will start by saying i must have read 200 reviews of this cruise before booking so i want to give a thorough review for anyone contemplating this cruise and also choosing to upgrade to the Haven. We are a family of 4, my husband and i both in our early 40's and our kids are 11 and 14. We have a boy and girl. We were traveling with my sister n law, her husband and thier 3 kids ages 15, 12, and 10. I tried to read every review i could get my hands on regarding the Haven because it was considerabley more and i wanted to make sure it was worth it. I will tell you it is worth EVERY single penny!!! We chose the 2 bedroom haven family villa and wow the room was amazing! Large living area, seperate king size bedroom with a huge bathroom and giant windows over the tub and in the shower to look out to sea and a seperate bedroom and bathroom for our kids. Flat screen TV's in every room. From the moment we walked through the glass doors of the Manhatten Cruise Terminal till the moment we departed and got into a taxi back to the airport it was VIP service at its finest. I read a few reviews that mentioned people never wanting to leave the Haven and be in other parts of the ship and i totally get it now. We were in room 18112. To clarify not all Haven rooms are actually inside the Haven. Some have access to the Haven but their room is not inside. Our room was inside the Haven and that definitley added to the wow factor of our experience. The customer service we experienced was top notch. Our concierge Adrian is just amazing. Seriously he should be running the whole ship. Our Butler Samir was the same and cabin attendant Joceyln was just as awesome. So let me go back to the beginning. We walked into the cruise terminal and there is a very long line to check in but then i look to the right and there is a seperate line for Haven guest with about 4 people in it. We walk over and are immediatley escorted through and into a private lounge with chairs food, and refreshments and our own team to check us in and give us our key cards. It took about 15 min and then we were privatley escorted on the boat and into the Haven lounge. There were waiters ready with drinks, hambuger sliders and fries. We were told our room was ready right away and went to check it out. As i mentioned it was beyond impressive and my husband who truly does not like to cruise was very impressed. We chose to eat at Margaritaville because it was free for Haven guestst the first day. We are from South Florida so we have eaten there quite a few times before. Unfortunatley the service there was terrible and food not that great but the manager immediatly recognized what was happening and swooped in and gave us a card to come back for free another day. We never did because there were so many other options but it was a nice gesture and we werent paying for it anyways so we really didnt mind much. The Haven itself is truly amazing. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the food is great. I am having withdrawls from the amazing avocado toast i had for breakfast every morning. We never made reservations and there was always a table when we needed one. The pool deck on 17, loungng deck on 19 and sun deck on 19 are worth the money for the upgrade alone. Cushioned loungers, waiters bringing you whatever you needed to drink, eat (there is a menu for the pool and lounging decks so you dont have to get up and go to the restaurant they just bring the food right to your chair) Never had to fight for a chair. The sun deck on 19 was my favorite and i spent a good portion of my time up there sunning, reading in a shady spot or loungng in the jacuzzi up there overlooking the ocean. The servers also come around sporatically with fresh fruit skewers and cheese. It really is first class service. Going back to our private conceirge and butler meant NEVER having to visit the internet cafe, general concierge, and all those long lines on deck 6. My internet was set up immediatley in the haven lounge by our concierge.( FYI the ncl app is cool because for $10 per phone you can also talk and text all you want with your loved ones through the app. We also chose the unlimited internet package for my husband and i to share and the unlimited social media package for my kids to share.) Our private concierge Adrian booked all of our dining reservations, shows, really anything we wanted was done immediatley and never a problem. It was truly crazy how attentive and awesome he was. And there is a private seating section for Haven guests at all shows. Our butler Samir was equally impressive getting us anything we needed whenever we needed it. Chocolate chip cookies at 1am for my kids, pizzas for us at odd hours etc.. whatever we wanted it was done. There are also little platters of snacks, sandwhiches and chocolates they leave in your room everyday. We ate at the following restaurants - Moderno, Tepanyaki, La Cucina, Manhattan room, Haven, Osheehans, Margaritaville Moderno was amazing - tons of food and great quality meats Tepanyaki was also amazing - a ton of food and just tasted great La Cucina - not very good. The pizza was good and that was about it. And this was our second time eating there because we went on the inaugrual sailing of the Bliss last year to Alaska (wich i will get to later) and the food was not good then either so they really need to consider what they are making in there Manhattan Room - amazing food, and dinner entertainment. Wish we ate there more than once. We ate there on our last night Haven - amazing all around Osheehans, - great pub food for lunch and dinner. They have a light night menu that i cant say the same about. Not sure if the food goes downhill that time of night or what but they should be embarrased to serve the nachos they do Margaritaville - i already discussed Garden buffet - i had a snack there once. our family traveling with us at there a lot and said it was not as good as the Bliss and i am sure they are right because the buffett food on the Bliss was suprisingly amazing Pool Snack Menu in the Haven - great they had everything from swordfish burgers, chicken ceasar wraps, burgers etc... they also have pound cake and banana bread by the pool everyday also with tea and infused water The casino- I read a hundred reviews complaining about the smoke. I will start off by saying i have asthma and not lightly either my lung actually collapsed when i was 18 so i dont like smoke. It WAS NOT as bad as some of the reviews i read. yes you can smell it terribly if you walk through a certain part of the slots section but i love black jack and there is a non smoking section (the smoke does wreak through into the non smoking because there is not a barrier to seperate) but it was managable. i played black jack every night and didnt feel like i was dying. They def could have designed it better as there was not a problem at all on the bliss games - the kids took advantage of karaoke every night and it was a blast to watch some people. they did the ropes course and said it was a lot of fun. Hardly any of them went to the kids clubs. they did their own things and we let them. they all stayed in a group and had phones so i was comfortable lettting them roam free. we played bingo and took part in some of the family fun games. they also spent a ton of money in the arcade