Sail Date: July 2018
As a first time cruiser, my family of 8 and I enjoyed this cruise thoroughly. The cruise had many activities for all age groups. The cruise had excellent food choices and tremendous amount of variety of food. The cleanliness of the ship ... Read More
As a first time cruiser, my family of 8 and I enjoyed this cruise thoroughly. The cruise had many activities for all age groups. The cruise had excellent food choices and tremendous amount of variety of food. The cleanliness of the ship was outstanding. The crew was so friendly, attentive, always came by to say hello during meal times. The amenities of the ship were excellent and extremely clean. The buffet had a huge variety of food options - you coul even personalize your meals if you like. The cruise also provide a late night snack bar - which would start after 9:30 p.m. and had great tasty food, such as fried chicken, chips and salsa, crepes, etc. The cruise also had great entertainment on the ship. There were numerous game shows - such as Deal or No Deal with audience members - that one prizes up to $1300. The cruise also had theaters, a steakhouse, sushi restaurant, italian restaurant, and many more, a gelato store and lots of activities for people of all ages to participate in. We were sailing during the world cup of soccer time zone an the ship streamed the games live and that was a great perk on top of all the other activities available. The staterooms were very clean, the stateroom stewards made the room dtwi ce a day, even if not marked on the door. They also paid attention to details, and were always available and very helpful. Overall it was an excellent experience. I just wish we had an extra day at the port of Bermuda to explore. Other than that, the cruise was an amazing experience and I would highly recommend it ! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We love Norwegian Cruise Lines and this was our fourth cruise. The ship is just to big with too many passengers for the space aboard. Finding an place to sit or lounge is hit and miss. As with any other cruise line there is a problem with ... Read More
We love Norwegian Cruise Lines and this was our fourth cruise. The ship is just to big with too many passengers for the space aboard. Finding an place to sit or lounge is hit and miss. As with any other cruise line there is a problem with people placing stake and not being there. I did see a great attempt at the pool to mark lounge chairs that had towels on them. Wait staff was fabulous and supervision was always checking to see that you are happy. Tobacco Road only had one bartender the entire cruise. District Brew house was our favorite and Vinnie was the BEST! The Cellars is marked up about 300% but with the Beverage package that was not a big deal. We stayed in cabin 13788 a mini suite. The only difference between this and a balcony is the shower and sink. Nothing special in the bathroom like a spa suite. Book the balcony and save! I'm very pleased that there are sharp containers in the cabins. Being Diabetic this was a big help. But I ask why you cannot find sugar free ice cream anywhere including Dolce Gelato. Norwegian always has sugar free deserts but that's it. The ship really needs to provide more shade as not everyone is a sun God. The people in the connecting cabin kept us awake until 3am with constant fighting and slamming the cabin door. I can honestly say that we could not wait to get off that ship. Will we continue to sail on Norwegian, yes! in fact we only have one more sail day to reach Silver status. I blame this all on the Norwegian Gem! To date, it was the best ship we have ever been on across the cruise lines we have taken. Every show was booked and we did not see any of shows. Any tickets that were available were to late or conflicted with dinner reservations. I'm always upset when I see reviews like this posted as the crew will go out of their way for you. I can tell you that the 5 of us will not sail on the Escape again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We just got back from the cruise today and had a great time. Bermuda was beautiful, and the ship staff were all very attentive, helpful, and fun. Our cabin steward was very nice and provided excellent service. Embarkation wasn't ... Read More
We just got back from the cruise today and had a great time. Bermuda was beautiful, and the ship staff were all very attentive, helpful, and fun. Our cabin steward was very nice and provided excellent service. Embarkation wasn't too bad. We had the 11-11:30 time block, which is probably more crowded than earlier ones so there was a bit of a line to get your photos taken and ID cards from NCL, though it wasn't a big deal. Disembarkation was long; they said there were high tides which delayed everyone from disembarking so more people were getting off the ship in less time. I'm not sure if they could have pushed everyone back accordingly, though I guess they are on a tight timeframe since they have new passengers boarding today. It took a while, but once we were off the ship, it was pretty quick to get through Customs. In the big scheme of things, this wasn't really a big deal. Dining - Our package included 3 specialty restaurants. Of the 3 we did, the hibachi (Teppanyaki) and Brazilian (Moderno Churrascaria) ones were really excellent - the food and service were both amazing. These two restaurants are also an experience since the chef cooks the food in front of you at the hibachi