6 Norwegian Escape Cruise Reviews for Cruises for the Disabled Cruises to Caribbean - All

We had a wonderful time on this cruise on NCL Escape which left on December 9, 2018 from New York. We were previously on this ship in November 2017 when it departed Miami for a 7 day Western Caribbean Itinerary. This was our 3rd cruise ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on this cruise on NCL Escape which left on December 9, 2018 from New York. We were previously on this ship in November 2017 when it departed Miami for a 7 day Western Caribbean Itinerary. This was our 3rd cruise with NCL, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. My wife travels in a wheelchair with me, so we had to book this 2 years ago in order to secure one of the wheelchair accessible balcony cabins, which was wonderful as well. Embarkation of the ship was a breeze, and we arrived at our scheduled time of 10:30 AM, and were onboard with our bags dropped in the room by approximately 11:30. As soon as we got onto the ship we went for lunch which was great. Our dining experience on Escape was fantastic overall. We ate in many different venues of the ship, including the Manhattan Room, Cagney's, Le Bistro, Teppenyaki, Margaritaville, and the Garden Cafe. The majority of our dinners were eaten at the Manhattan Room which is on Deck 7, Aft. We had a wonderful waiter, Archinta Patra who looked after each and every one of our needs, and make sure nothing went wrong at all. We also had a great Maitre' D', Moises Fernandes, who ensured that nothing was missed during our dining experiences. We also had at the 4 night specialty dining package as well, and went to the specialty restaurants mentioned above, and all were great, both in service and food quality. For Port Excursions, we mainly did our own thing at each and every one of the ports. In St Thomas, we took a cab into town from the Havensight Cruise Terminal, and walked around the old town of Charlotte Amalie, which was very enjoyable. There are many interesting little shops and boutiques located there, and I would recommend it as a must if you haven't done it before. In Antigua, our second stop, I organized an Island Tour for both the Cruise Critic and Facebook cruise groups, through a local tour operator, Emelda Frank. She took us on a 5 Hour tour of the island, and we saw all the fabulous things that Antigua has offer, including the spectacular Shirley's Heights and Nelson's Dockyard. If you haven't been to Antigua before it is a must. The great thing about this tour is that she was able to accommodate my wife in her wheelchair, and we were able to experience everything that the island has to offer. Our next stop after this was Barbados, where I met up with an old high school friend, and he showed us around the island. Barbados is wonderful, and I would recommend doing an Island Tour if you have the chance. Our next stop was St Lucia, where we did a COSOL tour of the island which took the entire day. We started first thing in the morning at the ship, and saw the entire island for the most part, including the Volcano, Pitons, Sugar beach, a speed boat ride, rainforest drive, and many of the other beautiful scenery that the island has to offer. I would also highly recommend this tour as well. Our final port stop was Basseterre, St Kitts, where we went to Reggae Beach for the day. I am not a big fan of St Kitts, probably my least favourite island of the itinerary. The reason for this is, there isn't a lot to see and do if you've been there multiple times. I would recommend an Island tour the first time, but other than this, the island has some great beaches and a lot of adventure tourism, which we can't partake in, due to my wife's physical requirements. The on ship activities were very good overall. There were a couple of things that could have used a little bit of work in this department. My wife and I are big trivia fans, and we participate in pretty much all of the trivia events that are offered onboard during the sailing. The one thing that could be worked on here is repetition of questions. With exception of the Progressive Trivia and specialized theme trivia, we saw some of the questions multiple times. Perhaps they could add some more questions to the rotation perhaps so that this doesn't happen in the future. On our previous sailing on the escape last year, we were a big fan of the District Brew Pub, and the live entertainment that it would offer in the evening with a piano player. On this sailing, we tried the venue twice, and had to leave, due to the excessive volume of the piano, which drowned out the singer's voice, to the point we couldn't hear anything. Perhaps this could be improved in the future. The themed parties, ie 70's, 80's and 90's parties were OK, but not as good as the same events on the previous sailing last year. I think that this might have had to do with the cruise director's choices of music, as the director we had last year was exceptional, and the parties were unforgettable. The Service on the ship was wonderful as well. We experienced no issues at all from members of the crew, and the Hotel Directors staff including the Director, Deepak Punia, Assistant Director, Roland Schrock were both excellent, and made sure that all of our needs were looked after. Additionally, the Food and Beverage Director, Kivanc Ucar was fantastic as well. All in all they were excellent, and I would recommend the ship to anyone who asks. I would definitely book on Escape again, depending on the itinerary offered. To summarize, the cruise was very enjoyable, and we had no major issues during the sailing at all. Thanks again for a great cruise NCL. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We just got back from our 7-day Carribean cruise on the Escape. We brought a large group (21 in all) of family - myself, my wife, two kids, her brother, parents and two aunts, and some cousins. Our son is moderately autistic - calm and ... Read More