and bowling so watch your kids spending on their cards if they have charging privleges escape the big top - absolutley terrible - dont waste your time. I'm the one that booked it and i dont think I will every hear the end of wasting an hour of everyones time. It was truly aweful. Excursion - we didnt book any through the ship. I booked a private catamaran through Sail Bermuda called the Wyauna and it was the highlight of the trip. We went paddle boarding, snorkeling, kayaking, and cliff jumping. The boat was well equipped immaculant and everyone had the best time FYI Bermuda is absolutley beautiful. We travel a ton and its the prettiest well maintianed Island i have ever been to. For the second day we rented electric cars from Oleander Bermuda Rentals and toured the entire Island and hit some beaches. Just make sure they give you a fully charged car. My brother n law had an issue with his. So last year we went on the Bliss all 9 of us also. It was amazing the ship was brand new and we did not have the haven. I didnt feel like i missed out because everything was so gorgeous on that ship and the staff was so friendly. We also did not have a lot of sea days. I will say i dont think we would have enjoyed this cruise as much if we werent in the haven. My sister n law and her family were not in the haven and although they had a nice time they have come complaints and there experience was not the same as ours. The staff outside of the Haven did not seem to be as nice as they were on the Bliss. The cleanliness of the ship was not as nice as the Bliss either. So i guess the bottom line is if you want a hassle free, VIP, total escape from problems crusie book the Haven. If you dont mind waiting in long lines and being incovenienced a bit then your fine without the Haven. But the pool deck and chair situation outside of the haven looked like a madhouse just FYI. Oh and getting off the ship there was about an hour and a half wait and i was freaking because i thought we would miss our flight but nope there was a special exit and special line to clear customs - took us 15 minutes! I hope this review was helpful:) Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
This was my 4th cruise to Bermuda and 3rd with NCL. By tradition, we take a family picture while the ship passes under the Verrazano Bridge. Apparently, The Haven sundeck is now age restricted and taking a single is out of the question ... Read More
This was my 4th cruise to Bermuda and 3rd with NCL. By tradition, we take a family picture while the ship passes under the Verrazano Bridge. Apparently, The Haven sundeck is now age restricted and taking a single is out of the question if one of the family members is under 16. I can see the reason for the restriction if kids are raising hell on the sundeck when people are trying to relax, but their Procrustean enforcement of this is absurd. On previous NCL cruises, we had trouble getting our son to leave the children's' program. On this cruise, he asked to leave after 90 minutes and refused to return the remainder of the cruise. He did not provide any reason other than describing it as "boring". NCL's "signature cheesecake" is off the menu. I mentioned this in The Haven Restaurant and was informed that it was still available, but I had to submit a request 24 hours in advance. Speaking of The Haven Restaurant, the menu is exactly the same, every day. The meat was frequently served under cooked. Our butler didn't do very much, but we got a lot of personal attention from our steward. The other restaurants on the ship had very slow service. Overall, service seemed not to be very good, but not lack of trying on the part of the crew. It seemed as though they were working exceptionally hard to deliver service with limited resources. In effect, not the crew's fault, but the people running the operation. NCL's "White Hot Party" is now called the "Glow Party" and seems to be more of a marketing gimmick for their overpriced booze. It's not NCL's fault that it rained during the party, but you would think since they regard this as one of their "signature events", they would hold it indoors. Handicapped access in The Haven is lacking. My sister is in a wheelchair and it was an ordeal to get her in and out of the cabin through a narrow door. They did have a complimentary ferry to St. George which I thought was nice. Overall, it seemed like everything was just a little bit worse. I enjoy Bermuda, I've been there 6 times, but next time it will be on a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We loved this cruise and the boat was amazing. The staff were very helpful and kind. Our cabin was always clean and the public areas were also always clean. We only had a few suggestions. The speciality resturants were amazing. The food ... Read More
We loved this cruise and the boat was amazing. The staff were very helpful and kind. Our cabin was always clean and the public areas were also always clean. We only had a few suggestions. The speciality resturants were amazing. The food was good but we waited a long time for food when we went. We actaully missed a show we had scheduled because the meal took so long. They book us for another night to see the show but it wasn't when we wanted to go. Also we were on deck 15. Spa mini suit with balcony. While most of the time we did not hear the action from the pool deck above us we did hear it sum. If you are on deck 15 you will be fine but given a choice I would choose deck 14 or 13. We had the spa package and hosntley didn't use the spa that much. It was nice and very clean but mostly used by older folks and the heated lounge chairs were hard to get. I am not sure I would pay again for the spa room. If you want to lay inside a lot consider doing it but other than that it wasn't amazing. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Chose this cruise because with it having only one port of call I was able to commit to some much needed R & R. Cruise over all was excellent. NCL was very kind and gracious to support our CC Meet and Greet Group and they, I will say, ... Read More
Chose this cruise because with it having only one port of call I was able to commit to some much needed R & R. Cruise over all was excellent. NCL was very kind and gracious to support our CC Meet and Greet Group and they, I will say, did an outstanding job at hosting us. The cruise met our needs. 5 start accommodations, food and entertainment all the way. My only not so positive feedback rests in the increasing number of pay per use restaurants; I feel they are becoming a bit over kill and the fee structure they have in place for the drink package could use some tweaking. ie. my spouse, for religious reasons, does not consume alcohol however eligibility for the (included) drink package relies on both occupants in the cabin purchasing it. As well, the gratuity fee that was asked of me to pay upfront I felt was excessive given the amount I drink. I opted to pay for drinks as I went along and my bar bill turned out to be less than what I would have paid for the upfront gratuities for one person. I feel a better situation would be that when the cruise line is offering a free drink package that it is contingent on the fact that with each drink ordered on the ship that the cruiser knows that he/she will be billed a ie 20% gratuity fee thus the gratuities would be more fairly charged out. My only other last bit of feedback rests in the fact that the past 3 NCL cruises I have taken - not once did our cabin steward introduce him/herself - no customer relations / friendliness on that level. This has left me wondering if this is actually NCL's intention that stewards stay clear of patrons or minimize their interactions?? My historical experience with other cruise lines has been that stewards introduce themselves on the first day, provide assurance that if there is anything needed to let them know and are friendly with hello/have a nice day etc on a daily basis. All other staff on the ship were over the top professional, respectful and friendly. Thank you. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Initially very tentative about moving up to such a large ship with over 4000 passengers. Some reviews wailed about long lines before, during and after. But my wife convinced me it would be great... she was right. Stayed in Manhattan ... Read More