place and the different waiters cut the meat at your table at the Brazilian place. We also liked the steakhouse (Cagney's), just not as much as the other two. - We also did the 3 main restaurants for dinner - Savor, Taste, and Manhattan Room. They all have similar (or the same) menus; Savor and Taste look very similar to each other - they are right across from each other, too; Manhattan Room is more upscale looking and is in the back of the boat so has nice views if you're sitting towards the back. The service at all 3 was excellent, and the food was really good, too. - The buffet (Garden Buffet) was consistently good. There is a lot of seating and food/beverage stations at the buffet. It seems like people sit and get food/drinks at the stations near the entrances so these are naturally more crowded. I recommend walking around a bit and you'll likely find more/better tables to sit at and less lines to get food/drinks (e.g., omelets, etc.). Entertainment We just saw the 2 main shows - "After Midnight" (about 1-hour) and "For the Record - The Brat Pack" (about 1.5-hours). We liked "For the Record - The Brat Pack" a lot more. However, this is likely a matter of preference based on how old you are and the type of music you like. The ropes course with zip-lining and slides were closed on and off during the cruise based on the weather/winds. My advice is if you want to do either/both of these and you see it is open, just do it right away since the weather may force it to be closed at a later time. Both were a lot of fun. It can get very windy on the ropes course so they're closing it for safety reasons. The Splash Academy is great for kids so parents can have some time to themselves. They do a great show on the last day in the theater where all the kids participate. Bermuda The first day, we went to Horse Shoe Bay Beach, which is beautiful. There are a bunch of taxis once you get off the ship and walk right down the pier. The prices are listed and are very reasonable. The second and third days, we went to the beach that is in the Royal Navy Dockyard (where the ship is docked). It is a short walk from the ship. It is a man-made beach so there's really no waves, but it's still the ocean and is really good for snorkeling and for little kids or anyone for that matter. There is a $5 admission fee which I believe is free for those under 5 and senior citizens. We also booked an excursion directly with the tour operator - they have a small office right when you get off the pier where you can book various excursions (we did Captain Kirk's Glass Bottom Boat and Snorkeling Tour - it was awesome). The best thing about this cruise is that you are in Bermuda for almost 3 full days so you can enjoy Bermuda and not have to worry about when to get back to the ship. Random notes: - For a ship this size with so many passengers, it would have been nice to have a third elevator bank. We had a stroller sometimes so we had to take the elevator; otherwise, it's not too bad/long taking the stairs if the elevator is not there right away. Overall, not a huge deal, though. - I understand why they don't give out plastic straws anymore, but they should look into paper straws or something similar. A lot of the bar drinks are kind of meant to be drank with straws. - It may have been just me, but the automatic soap dispensers in the bathrooms seemed to not work right away - I think you have to put your hand underneath and waive your hand slightly (rather than putting your hand there and doing nothing). - A lot of the daily events (newlywed game, dance lessons, etc.) took place in the Atrium. On past cruises I've been on, events like this draw a large crowd and thus take place in the theater where there is a lot more space. Overall, it was a great trip and we would definitely cruise with NCL again! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
A friend and I planned a "girlfriends cruise" to Bermuda to celebrate the start of summer. We compared Bermuda itineraries and prices from NCL, Celebrity and RCL and chose NCL's seven day cruise to Dockyard Bermuda from Manhattan ... Read More
A friend and I planned a "girlfriends cruise" to Bermuda to celebrate the start of summer. We compared Bermuda itineraries and prices from NCL, Celebrity and RCL and chose NCL's seven day cruise to Dockyard Bermuda from Manhattan with free internet and three speciality restaurants included. My friend had cruised NCL previously and assured me that I would love it. However, I had heard some negative feedback and was a little apprehensive. Specifically, I was worried about being "nickel and dimed" and about the quality of the food as people had told me that the only way to get a decent meal on NCL was to dine at the specialty restaurants every night. Happily, those critics were wrong. For the most part, I did not feel that NCL upcharged too much, and the meals were excellent. Embarkation: We arrived at the port at about 11 a.m. The driver didn’t seem familiar with the area, and almost dropped us where people were disembarking on the first level. Make sure you go to the second level for embarkation. There is no one to take your luggage onboard on the first level. Since it was July 4th week, the port was packed, and we heard that the ship was full. Still, everything seemed efficient and we had no trouble getting our stateroom keys and entering the Escape. Staterooms were not ready, so we had lunch in the Manhattan room. The food was delicious and the service, as