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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Done quite a bit of cruising with Celebrity and Carnival, but this was my first experience with NCL. Not cheap, The two week cruise in a solo cabin ran almost 1700 per week CAD. Money aside - here's my breakdown IMHO on food: ... Read More
Done quite a bit of cruising with Celebrity and Carnival, but this was my first experience with NCL. Not cheap, The two week cruise in a solo cabin ran almost 1700 per week CAD. Money aside - here's my breakdown IMHO on food: Good: Manhattan/Taste/Savor/Osheehan's - Excellent quality of food and service. Only area that needs to improve is variety. Basically exact same menu everyday with "a few" minor changes. Overall very well done. Also Good: Teppanyaki: Actually had the best steak I've ever gone down on from this place. Melted in your mouth. Cooks work very hard right in front of you. Menu is small but good. Biggest upset was they removed lobster from their menu. Bad: Cagney's Steakhouse. OMG my friend & I ordered the porterhouse. It was one of the most chewy difficult to cut pieces of meat ever. Won't be going back. Ugly: Moderno. Where do I start. Way too dark. Was so dark the server couldn't tell if the meat was well done or rare. We get to the table and put our drinks on what we thought were drink toasters. Wrong.. The idea is leave these turned on the green side while you're chowing down on your salad, then flip it when you want the meat to come. Not explained as we were shuffled to our seats. Food came in pieces.. Didn't like having to eat steak with no sides, and then chicken comes.. then pork.. no gravy, no sides.. just weird. Won't be going back their either. Enough about Food, let's talk Entertainment. Excellent: Casino and staff were excellent. Good: Magic show was short - but well done. The ship had a fair share of two/three/four people bands that would play daily. Mainly 70's/80's theme. Glow party was okay in the H20 area back of the ship. Bad: Levity Live: Just okay. They serve beer to anyone who would like a beer at the beginning of the show. Take the beer - as you'll need it to get through the show. The cabin room. Beginning of second week I accidentally stained the bed-sheet. To my amazement - that stain stayed with me the entire week. Really? Do I have to ask the staff to change my sheets? Is it not obvious? Ridiculous. Ports: Stinker. Example they advertise Harvest Caye Belize as a stop. Unless you investigate deeper - yes you're technically in the "area" of Belize, but don't be expecting to see downtown Belize. You're docked in this man made small port in the middle of no where - made by NCL - and then you have to buy food and drink on their little man made port. Insulting. So - I'm left with decision - did I really see Belize or not? LOL.. Don't be expecting to see the actual city of the ports. Overall an okay cruise with the highlight big wins in the casino.. But won't be returning. KS Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We booked this cruise as the price was exceptional and was recommended by a good friend and a Platmun Member who was also booking this cruise. This was our first cruise on Norwegian and I was not impressed. The embarkation was slow and ... Read More
We booked this cruise as the price was exceptional and was recommended by a good friend and a Platmun Member who was also booking this cruise. This was our first cruise on Norwegian and I was not impressed. The embarkation was slow and was delayed as the N.Y. terminal was over crowded due to late Disimbarkation of its earlier arrival, eventually we got our mini sweet and was not impressed as it was the same size of any average ship cabins, the oversized shower was a big plus. My wife had done a wonderful job researching the amenities of this ship and pre booked the upgraded 3 diner premium package, bottled water delivered to our room and a WiFi package, our Children have given us a prepaid Norwegian gifts card that my wife used to pre order these upgrades, we printed the Norwegian confirmation. As it turns out we found this was never applied to our reservation and was told that we could use the upgraded diner package, we had also made pre dinner arrangents for the first night at their steak house and was told they were looking into why our pre order was not showing up on our reservation but go ahead and pay the full price and when the issue was resolved our on board billing will be adjusted. Well that never happened, two days later they confirmed that the pre order was not applied but we could use the prepaid gift card now and apply it to my onboard credit, great? No because the prepaid dinner package did not apply to my first night dinner at Cagney's steak house and they would not honor this blunder on their part. At this point we did not rebook the upgrade resturant package and we paid full price for that dinner. Otherwise the free style dinning was mediocre, not great but same menu each day. The average age of onboard passengers was at my estimation at age 65. The entertainment and on board venues did not coincide with this age group. Too much Rap and club music more suitable for a teenage audience. The Choir of Man show was great and the Howl at the moon dueling pianos was great one night but bombed the second time, could have been lack of audience participation. There was a emergency incident on board that the captain announced we had to get close to a port and have a US Coast Guard Cutter come out to the ship for this passenger transfer, the Coast Guard met us at sea but close to Key West, the evacuation itself was amazing as I believe the 4000 guests were all watching the event, the waters were very rough but eventually they did get the pax on board and left the ship. The cruise director eventually announced that the event went well and congratulated a job well done and thanked the crew and infirmary crew but neglected the thank the outstanding job the US Coast Guard did. Three days into the cruise my wife and I and the travel companions came down with cold like symptoms, we were not alone as many passengers were demonstrating the same coughing symptoms within the elevators, resturants and theater shows. Disimbarkation was not pleasurable, long Q lines that backed up into the Manhattan Dining room, it was announced that there was again a backup in the terminal due to incoming and outgoing passengers once off the ship the off ship process went well. I will most likely not choose Norwegian again and as for our platinum member friends, they were somewhat embarrassed as they clearly didn't get any specialty treatment. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Leaving out of NYC is the best since we are just a 50min train ride away from GCS and 1 10 min cab ride to the pier. The money saved on transportation is just a start. Boarding is easy and once aboard your cruise begins. Norwegians ... Read More