We just got back from our 7-day Carribean cruise on the Escape. We brought a large group (21 in all) of family - myself, my wife, two kids, her brother, parents and two aunts, and some cousins. Our son is moderately autistic - calm and sweet, but has trouble paying attention or following group instruction. One of the first things we did when we got on board was check into the kids club, where we had a short talk with the directors there about our son and what they could expect. He's self-sufficient and will absorb himself in an individual activity when one is available, and we were told that was fine. That lasted exactly one trip to the club, after which we were told that his disinterest in group activities made it a problem for him to be in the club and that "they can't provide one-on-one care." Since we weren't asking for that and he doesn't need it, this was a bit of a shock. What they had really told us was that they couldn't keep an eye on the whole of their club, since for our son's safety that's all they'd need to do. The issue wasn't one of age groups leaving the club to do ship-walks - we avoid those anyway (he does elope sometimes and needs to be in an enclosed space, which the club is.) This was an issue of the club being understaffed to the point that there were areas that would go unsupervised for stretches of time. While the cruise was Spring Break and there were as a result a LOT of kids on board (we were told between 1700 and 2500 total) this does not fly as an excuse. Spring Break cruises are substantially more expensive - if more staff is needed to properly handle the kids' club that week, more money has been collected. It should be staffed. And the kids' club is the same size, and maxes out at 190 kids, no matter how many are on board. We were extremely disappointed to be told that because there were so many kids, they couldn't give a sideward glance to ours, and singled him out for his special needs, which in an entertainment-packed, enclosed space, drop to zero in any case. This is a shame, because other aspects of the ship are fantastic. There's so much to do on Lido and above that, in spite of the truckload of minors, wait lines for everything were astonishingly short. We never waited more than 5 minutes to ride a slide, get on the mini golf course or use the ropes course. My (not special needs) daughter, I'm sure, would give the cruise all 5 stars. The food is exceptional at all the specialty restaurants we tried, and their one minor mistake (bringing me a well-done steak when I ordered medium rare) was corrected in less than 2 minutes. I'd highly recommend the drink package, if it's included or reasonably priced - not having to sign for every cocktail is an underappreciated joy, and most of them are included. The cabin we had was on the small side, but if you do a little pre-cruise research like my wife did, you can jam all your travel gear into it for 2 adults and 2 kids and not have any in the walkways. Good service abounds pretty much everywhere you go, whether it's getting on or off the ship, dining, or at the bars and lounges, where we were approached several times and asked by cruise directors how everything was going. (I didn't raise my concerns about the kids' club to them at the time, and kind of regret missing that opportunity). The only shore excursion we were able to do through the ship was the Jamaican bobsled and Dunn's River Falls in Ocho Rios, and it was seamless and an eyeful. Norwegian is doing passengers a disservice by docking in Falmouth - Ocho Rios is maybe the most beautiful port I've seen anywhere in the Caribbean, and you can see it from the top of the mountain where the bobsled runs. (To be fair, our itinerary was changed due to damage from Irma and Maria last year, and Falmouth may have been a fallback from Ocho Rios due to port space). We were also supposed to tender at Great Stirrup Cay, but seas were too rough to run the tenders, and based on conversations we've had, it's a common enough occurrence that this should only be considered half a port; there's a very good chance you won't go at all. We steamed to Nassau early instead. Overall I really want to give a high rating to this ship, and if you're traveling alone or with neurotypical kids you'll probably love it. If one of your tykes is on the spectrum or needs anything resembling personal attention from the kids' club staff, though, expect to have them with you for pretty much the whole cruise. We didn't (and shouldn't have), and it put a pretty sizable dent in what was otherwise an excellent sailing. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We choose Norwegian due to it's reputation as a great cruise ship and it didn't disappoint. We had a great time and put some deposit for our next cruise.Ship was very accommodating, very clean. Service on the ship was excellent ... Read More