it was throughout the cruise, was very friendly and competent. After lunch, we spent the time before our stateroom was available making dining and spa reservations. The safety drill was relatively painless. We left port on time at 4 p.m. The view of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty is a real highlight of this cruise. The Escape's public spaces: The ship is well-designed, clean and I felt at home and able to find everything pretty quickly. The Atrium area has a two-story video screen, which was great for activities and for the passengers interested in the World Cup. There is a cafe that serves Starbucks nearby, which we frequented every morning. I loved the Waterfront area for sitting and relaxing. Although the ship was reported to be full, it never felt crowded no matter where we were. We did not use the outdoor pools or any of the bars. The spa and gym: The spa is part of the Elemis chain. I've visited them on many cruise lines and find them a little too aggressively profit-oriented. We both purchased the week long spa passes, allowing us access to the thermal spa, whirlpool, salt room, snow room, sauna and steam rooms. The young woman at the spa desk charged $246 per pass. She then gave us little fabric sacks of scrubs, so we could apply them ourselves, something we were both unlikely to do. She said, "These come with it." Well, not so much. The scrubs were billed separately on our accounts, which showed $219 for the spa pass and $27 for the scrubs. Once we realized this, we told the spa manager that we wanted to return the scrubs. She said that they were part of the package, but billed separately "for inventory purposes." However, she agreed to take the scrubs back and credit us. Apparently, the only time you can buy the spa pass without the scrubs is during the "terminal special," so I would recommend buying your spa pass in the terminal unless you want to pay extra for the scrubs. On our first sea day, I had a lime and ginger exfoliation and massage with Sheila O. She did a fabulous job and was very warm and professional. My skin felt incredibly soft. However, like all Elemis employees, she was forced to end the massage with a pitch for nearly $200 in products to promote my sense of relaxation at home. I declined and added what I calculated her commission would have been to the gratuity. Note that gratuities are included in all purchase totals, though you are free to adjust them. We spent most of the at sea days on lounge chairs in the spa, looking out at the ocean. Sometimes we used the salt room or the thermal lounges. If you are looking for a week of peaceful, childfree relaxation, I would definitely recommend buying a spa pass. The gym has plenty of cardio and weight machines. It can get busy, but I was always able to find a treadmill, especially if I went mid-morning or mid-afternoon. The equipment is fairly new and easy to use. I didn’t take any classes, but they do offer yoga, spin and Pilates as well as other fitness classes. The stateroom: We booked a large balcony stateroom. The room was adequate in terms of clothing storage. Both of us were able to fit all of our clothing in the closet with no problem. The safe was in good working order and we used to store our valuables. The room had a small refrigerator, which we did not use. The twin beds were comfortable, though I kept feeling that my feet were sticking out. I am not that tall, so it may have been a function of how I sleep. The phone glows a bit in the dark, so I found that I had to cover it with a hat or a piece of paper in order to get the room dark enough to sleep. We did not use the television. The large balcony is 70 sq. feet. It has two chairs and a table. (For comparison, a standard balcony on the Ruby Princess is 46 feet, on the Disney Magic, it is 45 sq. feet, and on the Holland America Noordam is about 55 sq. feet. Honestly, this did not feel that much larger than those, but a standard balcony on the Escape is 45 sq. feet as well.) For two people to sit and talk comfortably, I would recommend the large balcony. The stateroom was new-looking and everything worked properly. Our steward, Kumar, was very friendly and responsive to our requests. Dining/Beverages: We bought the water package for $54 and drank most of the bottles, but still had a few left when we returned. However, I would buy it again because I like to hydrate frequently in the summer. The Atrium Café has Starbucks coffee. Prices were the same as Starbuck’s on land roughly. The young woman behind the counter remembers your order every morning, which is pretty amazing. Savor: We ate here for breakfast and found the food and service excellent. There was always fresh fruit and some kind of special pastry. The multigrain waffle is particularly good. I ordered the vanilla pound cake French toast with chocolate sauce one morning. It is very decadent, but if you want to treat yourself, this is the way to do it. Also, I asked the waiter how to make sure that I don’t get liquid egg whites in my omelet. He said to specify that I want a “fresh egg” omelet. The fresh egg omelet was excellent. Garden Café Buffet: Neither of us is a big lunch eater. We were content to make salads at the buffet for lunch. I love Indian and Jamaican food, so if I saw mataar paneer or jerk chicken available, I went for it, and it was delicious. There is a sign that says roti is available upon request, but I did not request it. The Manhattan Room: On the nights that we