Leaving out of NYC is the best since we are just a 50min train ride away from GCS and 1 10 min cab ride to the pier. The money saved on transportation is just a start. Boarding is easy and once aboard your cruise begins. Norwegians Freestyle cruising is the only way to go. With Freestyle cruising you do what you want when you want with no set times for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The shows are performed at different times so you can work around them with the many other activities onboard. We had and always get the free drink package upgrade which is a must even if you don't drink alcoholic drinks. You can get soda water, soda, or limited juices that normally would cost you per drink. However we drink the hard stuff and with this package you can get anything up to a $15 value for free! The slides on the Escape were awesome. I rode the big tube one a dozen times and the one that drops you was fantastic I did that one 10 times. The first time being the scariest. I loved how they play a short music excerpt right before the gun goes off that drops the floor out from under your feet as gravity pulls you down and the ride is over in less than 3 seconds! Adrenaline rush like you cannot believe! The pools are fun and just big enough as well. I also enjoyed the ropes course several times. 3 stories on this ship with 3 zip lines one of which curves out over the side of the ship right over the water. However I was a little disappointed that the cameras were not functioning as I usually purchase one from either the zip line or the plank that walks out over the side of the ship. We enjoyed the new brew house with craft beers as we love our IPA's etc. However with it being the only bar that does serve craft beers with the best upfront location and all the views from the windows it was disappointing to us and all when they announced we all had to vacate for a private party. No fair since we paid to be there as well. This needs to be though out better on Norwegians side! Anyhow I could go on and on as all was great like usual...my opinion book one and try it you will love it! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
The for slow about 45 minutes to an hour to get our food in the Manhattan room took a bow and Savor and taste about 30-35 minutes the activities will great set for two shows they were born shows for after midnight in the male vocal group ... Read More
The for slow about 45 minutes to an hour to get our food in the Manhattan room took a bow and Savor and taste about 30-35 minutes the activities will great set for two shows they were born shows for after midnight in the male vocal group they put you to sleep. In the Manhattan room it's very loud they have music every other day. The game shows with funny and fun the dance classes fun to watch and learn. 60% of the ship granny generation. There's nobody that was under the age of 30 made a 1/3 of the ship and there we're only a hundred kids on the ship on this Cruise. Course of man was a great show all ages is very hilarious to watch it kept you entertain and they came out into the audience gave away two people. We saw a guy in the headliners Club she was 18 and over he was hilarious and raunchy. There was a a woman in a band named Victoria who voice was excellent must see. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
The last several years we have been taking cruises to the Caribbean either in January or February to get away from the winter weather in Pa. We have taken around 10 cruises overall and usually take Royal Caribbean. Took the smaller ... Read More
The last several years we have been taking cruises to the Caribbean either in January or February to get away from the winter weather in Pa. We have taken around 10 cruises overall and usually take Royal Caribbean. Took the smaller Norwegian Gem the last time and it was pretty good so we decided to try Norwegian again. The Escape is larger and is comparable to the size of the RC Anthem. Norwegian had a good deal with their free offers and the 14 day cruise was to hit 7 ports. I say was because right off the bat they skipped their private island stirrup cay “due to high seas” and the tendering process. Looking out it appeared to be about 2-3 ft waves! We suspect they skipped the port ( which friends who sailed with them previously said they also skipped) due to other reasons - one of which may be that they left NY 2 hours late. Positives - Our cabin steward Alex was exceptional. Any issues, such as very noisy next door neighbors at 6:00 am each day was promptly resolved. Specialty dining such as Cagney’s were excellent. Negatives - Escape employee culture. When on RC if something obviously needed to be taken care of even the officers chipped in to get it done. Several times employees said someone would be there to take care of it and walked by. When workers were told that both hot tubs weren’t working on deck 18 they just continued on their way...these hot tubs weren’t working for several days. Don’t know if they ever got fixed as we never went back. dining in the main dining room—— first night had to sit in a crowded venue with the staff continually bumping the back of my chair. The second time we tried the main dining room (there were 6 of us), we were seated and provided glasses of water. 15 minutes later I asked one of the waiters who our waiter was because no one showed up to wait on ours or the next table. Our waiter was standing there right in front of us looking around! After he initially waited on us, he disappeared and a waitress took over. If you don’t want to go to speciality dining venues we would suggest going to Taste or Savor as they are smaller settings (with the same menu) and service is much, much better. Buffet - As buffets go it was pretty standard. Some others we were talking to agreed that the breakfast menu basically were the same things for the whole trip. Entertainment- Choir of Boys - very good show worth seeing. After Midnight - if you like tap dancing this is the show for you——otherwise I wouldn’t bother. Other entertainment around the ship was ok Left the best (worst) for last. When the ship first left we could see very little sanitizing around the ship going on. Lo and behold about the start of the second week they were going as far as to spraying each cabin door. They started to wipe down railings and such which should have been done from day 1. Unfortunately, it was too late for me and many others as just about everyone ended up with “upper respiratory” problems - coughing and in my case a fever. They had to stop around Florida to medivac (I heard 6) people off the ship. Ended up going to the medical center for the first time ever on a ship AND LIKELY the last time to get treated. The bill was over $1,100!!!!! Told me I had Influenza A! Friends - (husband and wife) of ours both went —- $3,800! These are not typing mistakes.......I told my wife that my leg would have to be falling off before I would go again. Almost Forgot - one morning the whole ship did not have any hot water for several hours. For a ship that is only a few years old..... In any case, I am not closing the book on cruising again, but Norwegian will not be a cruise line we will consider no matter how many freebies they may offer. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise due to the ports we visited, We were not disappointed with our ports. We would go back to each one. We enjoyed the food, it was delicious. Small portions which was more than enough. Our room steward was great. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the ports we visited, We were not disappointed with our ports. We would go back to each one. We enjoyed the food, it was delicious. Small portions which was more than enough. Our room steward was great. The itinerary was amazing. The entertainment was excellent. Choir of Man exceeded our expectations. After Midnight - the skill of the dancers were amazing. The Supper Club we will probably not visit again. You did not get to pick from a menu. The night we went, we were excited to see the Elton John show - but we were not impressed. Enjoyed our evenings seeing Howl at the Moon and the comedy's were pretty good as well. The ship was easy to maneuver around. Not difficult to find your way around. On the down side - the fact that we missed Great Stirrup Caye was very disappointing. As a Cruise Critic member, I had read that on several occasions NCL missed this stop. We were to tender in at 10am. As we sailed past the island at 10:10am we had an announcement that we would not be going. We also sailed right by another ship that was there tendering and people parasailing on the island. We did reach out to the Assistant Hotel Director that informed us that the safety of the passengers is their first concern. While I appreciate that statement it is difficult to reason with. We also had concern about the amount of time we waited for our food. On Saturday 2/16 we were seated at 8:30am. Our order was taken 1/2 hour later @ 9am. We received tea and juice @9:02am. Our meal arrived @ 9:25am.. Order eggs over medium and well done bacon. Received eggs easy over and regular bacon. We had the same issue with dinner in Savor and Taste. An extreme amount of time waiting for service and food. We tried the Manhattan Room, where the service was much better except for the last night when we waited 45 minutes for our meal. We were asked to leave the H2O area on a Sea day due to ashes that were coming out of the exhaust fan. There was black ash all around us and on our belongings. We were told to leave so that they would clean it off and we could return in an hour or so. We would also like to discuss dismemberment. We were walked through circles for 45 minutes just to get off of the ship, then stood outside in the February weather for more than an hour. This is unacceptable. If it had been snowing or raining we would have been soaked. Then after an hour we were next in line to enter into the building and we were told to stop and allow passengers that were just exiting the warm ship to pass right in front of us into the building. They were not Haven guest. This is not acceptable service by any means. We do not expect to be treated in this manner, at the end our of cruise. We felt as if at this point we did not matter. Hoping that NCL will work on some of the issues for future passengers. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Review for NCL Escape February 3, 2019 14 days. We had booked our cruise 2 years in advance. I an disabled and use a mobility scooter. Prior to booking I spoke with NCL Agents in Miami. FL. When I booked with them I told them I was ... Read More
Review for NCL Escape February 3, 2019 14 days. We had booked our cruise 2 years in advance. I an disabled and use a mobility scooter. Prior to booking I spoke with NCL Agents in Miami. FL. When I booked with them I told them I was disabled and used a mobility scooter. I asked for a room off the elevator so ot would be easier to get my scooter in and I would not have to go down the hallways. When I booked the agent assured me I would be able to get my scooter down the hallway to our room. I was very close to the back elevators. So I booked the cruise in room 13627. I also booked handicaped assess shore excursion with assailable travel. We arrived at the cruise terminal around 9 am. There was a lot of hustle and bustle Passengers getting off and passengers in long lines to check in. I was told to go to the access desk and ask for an employee. We did not know that 2 days prior she quit her job. So they still accommodated us and help us with check in. That was a very easy posses and went smoothly. We were then taken to a corralled off area with not nearly enough seats for handicapped individuals to sit. I really felt like a herd of cattle. We were not offered any water or food as we waited about 2 hours. The rest rooms were clean and smelled really good. So that at least was nice. All of the Haven passengers were called first and the the handicapped people. I don't like hights and the gangway was long and open so you could see the long drop. I hurried up the gangway. We then proceeded onto the ship and once inside went to Taste. Which is one of the sit down restaurants. Taste, Savory and The Manhattan Room are all free sit down restaurants. Food was good but the lunch menu never changes. The Manhattan room was very noisy and the service was so slow. We only went there twice because of the noise and service. Taste and Savor had a more quiet fine dinning atmosphere however, the service was so slow. In my opinion the service was slow because the employees were so over whelmed with the amount of people. They were so over worked and tired. For a ship of that size they need to double the staff they had. After lunch we went to our muster station drill. That was an act of congress for a disabled person in a scooter. The elevators filled up fast and it took us and hour. No lie and hour to get and elevator so we could go to the drill. People were diving over me to get the elevator. I was afraid I would be injured. Something really needs to change so it is easier for disabled individual to get on an elevator. During shore excursions disabled individuals were help into an elevator that was locked down for disabled only. There should be one elevator on every cruise ship that is disabled only. After the drill we went to our room or should I say attempted to go to our room. My scooter would not fit down the hallway my room was on. The Hallways leading to my room were blocked with cleaning carts and luggage. We had to move everything into the little coves by the door. When I got to the intersection of where my room was there was a very narrow hallway and a hairpin turn to get down the hallway. My scooter would not make the narrow turn. It was stuck in the hallway with people trying to get by to get to their rooms. About this time I was in tears. I was stuck in the long hallway and I can not walk that far to get to my room. Thank god we brought my manual wheelchair as well. I was transported from my scooter to my room. My scooter was charged and moved to a crew area because I could not leave it by the elevators. Several people had the same issue. Every day I had to go down the hallway, which was all ways blocked by cleaning carts we had to move to get through. Taking the wheelchair though took up the whole hallway. People or we had to back up to get everyone through. Heaven forgid there was a fire. Those cleaning carts were fire hazards. Once we were in our room it was very small. There were three of us in there with a wheelchair and we could barely walk. The beds were really high for me because I am only 5 foot tall. They brought me a stool but it was tipsy. I usually pull my scooter by the bed and climb up on it to get onto the bed. What would really work well would be a square box made to stand on about 6 inch high. So I could not get on the bed. I had my daughter go to the deck and get me a deck chair. I slept on that with a few cushions. It was really comfortable and I could adjust the head board. The legs on the bed should be adjustable so they could be lowered. So while in the room we noticed that it was so got. We called the front desk and they said they would send someone. So we went to dinner and returned because we were really tired. Again tried to adjust the thermostat and it still was hot. I asked for fans and they had none. I am glad I bring my own little one. It did not do much. So I called again and was told nothing they could do no extra rooms available. So we had to sleep in a hot room. There also was no water pressure. The bunk pulled down from the ceiling. Left very little room to climb up the ladder because it was right against the TV. That night the seas were a little choppy. The combination of being hot and the movement made my daughter and I ill. She became really ill. So when the doctor opened at 8 am we went to the doctor. My daughter was dehydrated and needed IV fluids. So she was given a shot to stop the seasickness and a IV. I was given a shot to stop the nausea. We were made to stay there until we felt better. Then we were released into our friends custody. We felt fine the rest of the cruise. Took a couple of Dramamine. The next thing that made me sick was