20 Norwegian Escape Cruise Reviews for Spring Break Cruises to Caribbean - All

Let me start by saying that we absolutely love Norwegian and the Escape has always been our ship of choice. This past cruise however was a bit disappointing. There were a few things that really stuck out to us and really prompted me to ... Read More
Let me start by saying that we absolutely love Norwegian and the Escape has always been our ship of choice. This past cruise however was a bit disappointing. There were a few things that really stuck out to us and really prompted me to write this review. I'll start with the good. Embarkation and Debarkation were a breeze. We arrived at the port at 11am and were on board by 11:15. At the end of the cruise we left our room at 9:00 and were in a taxi by 9:15.Our balcony cabin was beautiful and we had great service from our room steward. We did specialty dining at Teppanyaki, Cagneys and La Cucina and they were fabulous as always. No complaints there. The buffets were good and we ate at Taste and the Manhattan Room as well. All positive experiences. We saw some great comedy on the ship as well. Keith was absolutely hilarious and I would highly recommend checking out his show. We checked out Beau Tehana at the District a few nights and he was great. Very interactive and he played great music. Definitely check him out if you get a chance. Now to the not so great. We have always loved NCL for the entertainment. This cruise was the worst we've seen. Our Cruise Director Scott was boring and awkward. Not much of a personality. He wasn't visible and was always very odd He didn't host the main pool game or a lot of the other games in the Atrium. We only saw him once getting off/on at port which I found odd. He never engaged the audience and without King or Terry nobody would have participated in anything. We've cruised with several really great CD's and he didn't even compare. Tyler Gray was always our favorite and seems that ever since he left the Escape the entertainment has suffered. This cruise also didn't do a lot of the normal Norwegian games that everyone loves. There was no "Miss Norwegian" and the sexy legs was also underwhelming. We typically love sitting and watching Karaoke as well and both nights that we went there were no singers so we left within 10 minutes. Another issue we saw was the DJ. He really only played Latin music that nobody knew so the dance floor was always open. We only heard the Cupid Shuffle once and we didn't hear The Wobble the entire week. These two have always seemed to by main stays but they were definitely missing on this one. Even at the Glow Party when everyone was up and ready to party they played about 5 songs that everyone knew and then switched to Latin music and everyone cleared out, really disappointing. The 80's party was pretty average and Norwegians Night out as well. Nothing super memorable. Another thing to note if you plan on cruising the Escape is the pool chair situation. We had to get up to get chairs WELL before 8am or they were all gone. We did have an older crowd on this ship and they were up super early taking up all the good seats. NCL is also now tagging chairs with times and removing your belongings within 60mins. A little annoying when breakfast can easily take longer than this and then you're without a chair for the entire day. Overall we didn't have a horrible cruise but we definitely didn't have a memorable one. The Entertainment has definitely changed on this ship and it was well below our expectations of a NCL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The Escape is a fairly new ship and is very nice and has a luxurious feel. This is nicest part of the cruise. There is no dought that this ship is way over crowded. There is major lack of deck and pool space on this ship. When building ... Read More
The Escape is a fairly new ship and is very nice and has a luxurious feel. This is nicest part of the cruise. There is no dought that this ship is way over crowded. There is major lack of deck and pool space on this ship. When building these ships they have taken away pool and deck space to add special features like water slides and rope courses. Those added features are nice but in the process used up to much space that should have been used for another pool. The ropes course is billed as the largest on the sea. It also takes up a large amount of deck space. This is suppose to be an added feature for the boat. However the days at sea when you would like to use these features it was closed because its to windy on deck. So on days when the decks are the most crowded you can’t use it. 4200+ passengers onboard and one adult pool and one kids pool. The food was what I would consider average at best considering our previous cruising experience. The free style dinning is a nice concept, but almost impossible to make reservations for a party of four weeks in advance of the cruise. If you wait until you are on the cruise to make your reservations you will be eating after 9 pm every night. The specialty restaurants on board had better food than the main dinning room however it was not as good as the main dinning room of other cruise lines like Royal and Disney. There maintenance staff needs help. During the third day on board our toilets in our stateroom stopped working for more than 36 hours. What ever was wrong affected 50 staterooms. Not a fun when you have to run up three decks every time you need to go to the bathroom. This is where there customer service completely missed the mark. There was no help from them at all. No sorry for the inconvenience or compensation of any type. After it was over all we received was a note reminding us not to flush anything but toilet paper. This but a major damper on our cruise. Overall customer service was lacking. NCL adopted service fees instead of tipping. I understand the reason behind this but it seems the staff is not interested in doing anything to please