did not visit specialty restaurants, we ate in the Manhattan room. I had heard rumors that NCL makes the food in the main dining room inedible to promote the specialty restaurants. This is not true at all! Every meal that we ate here was delicious. We are both health-conscious and the variety of salads and generous portions of vegetables are excellent. There is also always fresh fruit for dessert. The only problem I had was with the European red trout. I am allergic to salmon and apparently red trout shares some properties with salmon, so I started to itch and had to trade my entrée in for chicken that night. Service here was excellent. I am not a big drinker, but I like a glass of wine with dinner when I’m on vacation, and I really enjoyed the Silverado Chardonnay. The Key Lime cheesecake was far and away my favorite dessert. Bayamo: This was my favorite specialty restaurant. There was a $10 surcharge on top of the specialty dining package, but whatever. It was so worth it! The seafood was all super fresh and artfully arranged. My shrimp entrée was excellent. Teppanaki: This was a lot of fun. We each had chicken with soba noodles. The tabletop chefs were real showmen and ours had a good sense of humor. There was a 12 year celebrating his birthday at our table, and he clearly thought this was the best thing ever. Le Bistro: This was another terrific meal. The goat cheese salad was very good. I had the steak with five peppers. Steak au poivre is one of my all-time favorite entrees and this version did not disappoint. I was trying not to eat dessert, but when confronted with a hazelnut Napoleon, what is one to do? The service in all of the restaurants was excellent. Entertainment: We booked the Comedy Club one night, but got there a few minutes late and found no seating. I guess the moral is to be on time. The “Escape the Big Top” room was fun, but no one in the entire group had solved the puzzle in 45 minutes. The ringmaster said someone had solved it earlier in the day, though. It was our first escape room, and I thing I would have benefited from just a little more direction. Both my friend and I are usually pretty good at puzzles and brainteasers, but not in this instance.. The Bob Marley cover band was a lot of fun. They really got the audience engaged. The front woman has an excellent voice and the drummer is great. The Battle of the Sexes competition divides guests into two teams, but a lot of the humor depends on breaking traditional gender conventions i.e. it is considered funny to watch men passing an object by their necks other men, women dress as men, etc. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, but I kind of think some of this humor is a bit passé. Shopping: We didn’t shop a lot on the ship, but be aware that the perfume and jewelry prices were cheaper in Hamilton than on the Escape What we did in Bermuda: On the first day, we took the ferry and did some shopping in Hamilton. (We purchased the two day bus and ferry passes, which saved us some money.) We also had a cool smoothie and scone at Glaze. The Marks and Spencer has some lovely things, and it is refreshing to stop in a town that isn’t only Tanzanite International and Del Sol. Hamilton’s pastel buildings and charming, and it is a picturesque place to visit. That evening, we did the Sunset Catamaran Swizzle Cruise. This was so much fun. The weather was perfect. Our guide, Smitty, gave us about a 20 minute narrative on the history of Bermuda. He is very knowledgeable and funny. Rum punch was unlimited, but it wasn’t really a rowdy booze cruise so much as a fantastic way to relax and watch a Bermuda sunset. This is a fairly priced and very enjoyable excursion. Thank you, Smitty, Ella and Baxter! On our second day in port, we took the ferry to St. George, planning to tour the Lily Bermuda perfume factory and have tea. In fact, the tour and tea is only on Wednesday and Saturday, so we looked around the Lily Bermuda headquarters, a charming old house, and then took the bus back to Hamilton. The bus ride was fun because we got to see a lot of the island and it was all gorgeous. Once back in Hamilton, we had an excellent lunch at Angelo’s Bistro. There is indoor and outdoor seating there. We chose indoor. The dining room has lovely artwork. Lunch for two (gravlax for my friend, a goat cheese zucchini tart for me and bottled water) was about $50 with tip. We are from New York, so we are used to that, but this is certainly pricier than restaurants in some Caribbean ports. On our final day, we took the excursion to Horseshoe Bay Beach. We had been warned that it would be crowded, so we waited until the last day in port, hoping all of the other beach enthusiasts would have gone already. This strategy, coupled with the fact that the Celebrity Summit had some sort of equipment trouble and had not sailed that week, meant that the beach was not at all busy. Our bus driver, Miss Val, drove us to Horseshow Bay safely and quickly. We rented two loungers and an umbrella ($40 or $45 plus $5 for the kid who set everything up) and had a lovely few hours. The water was clear and the surf was strong enough that you could body surf, but was not dangerous. There is a casual restaurant and very clean public restrooms at Horseshow Bay Beach. While you can take a cab for less than the excursion, we felt that since the ship was leaving that day, it would be prudent to take a ship-run excursion, so that if there were any delay, the Escape would not leave without us. Disembarkation: We had breakfast in the dining room and disembarked around 9:00 a.m. The process was efficient and easy. Take aways: This was the first time that I’ve sailed out of New York. As a New Yorker, it was unbelievably convenient. I will definitely do it again. As for NCL, I was very impressed. The quality of the food, service, and entertainment was excellent, and the criticisms that I had heard in the past weren’t the least bit valid. I would definitely recommend this cruise and will probably take it again next summer. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We were looking for a family cruise to start the summer, as we do every year. We've been solid RC customers (with a little Princess and yes even Carnival once), so this wasn't our first time on a ship however this is the first time we've ... Read More
We were looking for a family cruise to start the summer, as we do every year. We've been solid RC customers (with a little Princess and yes even Carnival once), so this wasn't our first time on a ship however this is the first time we've felt compelled to do a review. Every cruise line seems to have it's ups and downs and NCL - Escape was no different. Hoping this review helps others in navigating the cruising world. Embarking If you're used to the fluid embarking in say Miami, Ft Lauderdale or Tampa, brace yourself. Unless you're in the Haven (which have the "special lines") you are in for a switchback line up that would make Walt Disney cry. Four "port security officers" checking names on passports with tickets before you hit the metal detectors. Parking above the terminal was convenient for the almost $300 parking fee! Cabin Family oceanview on deck 5 portside, 5156. If you are going to travel with a family of four, this is your cabin. It's a standard cabin but the space that would have been part of the balcony was included in the cabin space. Once you get by the main bed, there is not enough room for a small carry on to roll between the end of the bed and the wall, there is lots of space and a curtain that nicely separates two main areas (sitting / bedroom). The bathroom has a double sink and a full tub (with a solid glass wall that easily closes). Our cabin steward was, well, average to slightly below average. We got the required towel animals and he was good to exchange our towels (cabin ones and blue pool ones) on a regular basis. Beyond that, he never introduced himself, never said more than "hi" if we saw him in the hall, never even asked if everything was in order. Also, once the pullman was down, it never went back up - so the "couch" was useless. FYI NCL, this is one of the reasons why I hate gratuities added daily. If you're good, you'll get tipped, if not, no tip. Food We've been telling friends, family and now this review, the food was a solid, 3 out of 10. The up-selling restaurants, and you have to be on your toes on which ones those are, were useless for a family. Only two of us got the meal package so the kids were "extra", which means $30 each for dinner. Even at those up-selling restaurants, the food was nothing to write home about. The buffet was just sad. Granted that Royal Princess was one of the best we've ever had and Windjammer (place any RCL ship name here) is a close second, NCL needs some serious work in this area. There are four primary food areas (your "mains") two desert areas, and the worst salad bar (it's less than 10 ft long with a handful of options) at sea. The late night snack is almost the same as lunch (fries, burgers, hot dogs, nachos, and some desert - same as from dinner!). Even the Grandeur of the Seas pulled more together in a late night snack. Entertainment Like the cabin, it was the other high light of the cruise. Thanks to Alvin and Jo Jo for all they did. Sailing from NYC over Independence Day, you have to expect an amount of celebration for the majority of US passengers. Alvin even had a Canada Day celebration (for the 87 fellow Canadians on board). It was a nice touch that really made our day. I'm sorry Alvin as I for got the name of your boss (so I could mention her name here and get her attention for you). The floor shows and entertainers were some of the best we've ever seen. If you haven't watched "The Choir of Man" you need to see where they are traveling and catch the show (although the food was standard NCL - 3 out of 10). Deck / Pool There is little to no deck space around the main pools. It's hard to call them pools as our hot tub is almost as big as them. The main pool is "adults only", which is hard for our son who likes to just sit with us but clearly doesn't pass as an "adult". The kid pool is, again small, and full. There is a slide and water park, both are well used. The slides are fun but were useless on the day at seas when the waves were a little rough (also as useless was the rope course on that day). Disembarkcation Walk your luggage off! It's easy and we were off in less than an hour with minimal line. Overall The technical hiccups we encountered at the start, kids ship cards got the unlimited drink packages and we had to straighten that out (why you'd give an 11 year old an unlimited alcoholic drink package is beyond me). Trying to fight to get restaurant reservations once on board (our online reservations were magically erased around three weeks before) in the end was unnecessary as we could have used in the smartboards around the ship to book. If only someone has explained this before! Which