the bill. I never expected what I saw. Between her bill and mine it was over $2200. Yes $2200. Crazy amount of money. They expect you to pay it all up front and be leave me the hound you for it. They cut off your drinks and spending on the ship if you can not pay it. They did that to us. Thank god I bought travelers insurance that will cover the whole bill. ALWAYS buy travelers insurance. I would have thought that due to the room issues, they would have said we will pay some of the bill. Nothing at all. If we had a cool room we probably would not have gotten ill. They did get us another room 9 days into the cruise. The Cruise Directors staff was wonderful. I love Trivia and there were a lot of them. We were in the Atrium lounge a lot. They use that area for game shows, movies, trivia, dance lessons and arts and crafts. The proble is you have 4000 people and half go to the show and the other half want to watch the game show in the Atrium. There is not enough room. There are not enough chairs and tables. So folding chairs were brought out. People everywhere. You could not even walk through. Common areas are too small to accommodate that many people. When it was bad weather outside,everyone was inside. It was horrible. I am claustrophobic and boy I had to leave a few time because it was wall to wall people. The buffet was interesting. It opens at 6 am. Only one side. If you get someone thing while it is first open it wasn't bad but if you waited. Yuck. I waited one day and had gotten the eggs Benedict, which is one of my favorites. The muffin was so hard you could play hockey with it. The ham was so dry. The egg you could eat but it too was dry. There were no pastries, muffins or danish left. The kids took all of those. The omelets were made to order and good. Bacon and sausage were nit bad. Fresh fruit was picked over and all the watermelon was gone. Gash nrown were hard and dried out. They lacked any flavor. Hamburgers and hot dogs were OK. Sandwiches were good. I think the buffet lacked variety. They would have specials a couple times a week. BBQ was good and the prime rib was ok. Lacked flavor. My friend called it the slop shop because you never knew if it was going to be good or not. This is a place the kids run wild at. No parental supervision. We really like O'Shanhan's. They had the same specials as the buffet except it was sit down. They have wings but I did not care for them, Hot and spicy. Not the kind I like. I did like the spinach/artichoke dip. Had that everyday. The menu there also was the same everyday. Except for the specials. It was also the only 24 hour restaurant. If you want to take something back to your room they will not let you. You have to eat there or call room service and receive a 7.99 fee. So everyone hit the buffet before it closed. We watched kids fill their backpacks with all kinds of cookies and cakes. Take all the milk. After the buffet closes there are no more drinks. All the bars close. We enjoyed Choir Of Men very much. It was so good I could watch it over and over. Loved the comedy show. If you are offended then it is not the place for you. We however did not like After Midnight. We found it boring and fell asleep during it. Bingo was very expensive. They did a show called Deal or No Deal. Card for that were 25 each. They played that a most everyday. It was fun but the odds were not in your favor. Casino was smelly and smoky. You have no choice but to walk through it. Kids too. Two bands we saw were good. The cruise lacked rock and roll. Shore excursions were just OK. The Turtle Farm in Grand Cay was interesting and fun. They brought in an accessible bus for handicapped individuals. Jamaica was terrible. Everyone was grabbing you to buy their goods. Hounding you to have your hair braided. Dirty, with trash everywhere. Just gross. We looked around and went back to the ship. Belize was beautiful. The ship port area had a beautiful beach and restaurant. They also has like a little zoo area that was free. It was beautiful. We bought a lot there because it goes back to the animals. It was a lot of fun. Costa Maya Mexico was nice if you stayed in the port area. We rented a gol Cart to go to the Light house and the city. The light house area was beautiful and we had gotten good pictures of the ship. The city stay away. Again begging for you money. Very dirty. We had wandered pretty far a way and it was so much garbage and blight. We did wander up on a Tequila Factory. Good stuff. Cozumel Mexico as you got off the ship you were tendered in. Which was not a problem for wheel chairs. It was actually a nice ride. Very hot though. A lot of long piers. Great shopping area. Our first stop was the space coast. We had such a hard time in Florida getting an assailable bus. They over sold the shore excursion and there were three handicapped people in wheel chairs including myself. We were told we could not use the lift and had to sit on a seat because they would loose 4 seats to accommodate us. Can you believe that. We went to the eye. It was so boring. The best thing was the wax museum. All in all I would give the Escape two thumbs down. Too big of ship for the amount of crew. Crew is over worked which made customer service lack. Prefer the smaller ships where they take care of you. Our steward was great. Food lacked creativity and flavor. Got board with it. Same stuff over and over. Not all of it was good. Even the specialty restaurants were not that good. Again customer service lacked. Service very slow. Poor room lay out. Dangerous hallways being blocked. Lack of disability elevators. Over crowed common areas with little to no seating. Over price doctors on board. Poorly planned shore excursions. Lots of noise and smoke. Un knowledgeable service desk. Lack of communication between land (Miami) and the cruise ship. Although we always swear by NCL prior to this cruise. I can no longer say that. After this cruise has put a very bad taste in our mouths. I think we will be taking our latitude points and trying other options. We found out other cruise lines will recognize our points. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We picked this cruise because of the time frame and the itinerary. We had not been to these ports before and will not pick this itinerary again. Ports were okay but just not for us. We loved all the special attention we received in ... Read More
We picked this cruise because of the time frame and the itinerary. We had not been to these ports before and will not pick this itinerary again. Ports were okay but just not for us. We loved all the special attention we received in the dining rooms casino and shops which was probably due to our haven status. The staff were super great. The ship was large but noticed that smokers filled the 678 Ocean Place with smoke for the entire cruise. A better ventilation system is needed. Our room was spacious and we loved the balcony........spent most of our time there instead of the haven courtyard. NCL freestyle cruising suited us to just do nothing and sometimes do a little of something (see a show, bingo or sunbathing) We are now planning our next cruise and hope it is on the Escape. Did I mention that I loved the shops on board? Loved the "Life is Good" store the best. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
The Escape was our first Norwegian Cruise, and we picked it due to its New York City departure point and the 14 day voyage. For reference, and to know what we are comparing this ship to, we have 16 previous cruises, all on Princess, ... Read More