Initially very tentative about moving up to such a large ship with over 4000 passengers. Some reviews wailed about long lines before, during and after. But my wife convinced me it would be great... she was right. Stayed in Manhattan the night before and decided not to go to the terminal until after embarkation had begun. So much better than standing for an hour waiting for security to open. We were able to go right to security and into the registration area lines which just kept moving. Total time including forms, pics, and up the gangway just 45 minutes to the first beverage. Spent some time wandering and discovered the 5 O’clock Somewhere outside bar. Great view of Manhattan. This bar and comfy seating areas surrounding the outside on Deck 8. Moved onto our room that was nicely appointed with a balcony that was great for morning coffees, afternoon sunning and champagne evenings. Our only disappointment was the cleaning staff who did not keep the standards we expected. The entertainment was great. Two pianos “Howl at the Moon” were so much fun we went 3 times! Steve and Rhonda we incredible talents, perfect performers for this type of music singalong. They even let a 87 year passenger play the drums a few times. Joe played great and it was a joy to see him play. There was also a 3rd player who had just joined “Howl”. He had an amazing voice. Two other shows we saw in the Theatre were After Midnight at the Cotton Club featuring a look back at the great songs of a vibrant era in Harlem. Great dance and voices that raised the roof. Next was The Choir of Man where a full slate of typical “anthem” songs with great choreography, solos and harmonies pulled you along with the boys night at their pub. The restaurants were exactly as billed with variety that should have pleased anyone. As with any ship you need to do some research. Check menus so you get what you like. Italian, Brazilian, Steakhouse, Japanese, Asian, French, Tapas. Some of those with up charges or as part of a dining package. The food hub is the Garden Cafe (Buffet). Every station is different so take a trip around the room that has everything from Hotdogs to Pad Thai, Fast or slow, deserts fancy and simple. Breakfast options, again, take a look around, self serve and never leave hungry. Oh yes, it also has two service bars. Short moving lines, plenty of seating that might be a bit tight if you are trying to sit a large group together. Leisure areas with pools, hot tubs, pool bars, deck chairs everywhere. My wives tip, go up, up higher for a cool experience sunning at H2O 17th deck that had a cooling waterfall grotto. Water slide, Ropes course with walk the plank off the edge of the ship. Basketball, Miniputt all up high. Once in beautiful Bermuda, we decided to pass on the excursions instead taking the Ferry across for a short trip to Hamilton for the day as we bar hopped from terrace to terrace. On Wednesday’s they hold a street festival in the evening. The next day we stay on the Wharf, while my wife hits the shopping, I tour the Old Fort built by the British. A great look into history, great exhibits and views. Next time beaches and snorkeling are on the agenda. Oh yes, there will be a next time for Bermuda! The elevators are fore and Aft. Occasionally busy and again possibly difficult for large groups or large families with strollers. But overall pretty smooth. Tip: remember that each set of buttons only calls 4 of the 8 elevators around it. If you press both sets on the same side, then all 8 are called. (PS that’s why the doors open and no one gets on occasionally). But you’re already on, so don’t get steamed, just get good at the close door button inside after you wait a beat for slow walkers. On The last day if you can’t get down the stairs the elevators will be quite full. Tip: Go up to go down. The sea days were great and the ship took the sea with very little sway thanks in part due to the weather awesome. Life is good! We’ll be back on NCL. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Bermuda has always been a bucket list item for us and what better way to travel than a cruise! I thought the port time was long enough and was able to get to the major sites I wanted to see. I have been on a few cruises before and here is ... Read More
Bermuda has always been a bucket list item for us and what better way to travel than a cruise! I thought the port time was long enough and was able to get to the major sites I wanted to see. I have been on a few cruises before and here is what I loved about Norwegian. The Free Style dining is great! My husband and I did not keep any kind of regular schedule and it was nice to breakfast at 7:30am or 11am and dinner at 5pm or 9pm. Definitely would recommend late night reservations at the Manhattan Room for their late night live music starting at 8pm. On the flip side, the optional "formal night" was kind of lame and not well promoted. We actually missed it and just decided to wear our formal clothes to dinner the next day. The Open Bar Package as your Free at Sea offer is definitely the way to go. I loved the huge option of Bars and Cocktail Lounges. We barely had time for all of them but the interior designed and menus are terrific. And the bartenders are fast and professional. make sure you check out the water front in the mornings and afternoons, it is always quiet there! We only went to one specialty dining restaurant, Le Bistro, and the additional prices were extremely reasonable. We had a great waiter and the food presentation was beautiful. My husband and I loved the Thermal Spa and Suite. We got the whole week pass and it was totally worth it. We spent about 2 hours a day there just enjoying the quiet and hot stone lounge chairs. I especially appreciated the Hydro-therapy Pool and Steam/Salt rooms. I had a bit of a cold while we were traveling. I am glad we had the passes because there was never a hot tub open anywhere on the main Pool deck. We only spent the first day there and avoided it because it was too crowded the rest of the trip. The Choir of Man show was AMAZING! We had planned to go the first night but I got seasick so we went to a later show in the week and it was totally worth it! The songs and talent were great. After Midnight had a strong cast however, I thought the content of the show was a little dated (problematic). Especially since it was a fully black cast of performers bopping around the "Cotton Club". Could probably use a bit more diversity on the production team. The Cruise Director was very energetic and hilarious we had a ton of fun at the 80's night and the White Night. Also the ropes course is legit! It is not physically strenuous but definitely thrilling! I was kind of relieved the upper level course was out of service due to high winds. Make sure you bring sneakers for this otherwise they will not let you participate! Overall we would definitely consider Norwegian again for their wide variety of activities, bars, and nightlife on the Escape. The Ship was definitely packed but having a few quiet places to retreat to made it feel like we were on an Ocean Oasis. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My balcony was upgraded by my husband to Haven as a surprise for our 10th anniversary and gift for my Birthday. It was an amazingly and unforgetable experience. I really loved it. We were treated as Royalty with our Butler, Steward and ... Read More
My balcony was upgraded by my husband to Haven as a surprise for our 10th anniversary and gift for my Birthday. It was an amazingly and unforgetable experience. I really loved it. We were treated as Royalty with our Butler, Steward and Concierge. Embarking was great as I was surprised with going to Haven for the first time and disembark was smoth. The weather helped a lot. Sunny every day and ocean was smoth, I didnt feel I was in a ship. Food was fantastic. In the exclusive Restaurant at the Haven, the cheffs were exceptional. Congrats for them. Also we loved the private area with pool, jacuzzis, comfortable lounges and sundeck at the top of the ship with fantastic views, without mention our Balcony Penthouse that was really fabulous with cards with Congrats from Captain. Treats, cards, champagne, flowers, and Nespresso and teas and animal folding towel on the bed every day. All Entertainment was really enjoyable. Staffs 5 stars. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our first time on the Escape. Embarkation was quicker than our previous cruises from Manhattan. Our dining experience was the best of the four NCL cruises we’ve been on. We dined in Chaney’s and Le Bistro and were extremely ... Read More
This was our first time on the Escape. Embarkation was quicker than our previous cruises from Manhattan. Our dining experience was the best of the four NCL cruises we’ve been on. We dined in Chaney’s and Le Bistro and were extremely pleased with the selections and the quality of our meals. We also fined in Taste and Savor and enjoyed our meals and the ambiance. The entertainment was first rate. We especially enjoyed the Choir of Man so much that we saw it twice. Howl st the Moon and Carole’s King were also very entertaining. Our only criticism was regarding the Atrium. There were a number of shows, games, demonstrations there but the area was too small to accommodate all the passengers watching the events. In addition, the venue was too close to the passenger services desks such as excursions, cruise next, and guest services which meant that the noise from the atrium made it extremely difficult to communicate at those desks. All in all this cruise was first class. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I'm a glass if half full kinda guy so read my review with this in mind. I decided to take my 20yo daughter on a decompression vacation the day after she took her MCAT test after 6 months of study. We booked at the very last minute. ... Read More
I'm a glass if half full kinda guy so read my review with this in mind. I decided to take my 20yo daughter on a decompression vacation the day after she took her MCAT test after 6 months of study. We booked at the very last minute. Cruise Outlet messed up our reservation so we ended up in an ocean view room with no perks instead of balcony with all the "Free at Sea" stuff. The ride to NYC from NH was uneventful and we ended up at the port by 11:00. The embarkation lines were pretty long and it took a couple hours to get on board which was fairly annoying. We had booked last minute so we had to visit customer services to give them a credit card and to sing the forms so my daughter could drink on board. The lines were short and we had no issues. We decided to have lunch, but after rejecting the mess at the buffet, we got to O'Sheehan's just as it closed for the mandatory drill. Oh well, a little fasting before 7 days of overeating probably isn't a bad thing. The Escape Man this is a big ship. I went on a few cruises 20 years ago and things are a lot bigger now. As others have mentioned, the elevators are a major issue during busy times. We just took the stairs. It's good exercise, but going from 5 to 17 is a haul. The top decks are huge. There were usually chairs available, but there was virtually no place to get out of the sun. I know it's impossible to ever have enough pools and hot tubs for 5000 people. I think the same group of Jersey bros pretty much monopolized one of the hot tubs every day with enough bud lite to keep them pretty happy for the next month. Other than the top deck, outdoor space is really limited on the Escape. We spent a lot of time reading in the comfy seats on deck 8. The only problem was if you ever left (like for lunch), you'd never find a spot again. The inside of the Escape on decks 6/7/8 smells like an old ash tray. I'm not sure who thought allowing smoking in the casino that is open to 3 decks was a great idea. It was kind of a flashback to my grandmother's living room in the 50's. Cabin We ended up in an ocean view cabin (5728). It was nice enough and clean. I wish there was a place to sit and read rather than lying in bed. The window is big enough to sit in, tho you'll get a little dizzy with the ocean whizzing by just 25 feet below you. The beds were comfortable and bathroom was fine. There was plenty of storage, but having just 3 outlets was a hassle trying to keep phones, ipads, headphones etc all charged up (especially if you fall asleep with your ipad as I usually do). Meals We ended up eating in specialty dining 5 nights. Reservations were easy to come by the 1st few days, but got really hard the last couple. Moderno Churrascria - Excellent salad bar. I could have been happy just eating there. Too bad it was the only salad bar on the ship. The meat was good but not great. I think NCL tries to pass pot roast off as fancy steak by wrapping bacon around it. The pork and lamb was ok. The roasted pineapple was excellent. Teppanyaki - The Japanese jokes get old after about 10 minutes (I never saw any of the large numbers of Japanese guests eating there, but I would have been a little offended if I were them). The food was excellent. I ordered steak and chicken, but there was left over shrimp and scallops so I sampled them too. All except maybe the chicken were very good. The green tea cake for dessert was horrible. La Cucina - We sat outside which was nice. The pasta appetizers were good but the sauce was a little thick. Maybe they sat under a heat lamp for a bit. The main courses were good as was dessert. Cagney's - We went there twice. The 1st night was excellent. The filet was perfect, as were the side dishes. The Creme Brulee and 7 layer cake were both great. The 2nd time, we ended up with a 9PM reservation and I think the crew had checked out for the night. I had surf and turf this time. The filet was extremely rare (I ordered it medium). The shrimp were small and tasted like the frozen ones from the grocery store. 