you or help you. In our previous cruises our room attendant would introduce themselves the first day and check with us everyday if we needed anything. We went this cruise and never even met our room attendant. Bar service was very slow and the drinks were not made constantly. The way a drink was made from one bartender tasted completely different when made by a different bartender. Many of the wait staff in general seemed to strugle with the English language. I have done 7 other cruises and never had so much trouble ordering food or drinks. With a ship this big the problems even extended to the shore exersions. To many people packed into one group. We did a sail and snorkel on a cateraman that normal held 75 people. They put 92 of us onboard. Then when we were ready to snorkel they did not have enough mask and fins for everyone. After complaining to NCL again they did nothing. We tried NCL hearing it was very nice and a step above many of the other cruise lines. We found this not to be the case. It is several steps below other cruise lines. My family will not cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Our cruise was great! Only downer was we went during spring break and there happened to be a senior trip on board too. Which is fine but, there were a lot of drunk 18 year olds that were not fun to dance near during the theme nights. I ... Read More
Our cruise was great! Only downer was we went during spring break and there happened to be a senior trip on board too. Which is fine but, there were a lot of drunk 18 year olds that were not fun to dance near during the theme nights. I wish there were more activities that target 30 year olds. There were a lot of activities but we never seemed to find anyone around our age range. Also, we went on the Dunn river falls with bamboo beach club excursion. It was a lot of fun except it just felt PACKED at the falls and very very rushed. We kept getting told to keep moving so we didn’t get an opportunity to really take any nice photos in front of the falls together. The service was outstanding and ship was always super clean and easy to navigate. At one point my Apple Watch fell out of my beach bag on the ship. It took the security team only a day and a half to track it down. They made me super happy and I was impressed how on top of it they were. I was happy to end the trip on a happy note! The shows were ALL super amazing. Our favorite being Brat Pack and Company Men. The pool was nice to have the ledge to sit on. Drinks were pricey- only regret was not getting the drink package. The library was one of our favorite spots! I had a allergic reaction to my sunscreen and couldn’t go in the sun so it was fun to be able to play card and board games and meet others. The books in there all looked brand new too! Everywhere we ate the food was exceptional! Our favorite was garden cafe of course and Food Republic. Ronin (washy washy guy) always made us smile and laugh as well as our room steward Chotbal was amazing! Working in the hospitality industry too I was quite impressed with all the environmentally friendly features they had onboard too. Like the electricity turns off in the room when you leave, the rooms don’t have trash bags, the stewards use paper bags to dispose trash, you need a key card to turn on the lights and outlets in the room, you have the option to reuse towels, and they don’t use plastic travel size bottles for shower things. They actually have soap dispensers in the shower which was really cool. Overall the cruise was fantastic. We hope to go again soon! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Overall the Escape was very nice, and the crew is extremely dedicated to customer satisfaction. The buffet food was very good and there was a lot of choice in what to eat at each meal. Breakfast was our favorite. Getting on and off the ... Read More
Overall the Escape was very nice, and the crew is extremely dedicated to customer satisfaction. The buffet food was very good and there was a lot of choice in what to eat at each meal. Breakfast was our favorite. Getting on and off the ship for ports and excursions was very smooth. The housekeeping staff (Jimmy) did a fabulous job and always addressed us by name, including our 15 year old son. We really enjoyed the sports area with bowling, skee ball, darts, etc. The only downside to the Escape is that there are only two pools for over 4000 cruisers. One is an adults only pool most of the time and that excluded our 15 year old and the other was full of toddlers. None of us ever got in a pool the entire week. We'd go out early to sit by the pool - before 9 a.m., but all chairs were already taken or being saved. A lady on one of the excursions told us that you had to be at the pool by 5:30 on sea days to get a chair, and she was one of those people who was doing that. Not us! No way! Fortunately, there were only two sea days. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This trip was a high school senior break trip for my daughter and her friend. The two girls, myself and the friend's mother stayed together in a Large Balcony room (Room 9726). I was initially a little worried about the space with ... Read More