We choose Norwegian due to it's reputation as a great cruise ship and it didn't disappoint. We had a great time and put some deposit for our next cruise.Ship was very accommodating, very clean. Service on the ship was excellent and the entertainment was super. Food was great, very thing you could ask for. the Journey was great also and the waters we were taken too was really nice. Norwegian private island was super nice and they have buffet lunch with plenty of great food for free. We took two excursions, and they were nice, the host was person the tour guide were knowable with a great history of what the countries and islands had to offer. We did not travel with children but this ship accommodated families and singles, so much room on board that plenty of room to do what you want. This is our 2nd cruise and we'll definite be back. I'll be back on this cruise soon. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
The ship is beautiful, but like someone else already said, way to crowded. Most days you couldn't get near the pools. The crew seem tired and overworked. We traveled on the Sky before and had much more interaction with the crew. ... Read More
The ship is beautiful, but like someone else already said, way to crowded. Most days you couldn't get near the pools. The crew seem tired and overworked. We traveled on the Sky before and had much more interaction with the crew. This time not so much. Our cabin was very nice and spacious, the ports were beautiful and had plenty of places to shop and eat. Dining on the ship was great, we didn't get to try every restaurant. The entertainment was wonderful, however, if you don't book on the first day, there's no chance of getting in to most of the shows. The specialty restaurants either, we had booked ahead of time for the one we really wanted to go to, but then wanted to try others and there were no available reservations at a decent time, only 9:00. It is nice to get away no matter where you go or how you go. Thank you! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Before I start my review I want to let you know how fun the Meet and Greets, Slot Pulls and Cabin Crawls are with Cruise Critic. Our Meet and Greet this time was put on by MIchelle and Chris and they did a fantastic job of organizing that ... Read More
Before I start my review I want to let you know how fun the Meet and Greets, Slot Pulls and Cabin Crawls are with Cruise Critic. Our Meet and Greet this time was put on by MIchelle and Chris and they did a fantastic job of organizing that and the Cabin Crawl. My husband and I did the Slot Pull. For our Meet and Greet we were in the District Brew House so there were beer samples and snack samples being passed around. There was music playing and we got to meet the staff and of course the other nice cruisers. What a blast. From there we went right to the Slot Pull and that was a lot of fun. We actually made $3.00 above our bet. Then on Wednesday we had the Cabin Crawl. This was my first time doing a Cabin Crawl and I was really impressed with all the different types of room we saw. These events are a great way to meet other and to learn more about your ship and cruising in general. I really recommend this especially if it is your first cruise. But it is for everyone first cruise or 30th cruise. Great time!! Ok so now here is my review. I purchased this cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday and my cousins 60th birthday. We went with our husbands. I had been on the Escape before and really loved Tortola and St. Thomas and those were two of the ports were were going to see. After the hurricane devastated some of the islands our stops were to Falmouth Jamaica, Grand Cayman, GSC (Great Stirrup Cay) and Nassau Bahamas. I was not as thrilled with these stops but it was looking forward to Grand Cayman and GSC. Embarkation It went smoothly...no issues at all. Got to our room and was disappointed that the room configuration was not what I asked for. I had a spa balcony cabin and after researching I found that there are two configurations of these rooms. One were the couch is closer to the closet (allowing you much more room to get in and out of the closet) and the other with the bed is closer to the closet giving you less room. Because of my disability (I am getting a two level low back fusion in 3 days) I discussed the rooms with the agent and she was able she said to get me my desired room. Well she did not give me the right room. So when I got to my room I called guest services and they said they said they would send in my concern. Later that day received a message on my phone from some man that said there was no record of this. Since I did not speak with him I have no idea if he knew the correct request or not. So either she did not put the notes in or they were telling me I was lying. Very said for a person who likes NCL and has recommended them to many friends and family. So I was really in a lot of pain trying to bend in this small area to get things that I needed. The Muster Drill was a little longer than usual because you have those people who think they can wander in late...then those who wander in even later...and those who do not care at all and come when they feel THEY should show up. So this makes for a longer time. At my cousin's station a lady was screaming that it was taking to long. I think they had to remove her because she was screaming so loudly. So when they give you your time for the drill please be considerate and get there on time. The Escape is beautiful and there is something for everyone. From a pool, childrens area, slides for both kids and adults putt putt, bowling, Spice H2O a place for adults only. So many places to go on