This is my 10th cruise - my 8th Norwegian sailing and my 2nd Norwegian Escape sailing! I guess you could say I’m passionate about cruising and especially with Norwegian Cruise Line. I live in Montana so always need to fly to my ... Read More
This is my 10th cruise - my 8th Norwegian sailing and my 2nd Norwegian Escape sailing! I guess you could say I’m passionate about cruising and especially with Norwegian Cruise Line. I live in Montana so always need to fly to my embarkation port to sail. New York City is the least expensive along with Seattle … however, I’m a warm water, sunshine and sand type of cruiser so I most often go out of New York City. This was no exception. I most always fly into Newark Liberty International Airport because it is the easiest and most often the least expensive to fly into and arrange for travel into Manhattan for either accommodations and/or arrival at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal. This trip, I chose to stay at the Newark Courtyard Downtown! They have a “FREE” airport shuttle and the service was exceptional. It also includes a little Bistro for dining and drinks and was very reasonably priced and delicious. I did not venture out of the hotel as I was ready to call it a day after settling in. I took an Uber to the Manhattan Cruise Terminal on Sunday around 12:30 pm and the cost was around $42 (not too bad). It was the first time for the Norwegian Escape to arrive in the Manhattan Cruise Terminal and for whatever reason, it was late checking in passengers. I was fine with it, but as you can imagine, several hundreds/thousands of people were not happy. It didn’t dampen my cruise at all. The cruise line did credit all of our accounts $23 which could have been used towards gratuities or purchases and though I didn’t ask Guest Services, I believe they were being generous and compensating for our inconvenience. I thought this was very nice. Many people wanted more because they were a bit inconvenienced. I think this is why I’m passionate about travel - I truly know how to go with the flow.
Once through security and checked in with key card in hand, I was able to directly board the ship. And, they were ready for us! I was able to go straight to my cabin which was a solo “studio” cabin designed specifically for solo travelers. Upon arrival I received a bottle of champagne, as I’m a Lattitudes Member (repeat cruiser), and a complimentary bottle of water. I will tell you that throughout the cruise I received a total of five different deliveries of either exquisitely decorated chocolate covered strawberries and/or pleasurable and beautifully designed chocolates. They just kept coming. This was truly a lovely and heartfelt touch. A huge shout out to the Hotel Director, Deepak Punia; our Solo Host, Aris Milicevic; Recreational Supervisor, Jing Perucho; Assistant Financial Account, Emmanuel Mugariri for the beautiful gesture of chocolates and chocolate covered strawberries - thank you, truly, from the bottom of my heart! Another BIG SHOUT OUT to Prejith Sukamaran, Executive Chef, for the tasty food and awesome presentation at every meal! WOW! Unsurpassed food and service on this cruise! I had the awesome opportunity to meet Prejith at the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle and he truly goes above and beyond ensuring the food in every venue is palatable and beautifully presented! Thank you, Prejith!
And, a HUGE SHOUT OUT to the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle Gathering! It was above and beyond my expectations! I had the opportunity to meet so many passionate cruisers and staff!!! Thank YOU! Because I am a solo traveler most often, I chose to join the Solo Travelers Group Gatherings, hosted by Aris Milicevic, who was so warm and welcoming to all of us. Throughout the cruise our group continued to grow and grow. As a group, he arranged our dining, entertainment and made the cruise so much FUN! Thank you, Aris, for all you are and all you do! I also decided to take a painting class on this cruise with Vo, and it was so much FUN! Thank you, Vo, for bringing out the artist within! Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos was incredible as well as the comedy acts at Headliners! This is the first time I’ve enjoyed these two venues on a cruise and I will not miss these venues again! I laughed until I had tears running down my cheeks! FABULOUS! The Broadway Entertainment was impeccable!!!! I had the opportunity to enjoy the amazing “After Midnight” and “For The Record: The Brat Pack” musicals! Oh My Goodness - a MUST SEE for anyone who loves music, dancing and drama!
And, I decided to place myself in a performing position when I entered the “Dance Clash” … a Norwegian Cruise Line alternative to “Dancing with the Stars”. I was selected and given an amazing dance partner from the activities team! Guess what? We WON! I was shocked! And, oh did we have FUN!!! Honestly, he was an amazing dance partner! And, it’s really all about having fun and being a little wild and crazy while dancing! It truly was a highlight on my cruise. It’s kinda funny because people came up to me every day after that event to say they clapped and shouted for me and thought I did GREAT! I became a celebrity overnight! Haha!
We spent about three days in Bermuda and I choose to bring my own snorkel gear (new fins and mask) and walked to Snorkel Park and played in the water. It’s a $5 entry fee to the park and $10 for the chair. The temperature was about 72 degrees and it was very windy and the water was a bit cool and I still had a BLAST! The following day I took a free ferry provided by Norwegian to St. George and spent a little time in St. George. The ferry ride was beautiful and St. George is a darling place - so quaint! I didn’t do any paid excursions this cruise and most likely will on my next cruise to Bermuda. Disembarkation was a breeze as usual after enjoying a really lovely breakfast at Savor. Another solo traveler and I shared an Uber to Newark Liberty International Airport which ended up only costing $33 each and that was great! Lots of time to spare before flying back home! Thank you, Cruise Critic, for this wonderful venue, for the awesome roll call for this particular cruise, and for the truly enjoyable Meet and Mingle for our roll call! You're the BEST!!! Read Less