4 of our 5 side dishes showed up 5 minutes after the main course was server (the 5th is still AWOL). Dessert kind of saved the day. MDR - Really not that bad other then a lot more kids than in the specialty dining rooms. We ended up next to the band in the Manhattan Room and has to ask to move since it was very loud. The french onion soup was very good. I had a pork entree that was as good as what I'd eaten in the specialty dining rooms. O'Sheehan's - We ate breakfast and lunch here most days. The made to order omelettes are good. The corned beef hash is nice. They don't have a clue how to make toast though. I finally figured out they had english muffins the last day and it was toasted perfectly (too bad it came out 10 minutes before my eggs). We had fajitas for lunch a few times and they are good. My daughter liked the burgers and the wings. Drinks/Bars - As I mentioned earlier, Cruise Outlet screwed up our reservations, so we were in the small minority of people on the ship without the drinks package. We had a $30-ish bottle of wine with most dinners and for the most part they were pretty good for the price (at least before the automatic 20% got added on). We liked the District Brew House until they ran out of Dogfish Head IPA on day 5. We had a Margarita at it's 5 O'clock Somewhere but it had almost no alcohol in it for north of $30 for 2 of them. I assume thats a side effect of most everyone having "free" drinks and not wanting to knock everyone out before 5 O'Clock. We would never drink enough to justify paying $120/day/person for the drinks package, but it sure would have been nice to have it for free. Entertainment Loved Choir of Man Slept through After Midnight The WIne Lovers lunch show was entertaining Liked Howling at the Moon. The audience is pretty entertaining and the performers are fun There was nice music at the Tobacco Bar a couple nights, but people were talking too loudly to enjoy it. Bermuda What can I say... It's beautiful. Everyone is very friendly and I never felt the least bit threatened. I'm not crazy about King's Wharf since it's off in the middle of no where. The last time I went, the ship docked at St Georges, but I guess modern cruise ships are too big to get in there these days. We did take the free NCL ferry to St Georges one day. It's a great little town and an easy walk to Tobacco Bay. We rented pedal bikes one day and logged 25 or so miles biking down to Horseshoe Bay and back. The rail trail is very nice for biking once you find it (it starts a couple miles from the port). Horseshoe Bay is a total mess. Wall to wall people and the day we stopped by the beach was covered in seaweed. We did fine several unoccupied beaches along the way as well as Fort Scaur which is very interesting. We went on the local shipwreck snorkel trip. The boat was nearly empty and it was a good time. In the End... I'd do it again. Hopefully with a Balcony room so we had some private outside space. The NCL Escape is nice enough. I'm not sure specialty dining is necessary, but it does get you some variety. I'd love more time to explore Bermuda off the beaten track Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because it is within driving distance. Also, we did the same exact one last year, and we had a GREAT time. Embarkation went VERY well. I think that we were in Savor eating by 11:30. We parked at the port, which was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it is within driving distance. Also, we did the same exact one last year, and we had a GREAT time. Embarkation went VERY well. I think that we were in Savor eating by 11:30. We parked at the port, which was expensive ($280). The ship is beautiful and very clean! Every staff member who I interacted with was AWESOME! They always did their best to make us happy! I LOVED Spice H2O! (Adults only area.) This is where I spent my afternoons. I also enjoyed the ropes course on this ship! So much fun! We ate 6 of our dinners in the Manhattan Room, and the staff was excellent! One night we ate at Moderno's! Wow! My first specialty dining experience and it was amazing! I will have to try that again! Breakfast in Taste/Savor is super good! I highly recommend it! Lunch in the Garden Cafe was great because they have so many choices! I love that they have actual hard ice cream along with the soft serve! I also loved their "salad action" stations each day for lunch, where they would mix up a different salad of the day for you. We were in angled balcony cabin 9900(aft, starboard). The view of the water isn't that great because the Waterfront roof is right outside of the balcony connected to it, so a cabin on a higher deck would def be a better view. Our room attendant, Gilbert, was EXCELLENT! He was the BEST EVER from all of my cruises! Wow! We loved Choir of Man! I wish that I had seen it earlier in the week, instead of on the last night. Carol's Kings (Male Vocal Group in the Supper Club) was very good! It was nice to get food during the Supper Club show. I didn't get to see After Midnight on this cruise. I love being at one port for 3 days because it seems very relaxing. No rushing on and off of the ship each day. We went to Horseshoe Bay Beach, St. George's, and we spent the 3rd day exploring the Dockyard. We LOVED the complimentary ferry to St. George's; it was a lovely and very comfortable boat. We loved this cruise so much that we will be doing it again next year! The brand new Encore will be replacing the Escape on this itinerary next year. I look forward to see the new ship! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Though it was a good buy to beautiful Bermuda - but was mistaken -the actual cost was nearly three times the ad price.. .Low quality, not fun and they actually yelled at us customers! Buyer beware - use a travel agent. At departure off ... Read More
Though it was a good buy to beautiful Bermuda - but was mistaken -the actual cost was nearly three times the ad price.. .Low quality, not fun and they actually yelled at us customers! Buyer beware - use a travel agent. At departure off the ship at 7:45 am, they had us jammed in the elevator area with our luggage and squished further as more people came out the elevators for more than 20 minutes! They yelled at us as we tried to get out of one another's way in the congestion! Very stress full, uncomfortable and unnecessary for our last impression. My other three cruise you just walk off the ship. The water slides were frequently down for repair and when the were running the water flow was so low you hardly slid at all more like crawling down the slide. The Atrium area was often very congested because of poor design and the lack of space on the ship. The entertainment was often poor . Things were canceled often. Some were just sales tricks to get your money. Choir of Man and After Midnight were very good shows ! The food was fair to poor. Twice I got fishy salmon. Food was often over cooked and dry. They give out very small piece of watermelon infrequently. The deserts are mostly just puddings. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Dedicated NCL membersDisembarkation took 3 hours. They lost our souvenirs which they were holding for us and then were nasty about it. Two nights for dinner at Cagneys were fair at best. Our potatoes came first followed 10 minutes later ... Read More