The Escape was our first Norwegian Cruise, and we picked it due to its New York City departure point and the 14 day voyage. For reference, and to know what we are comparing this ship to, we have 16 previous cruises, all on Princess, Holland America and Royal Caribbean. We are a mid 40s couple travelling with another couple. Overall, I compare the Norwegian Escape to a well run Best Western Hotel in that you won’t be overly impressed with anything but neither will you have many complaints. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give the ship a solid 6. The Good: The Norwegian Escape is a newer, large, modern ship that is kept immaculately clean. The sanitizing program was very evident in all dining areas, especially the buffet. The staff were non-stop sanitizing: menus, salt and pepper, condiments, tables, chairs, elevators buttons, hand rails, etc. Regardless of cruise line, we do not dress up for dinner but Norwegian takes this one step further with their casual vibe with a resort casual dress code almost everywhere, and it was nice to be able to wear shorts to the dining room for dinner. The food and experience in the up-charge / dining package Cagneys Steakhouse and Bayamo Seafood were both very good, with Bayamo being the best dinner we had onboard. Both offered upscale environments, high quality well prepared food, impressive desserts, and good service. The bars were also good, notably The District (a brewpub onboard) with their nightly piano entertainment, and Sugarcane (Mojito bar). Our cabin was nice, especially as it had an extended length balcony with an extra lounge chair, and an in room coffee maker. When returning from port, we liked the welcome service on the dock which included cold eucalyptus cloths, and water, popsicles and other refreshments along with a place to drop your dirty beach towels. The Waterfront on the Promenade deck is a great idea, one that I hope other cruise lines incorporate into their new ship designs. The Cruise Director Alvin and his staff were very visible, and hosting events throughout the day including parties most nights in Spice H20. The Not as Good: Both the food and service in the main dining rooms (Taste, Savor and Manhattan) were simply subpar. It was very obvious that there were cost saving measures in place with basic appetizers and entrees being served, and a notable absence of cruise line staples: no escargot, prawns, lobster on the menu. You can expect a dry protein covered in sauce, a generally good starch (like a risotto or a cheese polenta) and broccoli as a typical entree. They pulled all the stops on the last evening however, with Prime Rib, scallops, free flowing wine and good desserts no doubt hoping we would forget about the previous two weeks of mediocre experience. Expect a 15 to 20 minute wait to order, in between courses and for beverages. Also, you have to ask for everything: rarely will you be asked if you would like coffee or cappuccino with dessert. We like a relaxed pace, non-rushed dinner but spending two hours in the dining room is simply too long when you realize most of the time is spent waiting. The buffet is far superior to Royal Caribbean but still lacked true variety and quality. It was open all day without the closed times like RCCL. Additionally, they were very flexible on their breakfast hours - even though it was over at 10:30, if people were showing up and wanting breakfast, they kept a portion serving breakfast well past that time. The two atrium areas could be nice but the one is plagued by smoke from the casino permeating the shops, walkway and Le Bistro and the other is constantly crowded with events scheduled throughout the day resulting in neither being an overly relaxing place. If you love the excellent International Cafe on Princess, or good Promenade Cafe on Royal Caribbean you will be disappointed with the Atrium Cafe on the Escape. Its just not a popular venue, and offers no complimentary snacks with your specialty coffee. As there was only one staff member, it frequently took 10 minutes to get your beverage even if there was only one other passenger ahead as the one staff member had to do everything. The display had for purchase macarons (which were good) and cupcakes (which were not good - the cold, hard icing came off whole revealing a dry cupcake underneath). On other cruise lines, we like getting our morning coffee and an afternoon ‘pick me up’ from the cafe, and this was just not the same experience. Another miss is no burger bar outside by the pool. While they had burgers in the buffet, its not the same getting a burger from a tray and putting in on a bun versus a fresh made burger. The entertainment was hit or miss also. An unexpected highlight was a performance by Vox Fortura, semi finalists from Britains Got Talent. Choir of Man was also good. For us, a weak point was After Midnight - although it received a standing ovation, I think it was in recognition of the effort of the performers (It can’t have been easy doing yet another extended tap dance) as the storyline was weak. Other evenings there was no entertainment scheduled, or just duplicate shows. Lastly, and this is being picky but the overall design of the ship is very basic. Yes, it has relatively modern colours and decent finishings but there isn’t anything extra, or ‘wow’ points. An example is the main Escape Theatre, which is basically a rectangular box with no effort taken to turn the room into an impressive theatre. Another example would be the lack of artwork around the ship, instead there are mirrors on all stairway landings instead of pictures. Summary: We enjoyed our cruise and overall vacation however am in no rush to go on another Norwegian ship as I would instead go on another line that I know ticks more boxes for us. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose Escape at this time as we are tired of flying and airports delays. Escape from NY let us have a relaxed embarkation and short ride home after. The balcony room on 10th floor was right near elevators. Right size for the clean and ... Read More
We chose Escape at this time as we are tired of flying and airports delays. Escape from NY let us have a relaxed embarkation and short ride home after. The balcony room on 10th floor was right near elevators. Right size for the clean and well stocked room. The entertainments and activities were good. Some better when others, but overall, we enjoyed all we attended. We love the thermal spa: the service was worth every penny. Due to the weather conditions, we missed some of our booked shore excursions, but chose not to go on others and just walked around ports. We have the special diet requirements (kosher food.) The list of dishes offered was extensive, but it would recommended to update it on a daily basis as a few times the food wasn't available at the time we placed the order. The assistants of Matre'D who took care of us were knowledgeable about our special food requirements and knew how to handle it. We didn't travel with children as it was a vacation for two of us only. We are planning our next cruise already. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We choose this ship because we had been on it before and we like to cruise in February. Arrived at port early and got on ship fairly quick being platinum members. Once on ship, we went directly to make restaurant reservations and got ... Read More