this ship. . Then there are many bars and places to dine. I don't drink much if at all but in order for my husband to get the drink package I had to as well. He also doesn't drink much but being with my cousin and her husband he did drink more than usual. The District Beer house was very nice. We all enjoyed everything about it except the waitress. She was the most unfriendliest person on the ship. They have many types of beers and a cozy atmosphere. You can order I believe 4 different items from the menu, like sliders and wings but it will cost you an additional fee. My cousin and her husband ordered a few things the second night not knowing she had to pay. This was her their first time on NCL. So if you are looking for great beers go here. If you want beer and free food go to Sheehans as it complimentary. The Cabin The cabin was nice except for the configuration as I spoke of above. Everything worked fine. There was enough storage and room for both of us. Our steward was great with the animals in the room. Those are always a treat. And he kept everything nice for us. I should have asked him to fix the bed because there was a piece of plastic that went between our beds where they push them together. I could feel this and it was uncomfortable. I should have requested him to fix it and I am sure he would have. Just kept forgetting after I got up. The pillows on the bed were very nice. Make sure if you are in your room and you want to hear the announcements turn your tv on and go to channel 22 and you will be able to hear them in your room. Dining All specialty restaurants we went to were wonderful. We did La Cucina, Cagney's and Tepanyaki. All of us enjoyed our meal. In fact in the Italian they had tbone steak...kinda sad they took out the ribeye. But I was so stuffed after eating the pasta that I told our waiter to skip my steak. My husband got it so I had a few bites of his. I just did not want to waste a steak. So yes there is definitely a lot of food at these restaurants. And the desserts are great except for the Tepanyaki. I do not like either of the two desserts they offer. Green tea cake and fruit sashimi. I wish they would add a few other choices like the other restaurants have. We also went to Taste, Savor and Manhattan Room for dinner as well. All were very good. I love when the strip loin is on the menu and I was so happy I did not have a specialty reservation that night. Oh and really make your reservations for the specialty restaurants as soon as you are able to on line. Otherwise you may get shut out. We tried to change a time on our 630 La Cucina reservation to a 530 reservation so we could get to a 730 show. This was the first night I tried and they were booked. So this is really important if you want to get reservations. Entertainment and Activities. We get the spa package so most of our free time is spent there. And being disabled it really helps me feel good. My cousin and her husband did the slides and they loved them. My cousin is 60 and her husband 70 and they had a blast. So the slides are not just for kids. We only ended up with one show and that was the For the Record the Brat Pack. It was excellent. We saw it the last time on the ship but it was in the Supper Club. So being in the Theater gave it a little difference. Still excellent. I would recommend it. But there is some strong language so I would not recommend it for smaller kids. Spa We love the spa and so we got the spa balcony our room was so close to the steps and we could go directly up to the spa on the next floor. This spa is a little more expensive than on other ships but it has more. There is a steam room which is great and then right after we would go into the ice room for like a minute or so and boy is that refreshing. You are not even cold. They also have a salt room which I went into but then after reading the sign inside that says people with diabetes and high blood pressure should not use it, I got out. It would have been nice for the sign to be on the outside like all the other signs. They also have two types of saunas as well. And what is nice on this ship is that I could go in these with my husband. On the Gem and Dawn these areas were inside the women's areas so you could only go in by yourself or with other ladies but not with your spouse. I like this much better. They had many heated loungers and they were great about removing towels for people who were saving them while they got a spa treatment. I like that they were pro active in this area. There are also many regular loungers that are very comfortable. We had a relaxing time in the Thermal Spa!! Ports and Shore Excursions. This is where we were really disappointed due to weather conditions. Our first stop was Jamaica. We did a food walking tour that was excellent. We did not do it from the ship but directly from the website. Look up Jamaica Culinary Tours if you are interested. Next stop was Grand Cayman and we had a three stop snorkeling and stingray experience with Captain Marvins. Another one that you can book directly with them. 3 snorkeling stop and then the stingray stop for $45. Another guest said he booked Captain Marvin through Shore excurioneer and paid more. But it did not matter what we paid because after we got off the ship we found out that the port police or port authority would not let the snorkeling tours go out. Not private ones and not on the ship. Boy we were disappointed. I went with Captain Marvins about 6 years ago and it was amazing. So we walked around just