Dedicated NCL membersDisembarkation took 3 hours. They lost our souvenirs which they were holding for us and then were nasty about it. Two nights for dinner at Cagneys were fair at best. Our potatoes came first followed 10 minutes later by our steaks which were not cooked properly. Dinner at La Cucina was not up to par. Food came late again. The first 7 nights were otherwise great. Dinner at Le Bistro and the Manhattan room were terrific. We were invited to a beer tasting which was great. We have travelled on the Escape four times and the first 3 were excellent which is why we went back again. Embarkation was smooth and our room was ready and the luggage came timely. The regular General Manager Deepak was not on the ship this time and I wonder if the service slipped because of this. We will come back hoping this was an isolated incident. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My spouse and I took this exact same cruise at the exact same time last year and it was, hands down, the best cruise we'd ever taken. When we booked this cruise earlier in the year, we were very excited at the thought of matching ... Read More
My spouse and I took this exact same cruise at the exact same time last year and it was, hands down, the best cruise we'd ever taken. When we booked this cruise earlier in the year, we were very excited at the thought of matching last year's cruise. Sadly, there was a stark difference in the two cruises and we were left with a feeling of disappointment in some areas. In others, this ship shined. For transparency, we tend to sail in the Haven. This year was no exception. Not because we are rich. We are far from it. But I am disabled and have health challenges. For that reason, we budget every year to insure that we are able to travel in a way that's most comfortable for me...and in a way that allows me to get the best experience possible out of our travel. We are not "snooty," nor are we "entitled." However, when you pay a premium, you do expect that "premium" to be delivered. About 3 weeks prior to our cruise, I emailed the pre-cruise concierge, as directed, for any requests that may make our cruise more enjoyable. In that email, I explained that due to severe allergies, we are not able to have fresh flowers in our room, nor are we able to have any kind of feather bedding as they cause significant allergic reactions. I received an email response assuring me that this request would be handled prior to embarkation. Embarkation was close to flawless and we were told our room was ready as soon as we boarded. We were staying in a Haven Spa Suite and it was nice. However, when we walked in, we noticed a vase of wilted and dying flowers....obviously left over from the prior cruise. Not a huge deal...we figured we'd give it to our room steward when we met him. The ice bucket had lukewarm melted water in it....presumedly from the prior cruise that ended earlier that day. There was only one towel, and one bathrobe. There was no bottle of champagne on ice as we were told there would be...and as there was last year. Individually, not a huge deal...but adding it up, it was a little disappointing. Shortly thereafter, our room steward arrived and we spoke with him about the flowers, etc. He apologized for the oversights, said he'd fix them by the time we returned from lunch and assured us that the room was feather free. That was the big part for us, so we were grateful. After the first night, my spouse woke up with a pretty intense allergy attack. Since the vents were on the ceiling, we figured it was the air ducts and the air circulation. We were assured that the room was de-feathered, so we didn't think that was the problem. For the next 5 nights, our allergies were pretty intense. We were living on allergy medicine and continued to chalk it up to the air conditioning. By day 6, I was beyond miserable. At that point, I took a closer look at the pillows. All but one were exactly what we needed. The last one, all feather. We called our room steward to ask him to please change it, but he was unavailable. So we called our butler.....who, up until that time, we had seen, maybe 3 times the entire cruise...who informed us that our room steward was on break and would handle when he came back during the nightly turndown. We called about it just after noon. After explaining that the allergic response was making us pretty miserable, he did send someone in his place to change out the bedding. We vacated the room so that could happen. Our allergies never cleared up and we realized on the morning that we left, that while there was no feather bedding ON the bed, they had stored all the feather bedding UNDER the bed. It was pretty awful. Adding to that frustration, we had to ask almost daily for fresh ice...and the only thing we asked of our butler was to have cookies in the evening. He promised cookies every night. They came once. We didn't ask anything else of him....we didn't order room service....we did not dine in our room...he was pretty much non-existent. He did, however, show up on the morning of debarkation to collect his tip. Again, I need to stress....we are NOT snooty. We weren't asking for outlandish things. We asked for next to nothing. But we paid a premium for a certain service and that service didn't deliver. It was even more disappointing because we do work so hard to afford that level of service. For it not to be there, cast a bit of a shadow on our week. Especially with the allergy/feather situation. The rest of the cruise was AMAZING!! We loved Cagney's and Moderno. We also enjoyed Food Republic. It's a different concept but enjoyable nonetheless. The only exception was Bayamo. We didn't enjoy Bayamo as much as we'd hoped and probably wouldn't return. The Garden Cafe was perfect for what we needed it for, and we enjoyed dining at Taste one night as well. As for the entertainment.....for the second year, Choir of Man was absolutely incredible!! We also saw Melinda Doolittle's solo show in the Supper Club....and that was one of the most enjoyable evenings of our cruise. She was very warm, engaging, and very friendly. It was a very cool thing to be able to talk with her a bit after her show as well. I was really pulling for her when she was on American Idol, so it really was a thrill to see her perform. We didn't see any other shows as it was an early night most nights for us. We met some really great people through the meet and greet/slot pull/cabin crawl. We had a great time with them. Blackjack was very kind to us, but we seemed to give our winnings back to the slot machines!!! We loved karaoke nights as well. The pools were crowded as they normally are....but the slides seemed to be popular. We did not use the Haven pool area, but we did use the sundeck in the Haven once or twice and that was pretty relaxing. The Haven restaurant was also very good. Bermuda was beautiful as always. We took the free ferry over to St. Georges and headed to Tobacco Bay. That was a beautiful area. We seemed to luck out as we heard that Horseshoe Bay was filled with Portuguese Man-O-War which made it difficult to swim. In fact, someone from our Cruise Critic group was stung and from what we heard, had to be treated at the hospital. I'm not sure we'll do this itinerary again. We love cruising out of NY because we are local and flying is challenging for me. But I think we'll try something elsewhere next year. We are firm believers in vacations being exactly what you make them to be...and in that sense, we had a magical week onboard the Escape. But the service...or lack thereof...did make things challenging for us most of the time. And that part, was probably the most disappointing aspect of our cruise. Will be sail NCL again? Absolutely. Will we sail the Escape again? Probably not. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My husband and I were on NCL Escape, leaving NYC on the Memorial Day Weekend. The 3-day stopover in Bermuda gave us plenty of time to explore and enjoy the beautiful islands of Bermuda! EMBARKATION: It was quick and easy. Each of ... Read More