is another major point, every cruise line is different and we've learned the "rules" on other lines, no one took the time to explain the NCL "rules" to us. This really was a negative factor in our vacation. An unlimited drink package but you still have to pay the gratuities. Dinner packages that aren't worth it. No place to lay by the pool or even sit in it as a family. If you've already booked, and you're checking reviews to see what you've done, don't worry, you'll have a great time, but you need to plan a bit and look beyond these annoyances. For us, we'll pass on NCL next time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We booked this 7 day cruise to Bermuda at the last minute, roughly 30 days from sailing. We sailed from NY, which was convenient enough for us to drive up from VA. The ship is massive with always something to do. The crew was friendly ... Read More
We booked this 7 day cruise to Bermuda at the last minute, roughly 30 days from sailing. We sailed from NY, which was convenient enough for us to drive up from VA. The ship is massive with always something to do. The crew was friendly and always available. For such a large ship I was pleasantly surprised at the cleanliness of it. I was not impressed with the good. After a few days, the choices were repetitive and not necessarily appealing. I understand the task of providing food for 4000+ people, however I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was disappointed. Not a deal breaker by any means. Not too many adult only options. 1 “adult only” pool which always seemed to have kids in it, along with all the hot tubs having kids in it. I don’t dislike children but sometimes adult space is needed and that aspect was lacking for this cruise. There are plenty of bars, shows, activities to participate in. We had a balcony room which provided plenty of space for our luggage. We utilized the space under the bed to store our suitcases. The bathroom was clean and spacious as far as cruising goes. One lesson we learned is that departure port is a HUGE factor that influences the passengers on the ship. I can say with a fair amount of certainty that we won’t ever cruise from NY again. That’s not a ding for NCL, just an observation/opinion. Overall we had a wonderful trip and would happily sail with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
My daughter picked this cruise in order to get married on Bermuda. I’m handicapped and everyone was so polite to me. We ate in different restaurants. Obviously, the included ones and we spent the money for the very pretty ... Read More
My daughter picked this cruise in order to get married on Bermuda. I’m handicapped and everyone was so polite to me. We ate in different restaurants. Obviously, the included ones and we spent the money for the very pretty upgraded restaurants!! I am being honest about the food. I was told by veteran cruise clients just how wonderful the food was. I was disappointed with the food. It wasn’t bad , but it certainly wasn’t amazing food. I was disappointed with the food. So was my husband especially since we were told that the food was exceptional! We picked the upgraded beverage/alcoholic package since my husband prefers certain brands of alcohol. We were SHOCKED that bottled water was not included in our upgraded beverage package. Since I drink a lot of water, we were inconvenienced to go down to the 6th deck to order bottled water which was an additional price. We both enjoyed the cruise and especially enjoyed our balcony. I’m sorry that I can’t say that we would cruise again with Norwegian but we did get wonderful service from the young man who took care of our room!! His name was Jake and he was EXCEPTIONAL!!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
The kids said it was the best vacation ever. We were a group over 30 people and there was something for everyone to do at all times. The crew went above and beyond to help the group make our reservations and we were all able to eat ... Read More
The kids said it was the best vacation ever. We were a group over 30 people and there was something for everyone to do at all times. The crew went above and beyond to help the group make our reservations and we were all able to eat together. The food and service was excellent. The only negative comment i would make is they no longer have straws on board because they are saving the ocean. That's great but they still use plastic cups and if your not using plastic straws anymore then use paper ones like they did in Bermuda. There is so much to do on this ship for the kids. They all said it was one of the best vacations they were ever on. Made so many friends. If your looking for a great family vacation this is the one for you. Many shows to chose from but I would tell you don't miss the dueling pianos. It was great. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
This was my first cruise experience, and while it was good overall there were some things that dampened the experience. Prior to the cruise I was able to take care of many things on the web site such as excursions and seeing the ... Read More