We choose this ship because we had been on it before and we like to cruise in February. Arrived at port early and got on ship fairly quick being platinum members. Once on ship, we went directly to make restaurant reservations and got everything we wanted. After that we went to one of the smaller dining rooms (taste) and waited for others that were traveling with us to have lunch. By the time we were finished, our rooms were ready and we went to them and got settled in as much as we could until luggage arrived somewhat later. It was warm enough that we were able to be on our balcony for sail away and a beautiful sail away it was with a absolutely beautiful sunset. We were not able to stop at the private island due to rough seas and wind, so off to Jamaica we sailed. We did the Brimmer Hall Plantation excursion and it was quite interesting. After the plantation, we headed to a beach which provided the highlight of the cruise( and not a good one ) I lost my wallet. Back on the ship, guest service was very helpful in contacting our credit card company to close that card and transfer charges to my wifes card. A day and a half later I was notified that my wallet had been found and everything was still in it and the authorities in Jamaica would mail it back to New York( this proved to be quite expensive, $105.00. ) Overall the cruise was very good. Most of the entertainment was very good with Choir of Man being best followed by Howl at the Moon which we went to every night it was on. The food was very good and selection on where to eat good. My biggest gripe is the Atrium being such a congestion point. When ever something is going on there, the crowds block the aisles and being so close to the guest service desk, it is very hard to talk to a Representative with all the noise. Another gripe is the way the photograph department now works. Photos taken in the restaurants can no longer be purchased as part of a package they must be purchased separately. One cannot blame the ship for some of the sickness that was going around, they were constantly cleaning and wiping down everything and trying to get guests to wash their hands. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
need more elevators-long wait boarding & disembarking-guest services need more training-wi fi difficult to use-most shows not to our taste-supper club food not so good-too much noise in main dining room-quality of food seems to to have ... Read More
need more elevators-long wait boarding & disembarking-guest services need more training-wi fi difficult to use-most shows not to our taste-supper club food not so good-too much noise in main dining room-quality of food seems to to have gotten less-magician was not so good-on the plus side ship was nice-room was nice-steward MARK was excellent-food at cagneys & baymos was super good-also COM show was super good. After 22 cruises with NCL I have decided that very large ships are not to our taste. Examples of over crowding include getting into elavator so backed that any one wet from pools or beach got you all wet. Tried sharing a table in the main dinning room and it was so noisy I was not able to hold a conversation. Wheel chair assist was a 2 hour wait. Tour desk was unable to answer questions that I thought they should and that was after a half hour wait. It seemed like everything was a line and wait. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Chose this cruise for the "Cigar Lounge"....what a joke! No decent Cigar Aficionado would spend more then 2 1/2 minutes in this "Cigarette Lounge". Smokey from day 1 and got continually worse for 14 more days. ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the "Cigar Lounge"....what a joke! No decent Cigar Aficionado would spend more then 2 1/2 minutes in this "Cigarette Lounge". Smokey from day 1 and got continually worse for 14 more days. There's nothing better than to sit back, have a drink and enjoy a good cigar away from those who do not imbibe but this lounge is a joke. They should be sued for calling it a "Cigar Lounge". Every 2 1/2 minutes, a cigarette smoker would hop in, puff like hell, and leave! That's what got me on this ship and that's what will keep me away from another NCL trip! Great food! Probably some of the best food we've had on our last 34 cruises! Nice staff and great room attendants. Entertainment was just OK in the Theater except for the Choir of Man and the Dueling Pianos. That was out best enjoyment on board. I am a beer lover but when we arrived, four of the twenty-four beer taps were out and by the end of the cruise, there were eleven out of twenty-four taps closed! What the hell? Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We love the megaships and have never been to western carribbean, so this seemed to be a perfect getaway from the cold northeast weather. Ship is beautiful and very clean. We especially liked the boardwalk for walking or just relaxing. ... Read More
We love the megaships and have never been to western carribbean, so this seemed to be a perfect getaway from the cold northeast weather. Ship is beautiful and very clean. We especially liked the boardwalk for walking or just relaxing. Cagneys, le Bistro, la cucina and Bayama were all delicious. Although I have read mediocre reports on O Sheehans, we enjoyed several meals there. The crew was great, friendly and helpful. Room steward took good care of our needs. We did not see all the shows but we did enjoy a few. Golden octaves in Atrium were very good. We only did 2 excursions, the ncl transfer to Disney and Costa Maya ruins. I had prepurchased Epcot passes and although time in the park was short, it worked for us. First timers especially with children would probably be disappointed. Costa Maya doesn't seem to have much to offer but I did enjoy the Chacchoben ruin tour and port area by ship had lots of shops and looked nice. Our only complaint is that disembarking in New York is always slow, this time it was Horrible! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our fourth cruise, and our second time that we've cruised with Norwegian. We really like the perks, beverage package, speciality dining, Internet minutes, and long distance package. Last year we won a bid to upgrade our ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise, and our second time that we've cruised with Norwegian. We really like the perks, beverage package, speciality dining, Internet minutes, and long distance package. Last year we won a bid to upgrade our stateroom from balcony to mini suite. We loved it so much that we booked a mini suite when we booked this last cruise. I know that the staff, food and activities are obviously great on any cruise line, but we particularly love the staff, food and activity on Norwegian. Our room Stewart, Jacinto, was amazing. He always treated us with a smile, asked how we were, and was very accommodating to our needs. We always go to the same dining room for dinner. On the first night if our waiter/waitress treats us well we always return to their section every night. They quickly know how we like things cooked, and with me being a picky eater I really appreciate this. Then there's the bar staff/servers who also quickly learn our favourite drinks, so we tend to return to the same bar every day. There are numerous activities put on by the cruise director staff, and we took advantage of a lot of them!!!! There's also O'Sheehan's Pub restaurant and bar. The bar area holds a great selection of games such as pool, video games, and a bowling alley; there is a cost to play these things though. There's also waterslides, and the Skyrails Ropecourse which I just had to try!!!! It was a little windy the day I did it, it was scary, but overall it was a challenge, and a lot of fun! The excursions we took advantage of were amazing!!!! We took advantage of the Cruisenext desk, and booked a cruise to Alaska for September 2020; can't wait to go!!! My husband and I along with our travelling friends are committed Norwegian cruisers! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our first 2-week cruise and it felt 'just right.' Plenty of time to settle in but we didn't get bored. There is lots to do on the ship, whether you're active or sedentary. We found that there were lots of ... Read More