My husband and I were on NCL Escape, leaving NYC on the Memorial Day Weekend. The 3-day stopover in Bermuda gave us plenty of time to explore and enjoy the beautiful islands of Bermuda! EMBARKATION: It was quick and easy. Each of us carried a duffle bag and carry-on, so we bypassed all the people checking their luggage with the porters. We are also NCL Platinum members, which allow us priority embarkation. After we went through the security, we were ushered to a dedicated counter and processed quickly. We were onboard the beautiful NCL Escape in no time! SHIP: Escape is the largest cruise ship we have ever been on. We were on Getaway and Breakaway before, but this ship beats both of them! Since it was Memorial Day Week, the ship was pretty full. While we had no problem getting into the elevator the entire week, we did take the stairs as much as we could. Our booking included free drinking and specialty restaurant packages. If you choose these two promotions, you are required to prepay gratuities. In our case, it came out to $309. For 7-day cruise, the specialty dining package consists of three dinners. But as Platinum members, we also received two extra specialty dining coupons, as well as a bottle of wine at Cagney’s or Le Bistro. We need to book all our specialty restaurants and the main entertainments as soon as we got onboard. Since we were unable to book anything online (not sure why), we were running around making reservations on the Embarkation Day! Any Maitre D stationed in front of the specialty restaurant can help you book all your dinner reservations (but not for specialty dining with coupons, which required different line). Shows like “Choir of Man” and “After Midnight” required reservation at the Box Office. We booked most of the things we wanted and were eating lunch at Savor Restaurant by 1:15 PM. After the mandatory lifeboat drill at 3:30 PM, the ship left the pier at 4 PM. It was smooth sailing through the Hudson River. Our room was on the starboard side,, so we watched the Statue of Liberty as we sailed by the Liberty Island. No matter how many times we see this magnificent statue, it never gets old! STATEROOM: Our stateroom was a Spa Mini Suite on the 15th deck. After I booked our room, NCL offered us an opportunity to bid for the Haven staterooms. Since we were happy with our room selection, we bid the lowest price – and were not disappointed when we didn’t get it. Upon entering the room, we found a bottle of Champagne, a plateful of chocolate covered strawberries, and two bottles of water on the desk -- part of the Platinum perks. Our stateroom has everything we needed – including two robes and his/hers slippers. The bed was very comfortable as were the pillows. There were plenty of storage spaces, including cavernous space underneath the bed where we stored all our luggage and bags. Although I brought along a power strip, we didn’t need it. The room had sufficient outlets for our needs (except for the bathroom). Bathroom has two sinks and large shower. It had Bvlgari amenities, including a shower pouf. You need to bring an adapter if you want to use the outlet in the bathroom. It was for shavers only. Since we use Waterpik flosser, we called the front desk and asked for an adapter, and it was delivered quickly. We used the adapter for the entire week and left it on the counter on the last day. While our room was very quiet (we didn’t hear any noise from our neighbors), we heard loud noises coming from ABOVE! On top of us is the pool area, and every morning around 4:30 AM, we could hear workers cleaning the deck and moving chairs. After the 2nd early morning wakeup, we went to the customer service and asked if the crew could delay cleaning until more reasonable hour, but the rep couldn’t answer. He called us later to offer us another room, but we didn’t’ feel like packing again, so we declined. Luckily, we brought our earplugs. The customer rep sent us a plateful of chocolate-covered strawberries (our second plate!) for our inconvenience. One of our favorite perks is the complimentary laundry for each of us, so we filled two laundry bags few days before we disembarked and they were delivered nicely folded. Nothing beats packing clean clothes on the last day of our trip! Our room steward was Blasé. He was a quiet fellow, but he kept our room clean and our ice bucket filled. On the first day, we asked him to remove all the contents from the mini fridge (it’s not covered in the drinking package) so we can put our own drinks in there. Any time we need to contact him, we just left a sticky note on the mirror and he always obliged. Before we disembarked, we gave him extra tip, aside from the automatic $15 pp daily tip, which is shared by the crew. He made our trip very comfortable. FOODS & DRINKS: The specialty restaurants were outstanding on Escape! We went to Cagney’s for filet mignon, Le Bistro (twice!) for lamb chops, and La Cucina for Osso Buco! We had prime ribs at O’Sheehan on the Embarkation night. (Prime ribs were also offered at the Garden Café on the same day.) Our biggest disappointment was dining at Bayamo. We saw Bayamo’s menu from our stateroom TV and it showed Alaska King Crab Legs and Stone Crab Claws, so we made two reservations. (There is upcharge for dining at Bayamo if you have the Specialty Package.) But when we sat down at the restaurant and looked at the menu, there were no crab legs! We asked our waitress about it and she said: “Oh, we changed the menu.” Really? Shouldn’t you update your menu on TV? This restaurant was our least favorite because the seafood was rather plain. My dessert was a chocolate cake covered in sauce, but the sauce had so much gelatin in it that it tasted rubbery. I told my husband if I dropped the cake, it will probably bounce right back! We cancelled our second reservation. Our biggest surprise was the tapas at Pincho’s! This small specialty restaurant is fee-based, but the dishes run between $2 - $8 only. Every dish the waitress recommended was perfect! We especially enjoyed Iberico Jamon ($3), Duck Montadito ($5) and Gambas Al Ajillo ($6). We were thinking that tapas were just snack foods, but after a couple of dishes, we were pretty full! Although they were not quite