To start, I was on this cruise that got hit by 115mph winds and made some news headlines. I would commend the crew for their professionalism and help during this incident and afterwards. The remainder of this review reflects the cruise ... Read More
To start, I was on this cruise that got hit by 115mph winds and made some news headlines. I would commend the crew for their professionalism and help during this incident and afterwards. The remainder of this review reflects the cruise overall.
Being in the Haven made this cruise a bit more bearable. My wife and I traveled with her mother who was turning 76, she has mobility issues, and this suite made it very easy for us to travel together. The ports and excursions were not terribly appealing so at least we had a nice room! The BEST part: The Haven experience was good and the benefits for priority to boarding and and show reservations and disembarking were invaluable when traveling with an elderly with a scooter and mobility issues. Haven Restaraunt hostess Made' (?) and Charlotte were the stand outs here). The WORST part: The ship overall is a huge headache for anyone with GLUTEN FREE dietary needs. (this is why dining is getting a poor rating btw) Yes, they can accommodate GF requests for dinners but for example, the main buffet area not only lacked a dedicated GF section and much less noting what (if any) foods would be GF. you always had to ask. and sometimes they go in in the back and get you a prepackaged off-the-shelf cookie, or the standard GF dessert of "flourless chocolate cake". We've sailed other cruise lines that were far more accommodating to this. AND it's not that hard to implement. (Charlotte in The HAVEN was very helpful in coordinating GF dinners.) It's a small thing, but it's a big deal for my GF wife. The level of service and price point that we paid for on this cruise, we were disappointed that we had to ask the butler staff to bring GF options. Frequently something would be forgotten for room service and we'd have to remind the staff. Personally I think the Butler staff is stretched too thin. our Butler had to 14 rooms to handle. He was often rushed, seemed overwhelmed at times to the point where we felt bad asking him for things. And we never felt we were getting the attention we were promised.
in the Haven restaurants and others there was poor follow up by wait service., for getting to take a drink order with our meal, we'd have to wave someone else down to get a drink. And on a cruise ship your glass should never be empty. ( again for the price and level of service that was paid for I was not impressed. comparatively other cruise lines attention to such details and service were stand out even at the general dining rooms.) The Moderno stood out as one of the best overall experience and other restaurants on the Escape should look to the Moderno as to how to wait service properly. Anna stands out as the exemplary server here. The shows that stood out were Choir of Man- excellent, and After Midnight was very impressive.. There WAS a Brat Pack show when we booked ,but had ended it's run by the time we sailed, so there was less entertainment to choose from as no replacement show was in place. THANKS NCL! We were hard pressed to enjoy any of the shows in the supper club.
Port of call and shore excurisons- Port Canaveral- we spent the day at epcot and the hour or so bus ride there and back. but we were hard pressed to find any interesting excursions. GREAT STIRRUP CAY. we did not visit, as weather to risky for the tender boats to ferry. from other reviews this seems to happen a lot and I would hardly promote this as viable port call. but looking at those excursions, there doesn't seem to be much to do there anyway that doesn't involve immediately going somewhere else. NCL needs to significantly improve this experience. with out this stop, when made it too NASSAU Bahamas a day early and I appreciated having the time and overnight stay here. NOTE: Nassau Bahamas has very poor "disabled" accommodating excursions and such. and note you are at the end of a very long dock that takes along walk to get to the main shopping area. I made excursion arrangements not affiliated with NCL. and had a great time! Getting back to the ship with 5 minutes to spare! The other activities (pools slides, rope courses etc outdoor stuff )of the ship seemed better suited for southern ports and warmer weather, leaving from NY in early March tends to temper this a bit. I don't feel I got my money's worth here as there were a couple of days on the 7 day cruise where it was too cold to take advantage of this. Lastly, the 678 section with the shops and such restaurants and such. the casino is located on deck 7 and the openness of these atrium type sections means you can smell cigarette smoke throughout the floors. The selections of shops is mostly jewelry and watches. Seriously NCL how many of these repetitive stores do you need??? Get some variety in those shops! And a side note.. their photo area doesn't even sell any gopro stuff. Overall the cruise was just okay, mainly because we stayed in the Haven section of the ship. Doubtful I'd consider another cruise with NCL regardless of the Haven. NCL is welcome to try and change my mind though. Read Less