a little bit since it is hard for me to walk and we went back to the ship and to the spa.. Next stop Great Stirrup Cay. We were really excited to see there island and lay in the sun and have a bbq. another highlight of the trip that did end up happening. Due to the weather we could not tender and therefore could not visit the Island. The captain took us directly to the Bahamas and we got there at 1pm on Thursday and stayed overnight and spent the entire day there on Friday. I am not big on the Bahamas so was pretty disappointed. But we did find a snorkeling tour with the ship to Athol Island. It was only $50 so not a bad price. We went to one snorkeling spot and it was really chilly out. But I did get in and snorkel for awhile. Many of us just stayed in about 15 minutes but there was enough time to snorkel a lot had it been nice out. Service The service on the ship was great!! Everyone except for the waitress in the District Brew House and our waiter in Cagney's had a smile on there face. I am for the most part always smiling and try to stay happy so I like when I go on a trip and the service staff is also happy. Just a shout out to Leyda in the Manhattan club. She was so sweet and so nice we all wrote the comment cards out about her. I hope she and the other crew members had a good time in the Bahamas. Since we were staying overnight there the crew got to enjoy some of the sites. What a nice break for this hard working staff. We would definitely go on the Escape again. We think it is a great ship. Lots to do and great food. If you have any special requests I would make sure you put it in writing. You do not want to have happen to you what happened to us. I am doing that with our next trip on the NCL Bliss to Alaska so I can get the room configuration that will be good for me and my disability. If you decide to go on the Escape have a great time! We sure did! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I organized a group for a craniofacial theme cruise (craniofacial birth defects), called Fabulous Faces at Sea: The 2016 Craniofacial Cruise. I ended up hosting a 17-member group. My travel agent (who also has a granddaughter with the same ... Read More
I organized a group for a craniofacial theme cruise (craniofacial birth defects), called Fabulous Faces at Sea: The 2016 Craniofacial Cruise. I ended up hosting a 17-member group. My travel agent (who also has a granddaughter with the same craniofacial condition I have) found this cruise line, routing, ship, date, and pricing for our group. She was able to get me into a Studio (solo occupancy) cabin on Norwegian Escape. My mother also came along (a late booking) and got a neighbouring Studio cabin with a connecting door to mine. Our group had some group-specific activities onboard (a Q&A session for me and my mother to answer questions from the group about my condition and how she raised me, as well as an ice cream social) on our days at sea, as well as a group-specific shore excursion (Coral World and Coki Beach on St. Thomas USVI). From the time we boarded Escape in Miami on August 6 through the time we disembarked in Miami on the 14th, the service aboard ship was excellent. Mark, the cabin steward for both my cabin and Mom's cabin, went out of his way to serve our needs and made our cruise special, by leaving towel animals and other surprises in our cabin each night. One night, the Studio social manager left a sweets tray on our beds. Mom and I loved our Studio cabins--they were cozy yet space-efficient, comfortable with wide beds, and the decor was unique and funky (I loved the colour-changing mood lighting). I highly recommend NCL for solo travellers! The Garden Cafe buffet was our favourite place to eat breakfast each morning, and when our group were not having dinners in the Savor and Taste dining rooms, Mom and I had our dinners at the Garden Cafe. For our group dinners, both Savor and Taste restaurants served us beautifully, with gourmet meals (which we loved). On my own, I enjoyed O'Sheehan's Bar and Grill, the Irish pub (and it was my favourite dining spot for solo dining). On the last night of the cruise, I took Mom (on a mother-son date) to Le Bistro for dinner (ribeye steak for two with French cabernet sauvignon). The waiters in Savoy, Taste, and especially Le Bistro, were attentive in serving us while being very friendly. After my mother retired to bed (she's of advanced age), I enjoyed the nightlife, dancing away the evening (and wee hours of the morning) with new friends on Spice H2O and in the Skyline Club. During the day (especially on days at sea), Mom and I enjoyed just relaxing in the deck 6 forward atrium and listening to the piano music and entertainment (and we even saw a towel animal folding demonstration and cupcake icing demo) and soaking in the hot tub and sunning on Spice H2O. My mother was given priority attention during embarkation with wheelchair service, and the same upon disembarkation. All in all, the cruise was excellent in all aspects, and NCL worked well with our group (including some of us with medical needs and mobility issues). I would definitely cruise NCL again (and use the Studio cabins again). I plan to host more Fabulous Faces at Sea Craniofacial Cruises again in future years, and NCL is on my radar. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Norwegian Escape Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Service 3.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

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