This was my first cruise experience, and while it was good overall there were some things that dampened the experience. Prior to the cruise I was able to take care of many things on the web site such as excursions and seeing the entertainment on board. I found this very helpful. It would have been much better if they also had the schedule of events prior to getting on board. The specialty dinners that we went to required reservations, and had we known about the entertainment schedule we would have adjusted our plans to enjoy it. Unfortunately we ended up having to get reservations later in the evening and missed a lot of the entertainment. Norwegian has an app for mobile phones, which only works on the ship. It doesn't really tie into anything done on line before the trip. It would be much better if the app was fully integrated so that you can have everything in one place. Purchased excursions don't show up on the app. Also, if you want to use the app to call other apps on the ship it's $9.99. This would be great, except that they charge you per minute for talking. Since this is only over their internal WiFi, that's just gouging the customers. Also, the app wouldn't work all the time. Several times it would not connect and show information. Speaking with other passengers this was very common. The other problem is that not everything showed in the app. We were deciding what to do one evening and several items that were on the daily printout were not in the app list of events. The app is a very, very poor product and they need to either fix it or eliminate it. The embarkation process was pretty poor. Norwegian has you select a time to arrive, as early as 9:30 am, however when you get there you are handed an arbitrary group number to board with. We were some of the first people to arrive, and had to board with group 21. Might as well showed up at 1:00. Once on board it was fantastic. The buffet was hopping, plenty of food for everyone. It was very busy with everyone getting on the ship, but there was no shortage of food and it was excellent. Our stateroom was beautiful. Very clean and comfortable. The cabin steward was really great too. We would come back after swimming, shower and use the clean towels, and when we came back later he had been in and cleaned up again leaving fresh towels. The "Free Style Cruising" is fantastic! The buffet and one of the pubs serves food 24/7. The complimentary restaurants are amazing. No reservation needed, and the food, service and ambiance is outstanding. The "Manhattan Room" with the live music while you dine was really great. The specialty restaurants are excellent as well. Food, service, everything was just great. **The one major problem with this ship is the cigarette smoke. They run the casino through the middle of the ship, and through an area that's open for 3 decks but don't have sufficient exhaust. We dined one evening at the french restaurant on deck 6. The casino was above us on deck 7. While the food and service were excellent, the smoke was disgusting. There's nothing worse than choking on smoke when you're trying to enjoy a good meal. Overall I enjoyed the cruise, however I would not go on the Escape again. If Norwegian finds it important to allow smoking, they should have it in a closed room with proper exhaust. Having to inhale second hand smoke removes any desire to be on the ship, and there are plenty of other cruise lines. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our ninth Norwegian cruise. We found the Escape similar in lay out to the Breakaway...with a few extras. Drove to the port Sunday morning and as Platinum members, embarkation was a breeze. We had booked a spa mini suite ... Read More
This was our ninth Norwegian cruise. We found the Escape similar in lay out to the Breakaway...with a few extras. Drove to the port Sunday morning and as Platinum members, embarkation was a breeze. We had booked a spa mini suite and it didn't disappoint. Our Room steward Wilford was outstanding. He was always near and never in the way...just outstanding! The room was large enough for the two of us, but what makes the mini suites special on the larger Norwegian ships is the bathroom...extra large shower, double sink, and very nice soaps, shampoo, conditioner, and body lotions. The Spa was larger than the other ships we have been on. If you do the spa, do not miss the tile loungers...I wanted to bring it home again. The spa was quiet on off times, but heard from a fellow passenger that the first sea day it was loud and crowded. We had made reservations for dining for the week 120 days out online, so there was no problem.. Was disappointed that the menu at Bayamo had changed as I was looking forward to a Latin twist! That being said...the seafood menu closer to Ocean Blue was outstanding. Loved Le Bistro, Cagney's and La Cucina were ok. The real gem was Food Republic. We went for Lunch one day and skipped The Manhattan Room for Food Republic for dinner...outstanding. The brew house was nice, didn't spend much time there but to have a couple and the meet and greet for Cruise Critic was there. They went all out for Cruise Critic. The Casino was very nice. The executive hostess Lauraine , and Casino manager Stephen were very nice. I had a disagreement with both about win/loss that remained unresolved.....I respectfully disagreed with them about the number and I will leave that as it is. I found the dealers on this ship were a little reserved. On other ships, the dealers were personable and fun to be around...they made losing fun so to speak!!!! Bermuda was Bermuda....Bermudiful! Overall a very nice experience. Smooth sailing both ways. Read Less
Norwegian Escape Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Service 3.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

Find a Norwegian Escape Cruise