the same as the tapas we had in Barcelona, we enjoyed dining here. We were very happy with our meals onboard Escape, including breakfast at the Garden Café. Some mornings, you’ll find two ladies going around the tables with the day’s special pastry, singing: “yummy, yummy, good for your tummy!” Take whatever pastry they are offering because you won't see it again. For ship of this size, we didn’t have any problem finding seats – even on sea days. For lunch, sometimes we ate at the café, other times at the Taste or Savor Restaurant. Both restaurants have the same menu. If you have the drinking package, there were plenty of places to order your drinks. I don’t drink, but there are non-alcoholic drinks available. My favorite is the virgin Raspberry-Guava Mojito – really refreshing and delicious with real mint leaves! Be aware that you are not allowed to bring any bottle water (or any drinks for that matter) onboard and bottle water is not part of the drinking package. You have to buy it separately. (Tip: bring your empty water bottles from home and fill them from the filtered water in the Garden Café.) SPA & GYM: NCL’s thermal spa has many facilities and the thermal pool has powerful jets. Wear swimming suit that’s sturdy; otherwise, you’ll have wardrobe malfunction right in front of everybody! Also, if you are absent for a period of time and you left your personal belongings on the lounge chairs, the staff will move them to the floor to free up the chairs. Spa can get very crowded, especially on sea days. Gym has many types of equipment, including many treadmills. We never had to wait to use it. There is a separate room for weight lifting and another room for yoga and stretching with ballet bar on the wall. This room also has a heavy-duty punching bag. ENTERTAINMENT: We both enjoyed the “Choir of Man” and “After Midnight”. If you made reservation for “Choir of Man”, go to the theater early. The casts will pour you draft beer and you can take pictures with them on stage. The talented nine-member singers may offend some people with their antics, but it’s all in good fun. Go and enjoy the show and have a beer with the guys! We were bit ambivalent about booking “After Midnight”, after reading some negative reviews. We were absolutely BLOWN AWAY! This show is Broadway quality with dancing (so much tap dancing!) and singing (led by Melinda Doolittle, the American Idol finalist). This show is what entertainment is all about. While you can make reservation from your stateroom’s TV, it’s not always reliable. We booked a Supper Club show successfully from our stateroom, but when we showed up, we were denied entrance because our reservation didn’t show up. One curious observation – my husband and I are regular cruisers. This is the first time where we did not see the captain come on stage during the Welcome Aboard show to greet the passengers. We felt slighted. A simple “hello and welcome” would’ve sufficed. BERMUDA: We had beautiful weather while we docked in Bermuda! Celebrity Summit docked right after us. So, what did we do for three days here? Day 1 – we took a mini van ($7 PP) from the port to Horseshoe Bay. This beach is beautiful, with clear blue water and limestone cliffs. We went there in the morning and found the water to be bit chilly for swimming. When we left at noon, the water temperature got warmer. After we set up our beach tent that we brought from home, we walked around a bit. For lunch, we took taxi ($22.75 metered) to Art Mels Spicy Dicy for their famous fish sandwich. This place is for takeout only, so we took our sandwich and walked to Hamilton (took about 30 minutes) and ate at one of the benches alongside the Front Street. We did some shopping before taking the Hamilton ferry ($4.50 PP) back to the Navy Yard. (You buy the token inside the terminal.) Day 2 – we took NCL’s complimentary ferry to St. George’s. This boat is very modern and can accommodate a lot of passengers. It took about 50 minutes to arrive at St. George’s. It was a very comfortable ride and there’s bathroom on each deck. The ferry will keep to their schedule and will leave on time. (Tip: Bring sun umbrella with you, especially if you have small children, as waiting for the ferry will be in the glaring sun. It was pretty uncomfortable standing in line at the end of May. I can’t imagine what it’ll be like in June, July or August!) The ferry docked right next to the World Heritage Center. St. George’s is a quaint little town. We were here last December but didn’t have the chance to visit Tobacco Bay, so we took our beach tent again and headed to that direction. It’s an easy walk from the dock. You basically follow the crowd, as everybody will be going the same direction. On the way, we saw the Unfinished Church -- so called because the church ran out of funds and there was split in congregation. There are only skeletal walls remaining, but the structure has Gothic charm to it. The ground is well kept and the place is peaceful. Further up is the Tobacco Bay. This is a small beach and not as pretty as the Horseshoe Bay. The main part of the beach was already crowded when we arrived, so we went to another side of the beach behind large boulders. This area has trash scattered about and there were a lot of seaweeds and small rocks and shells on the beach. But it was quiet, the water was clear, and we had the small beach to ourselves. My husband snorkeled while I was content to just sit under our beach tent and enjoyed the view. We didn’t’ stay too long before heading back to town. We had delicious lunch at Wahoo’s Bistro on Water Street. It’s bit pricey (they take credit cards), but we ate grilled Wahoo fish and taco while overlooking the St. George’s Harbor. You can’t beat the view! This restaurant is conveniently located near the ferry terminal. Shopping in St. George is cheaper than shopping in Hamilton. Day 3 – we spent our last day at the Snorkel Bay Beach right by the Naval Dockyard. It required entrance fee of $5 pp, because this is a private beach facility. The beach is small and covered in small rocks and sharp shells, like the Tobacco Bay. We didn’t bring our water shoes, so it was uncomfortable walking to the water to snorkel. There were a lot of fish in the water! You don’t need to go far to see them. We were not allowed to use our beach tent here. In fact, you can’t bring your cooler, or your own food or drink, from outside. A small sign for rules and regulation is posted near the cashier’s window. Other than the Snorkel Beach, there are shops, bars, restaurants and other attractions near the cruise ship to keep us busy in the morning. The ship left Bermuda at 3 PM. After one more sea day, we were back in NYC. DISEMBARKATION: Ignore the color tags for the time to leave the ship. They mean nothing. Just get on line on Deck 7 and you’ll be let out of the ship as the line moved along. We got on line at 7 AM with all our belongings and waited 30 minutes by the casino before the line started moving. We went through the immigration with no wait time and were out in the street by 7:45 AM. There were plenty of taxis outside vying for customers. In conclusion, while it wasn't perfect, we did enjoy our time on NCL Escape, and Bermuda is AMAZING destination! We would cruise with NCL again! 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