This was our first 2-week cruise and it felt 'just right.' Plenty of time to settle in but we didn't get bored. There is lots to do on the ship, whether you're active or sedentary. We found that there were lots of things we would classify as excellent (Manhattan dining Room, Choir of Man, service staff, variety of offerings in the Garden Buffet, the fitness center, dancing in Skyline and at dinner, embarking quickly as a platinum member), but we cannot rate this as excellent because of the non-existent waiter service in Skyline Bar, lousy (and pricey) meal at La Cuccina, repeat performances of ship's shows (the ones we really liked we saw 3 times, but to sit through the same exact comedy routine each night was a but much), and the staff at the Customer Service desk area is never pleasant, cabins seem even smaller than on other ships, and the bad experience of disembarkation. So, we give it a 4 stars out of 5. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
*port of departure -NYC *14 Night Best restaurants Bayamo- Moderno Le bistro Food Republic One suggestion to all servers...slow down the service.. don't rush the courses....bring drinks when poured. ... Read More
*port of departure -NYC *14 Night Best restaurants Bayamo- Moderno Le bistro Food Republic One suggestion to all servers...slow down the service.. don't rush the courses....bring drinks when poured. Cagneys....disappointment. Service disjointed....food COLD....sides brought 10 minutes after steak. Baked potato AWFUL. Why was the delicious truffles chicken taken off menu. ? Buffet good as usual....amazing how they serve so many. People WASH YOUR HANDS and stop arguing with those given the job of making that happen!! Comedy show in Headliners was funny the first time so went back to the adult show another night at 11. Same material with a few f bombs throw in. Disappointed I was surprised at the prices of shore excursions. This was my 21th cruise onNCL 25TH OVER all. cozumel had some great choices but sooo expensive. Jamaica we hired a driver Harvey Inside the port gate. He was awesone. VIBE The private beach club on deck 19 made the trip for me. $179 for the 2 weeks. ...it was behind a locked door that opened with a key card. Private bar with food service... comfortable loungers and cabanas a misting shower hot tub rest rooms. Chair side service for food and drinks. We Rented scooters on Grand Cayman. Took us about 5 hours to do the island including a lunch stop. Roads were very nice for the most part. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Picked cruise because RT from NYC was easy. Did not think I'd like big ship that holds 5,000, but wrong! Loved the ship! So many choices aboard-restaurants, activities, shows-loved so many options for two week cruise. Loved swimming ... Read More
Picked cruise because RT from NYC was easy. Did not think I'd like big ship that holds 5,000, but wrong! Loved the ship! So many choices aboard-restaurants, activities, shows-loved so many options for two week cruise. Loved swimming laps in outdoor 6" deep adult pool that had quiet times when hardly anyone was in it (between 8-9am for example) Loved whisper quiet balcony on deck 14 forward. Loved smooth trip-could not feel turbulence and enver used medication for motion. Loved food-excellent everywhere we ate. Loved 30 beers on tap in onboard brew house. Loved staff friendliness! The excursions-we selected two-were worth it. The botanical gardens in Ochos Rios were beautiful. The eco-boat in Belize was interesting, and the guide was entertaining. After Midnight best show I ever saw at sea. The spa was excellent and I went every day. The ship was kept immaculate. There was always a place to sit at the buffet. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Norwegian was a last minute choice of destinations and cruise line. Our experience has been with Royal Caribbean and Carnival. Rating all three I would give Royal Caribbean the best. I felt there was a lack of pools on Norwegian. Even ... Read More
Norwegian was a last minute choice of destinations and cruise line. Our experience has been with Royal Caribbean and Carnival. Rating all three I would give Royal Caribbean the best. I felt there was a lack of pools on Norwegian. Even though it was an older crowd the adult pool was overcrowded and seating around the pool area was uncomfortable. The port of call to great stirrup Keyes was a major disappointment. Instead of another day at sea the Cruiseline might have compensated in another day elsewhere. Royal Caribbean did use tenders at the site that day. The excursion of glass kayak/ snorkel should have been canceled. It was much too dangerous to enter the water and kayas could not. Another ship told us they canceled it. They advertised a nice beach and it was like walking on coral. It seemed the overall performance of the ships staff was unorganized at times. Loud speakers did not work in our room only the hallway. Dinner menu was too repetitive. Went early to a specialty restaurant and was told no reservations yet plenty of open tables. Only two tables occupied. Even though I washed my hands frequently I came away with a nasty upper respiratory infection. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Communications between the ship and passengers was horrendous. We waited on line for hours to check in to get onboard with no explanation. We were not allowed back on the ship in Port Canaveral for over an hour with no explanation. Line ... Read More
Communications between the ship and passengers was horrendous. We waited on line for hours to check in to get onboard with no explanation. We were not allowed back on the ship in Port Canaveral for over an hour with no explanation. Line dancing classes were always late or didn't happen, no explanation. 4th day out ship ran out of straws, no explanation. Unable to report problem in elevator, no one answered the telephone, not even the operator. Although I really enjoyed the number of dance lessons (even on port days), most dance instructors were not trained, the worst we’ve experienced in our 37 cruises. Cruise director, Alvin, promised to replace the worst dance instructor who couldn’t even keep a count and did not keep his word. The 10 people in our group were mostly dancers and enjoyed a lot of the music onboard but were disappointed in the lack of floor space available. Pictures of the ship showed a beautiful large dance floor in the Manhattan Dining Room which was a deciding factor in choosing this cruise/ship. When we got there, we were disappointed to find that 80% of the dance floor was covered with tables and chairs. Loved the fish on the carpet in the passageways showing direction of the front of the ship. The “Make up the Room” system is excellent. Soft drinks included in the drink package was better than some other lines. The orange juice was better than most other cruise lines and tomato juice almost always available which was nice. However, the Pina Colada’s were horrible. The food was mediocre at best and very spicy for most tastes. Booked a mini suite but found it was smaller than other ships with very little storage space for two people. Passageways were very narrow forcing passengers to step into a doorway to allow others to pass going in the other direction. Had to reserve shows, tenders, games etc. Having 4,700 passengers on the ship and a theater that seated only 800 was a problem (although it had more foot room than some other ships). Some entertainment was excellent but most was not. Our friends had a problem with the safe and couldn’t get anyone on the telephone, not guest services, the operator or housekeeping. Most of the staff that we interacted with (waiters and cabin stewards etc.) were friendly had a ready smile and did a good job. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because of the length of the cruise and the amount of destinations. The evening shows were excellent . The best we've seen at sea in a long time. They were new and refreshing as well as unique. There was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the length of the cruise and the amount of destinations. The evening shows were excellent . The best we've seen at sea in a long time. They were new and refreshing as well as unique. There was plenty of live music throughout the ship. The Cruise Director and his team were excellent they offered a variety of activities and movies. The dining was truly "my time dining" were had no difficulty being seated regardless of the time we chose. The Wait staff was pleasant and made sure that everything was to our liking. The bar servers in the Atrium area are excellent and very friendly. Our cabin was nice and our Steward was very pleasant and aimed to please. There was a wide variety of shore excursions offered. The embarkation and disembarkation went fairly smoothly. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this trip. It was wonderful. stewart Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Hello. Our Embarkation & disembarkation went fast smoothly. The ship was pretty and kept clean. Our cabin on the 13th floor was a nice hit we were on the medical floor. Dining in the taste in the mornings for breakfast made ... Read More
Hello. Our Embarkation & disembarkation went fast smoothly. The ship was pretty and kept clean. Our cabin on the 13th floor was a nice hit we were on the medical floor. Dining in the taste in the mornings for breakfast made our day and dinner @ Manhattan Room made my retired spouse cruise worthwhile. Also lunch and late snack at O' Sheehan's was a fun finger licking experience. Dance your way up to The Mojito Bar on the 8th floor for great coconut and Ginger Mojito's, Also Specialty Dining at Cagney's Steakhouse & Moderno Churrascaria were mouth watering a must treat in fine dining... Music Entertainment by the Octaves was excellent Also The choir of men made us feel we were home at our local pub. also After Midnight made the family feel like we were in Harlem wow that's Broadway. Shore excursion was cancel for NCL private Island Great Stir Cay due to weather. We enjoy these other excursions Harvest Cay Belize a excellent port, Jamaica Bamboo Beach Club VIP Lunch & White House Grand Cayman w/ Lunch. We will be back soon now that's the way to Cruise NCL Style. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Picked Norwegian because we enjoyed a previous cruise with them in the Mediterranean. Pro's: New ship Nice rooms Typically great staff Good itinerary Meals were ok Con's: A complete money grab from start ... Read More
Picked Norwegian because we enjoyed a previous cruise with them in the Mediterranean. Pro's: New ship Nice rooms Typically great staff Good itinerary Meals were ok Con's: A complete money grab from start to finish Huge ship with barely any quiet spaces, any potential real estate is taken up by an over-supply of extra charge restaurants which only open for dinner Lifts crammed with people constantly Common areas crammed with people Over-priced drinks- $8.25 USD per beer , sometimes more Disgusting cigarette odour permeates all the common areas from deck 6-8, along the length of the ship because of smoking that is allowed at the casino tables and the cigar room that has a door that opens into the common area. Why is smoking allowed in common areas on a ship?- its 2019- not 1919 Food is ok but menu doesn't change enough. 3 main restaurants are actually 1 because the menu is the same in all 3. One final thing. We missed a scheduled stop at Great Stirrup Cay. we were told that the conditions weren't good enough to tender. That would be fine except Mariner of the Seas was right there tendering as we sailed past it. Talking to crew and passengers who have done the same trip before, it seems that Norwegian escape regularly misses this advertised port. If the conditions are rarely good enough to stop ( allegedly), then why have it as a port of call? There was no reimbursement for missing the port- not even a free drink, unlike other cruises we have done when we were forced to miss a port. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I understand how a norovirus can happen aboard a huge ship like this. But, I want to say we were not informed until days later what was happening. This was our 33 cruise and we could see signs of something going on. Paper menus, no salt ... Read More
I understand how a norovirus can happen aboard a huge ship like this. But, I want to say we were not informed until days later what was happening. This was our 33 cruise and we could see signs of something going on. Paper menus, no salt shakers or silverware on tables. Excessive cleaning. We were “unable” to tender into our second port for so called choppy seas. It was glasslike out there. The consensus was they didn’t want us in port or we had to get some more distance so it was too late to turn back. As the days went on it was worse. We saw two people put into ambulances in two different ports. We stayed in our room. I feel Ncl did not inform us in a timely manner. They told the next sailing they left late because of fuel issues. Blatantly lied to them. Our steward was not allowed to vacuum our room or give us ice. So we missed a port, had to stay in our room, cleaning fumes were so excessive all over. We could get no information. Three doors down there was a medical emergency and there were many officers standing in the hallway. They were so rude when we tried to get into our room. Telling us sarcastically nothing is happening. Mind your own business. I feel it was our business as we were sharing room stewards with that room. All in all, a terrible experience. And in debarkation there was nearly a riot. Screaming, passengers because we were waiting for hours to get off. The process was so terrible. I’ve been on 33 cruises. Never complained. We Generally get a haven suite, we’ve had the owners suite, but on Norwegian it’s not worth it. So this time we didn’t. They should have been honest with us so we could protect ourselves early on. After 10+ cruises with them I don’t think I want to patronize them any more. They offered not even one free drink to anyone. It does not pay to be loyal to them. We are platinum plus members. We got a bottle of the cheapest champagne and literally 4 chocolate covered strawberries when we arrived. Very cheap. That’s the Norwegian experience. There are other better lines out there. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We like to travel with friends after the holidays and the ease of departing from NY at the last minute. Great to be able to get to the sunny Caribbean and go from below zero to 75F in a just a couple of days! We liked the fact they ... Read More
We like to travel with friends after the holidays and the ease of departing from NY at the last minute. Great to be able to get to the sunny Caribbean and go from below zero to 75F in a just a couple of days! We liked the fact they we had several sea days to relax between some port days. The chef had excellent menu choices for dinner but of course we would have preferred a varied menu at lunch in the dining room. Bring back rack of lamb and lobster tails! Enjoyed the hot tub every day on deck 16 but no bubbles on deck 19. Loved visiting the spa and the wonderful massage by Gina from the Philippines. The entertainment was excellent and especially enjoyed After Midnight. Our cabin steward was very kind and always available. We appreciated the free laundry and being ready for our next cruise! Read Less

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