This trip was a high school senior break trip for my daughter and her friend. The two girls, myself and the friend's mother stayed together in a Large Balcony room (Room 9726). I was initially a little worried about the space with 4 women in one room, but since I had purchased some magnetic hooks to hang additional items on the wall and a shoe storage holder for miscellaneous bathroom products, we seemed to make it work with no issues. This was a Western Caribbean cruise and my opinion is that a balcony room or higher was the only way to go. Our Large Balcony room had a table, 2 chairs and a lounge chair- with no obstructions to the view. We used it often! The cruise director was great on this ship- he had a bunch of very fun events planned that the girls (and parents) had a great time at. Food was good in the main dining rooms. We chose the specialty dining package as one of our free perks- Cagney's Steak House was our favorite! I would not have paid money for the upgraded dining experience but was happy getting it for free. We also chose the Ultimate Beverage Package as our second free perk- ended up being a very valuable choice to have that since drinks averaged $10+ per drink. I think this perk is overpriced if you purchase it, however was totally worth it getting it for free. The bartenders were great at all of the bars. Tons of activities on board this ship- nobody was ever bored! We did excursions in Jamaica (Kayaking and Dunn's River Falls - great! Bring water shoes), Grand Cayman (Catamaran and Stingray City- fantastic!), Costa Maya (snorkeling was cancelled but still had a great time in port), Bahamas (picked up another snorkeling excursion since the other one in Costa Maya was cancelled. Was great!). Embarkment and Disembarkment all went smoothly at all times. Will cruise on this ship again for sure! :) Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We were nervous at first going on a large passenger boat. Friends had selected it but were pleasantly surprised. We never except getting on the boat the large amount of people on it. That being said we did not choose NCL excursions so can ... Read More
We were nervous at first going on a large passenger boat. Friends had selected it but were pleasantly surprised. We never except getting on the boat the large amount of people on it. That being said we did not choose NCL excursions so can not comment on them. Our room was 15756 Spa balcony. The spa was wonderful. We loved the walk in jaccuzi. And with the exception of the last sea day, was never crowded. We didn't see our room steward much and only one day did he not bring us ice in the afternoon. The room was nice no drawers, though. The hints of bringing magnet hooks is a good one. We did not. The pool can be very crowded but we only laid out one time (Not a sun worshiper) that would be a big drawback for anyone looking for pools. Overall it was a great experience with great old and new friends. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I had never cruised before setting sail with Norwegian Escape. I had heard plenty of stories and had an idea of what to expect, but this experience was more amazing than I ever could have imagined! We were absolutely blown away with every ... Read More
I had never cruised before setting sail with Norwegian Escape. I had heard plenty of stories and had an idea of what to expect, but this experience was more amazing than I ever could have imagined! We were absolutely blown away with every new meal, drink, excursion and activity! The excursions were fairly priced and easy to navigate. As first time cruisers we were a little nervous about the process of getting on/off the ship, but between the cruise directors daily announcements, our Freestyle brochure, and easy to follow signs we had no trouble at all! Every ticket we needed for the excursions were brought to our rooms and we had reminders every morning of where to be at what time! The entire staff was courteous, friendly and helpful! We made friends with a hand full of bartenders, Oodesh, Gilbert and Christian, who were all funny and amazing with a shaker! We were taken great care of in every dinning hall, which were mind blowing on there own. The food, the atmosphere and the service was incredible. The entertainment was diverse and fun, every step you took there was a new activity going on to fit the needs of every guest on board. If we never had to leave, we wouldn't have! We considered hiding in our closets!! Thank you Norwegian Escape! We have a new, amazing way to travel!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We booked this cruise with a group of neighbors for our kids spring break. The prospect of a spring break cruise was already a bit concerning and those fears were realized once we boarded to find 1400 children under 18 on board. The ... Read More
We booked this cruise with a group of neighbors for our kids spring break. The prospect of a spring break cruise was already a bit concerning and those fears were realized once we boarded to find 1400 children under 18 on board. The crew told us it was the largest number of kids ever on this ship. We were originally scheduled to visit the USVI and BVI plus Nassau but last fall's hurricanes shifted our route to Falmouth, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Little Stirrup Cay, and Nassau. I was disappointed but I guess it was in our best interest while the islands continue to recover. EMBARKATION: Arrival at the pier was the normal chaos of Miami. I can't fault Norwegian for the incompetence of Miami Dade County. The check in and boarding were as smooth as could be expected given a packed boat. We were on board before noon and headed upstairs for a bite and some sun. The cabins were ready by 1:45 and we found our way to our home for the week. CABIN: We had a Family Mini Suite (M2) which was a decent size for a cruise ship. The room was clean except for an odd stain on the carpet near the door. I did not care for their color choices of brown and tan carpets but whatever. There was enough room for our clothes, bags, and such stored in the closet and cabinets. Our Steward was friendly and available to support us when we needed him. PORTS: Falmouth was not the worst port I've visited but was nothing more than a pier and a handful of shops (including a Starbucks!) Grand Cayman is ok but I'm never a fan of tender ports. We were not able to stop at Little Stirrup Cay because of the sea swell (another tender port) so we proceeded to overnight in Nassau. I actually like the change and the ability to spend the night in Nassau. SHIP: With so many kids expected, I would have thought there would have been WAY more activities planned for the kids. I thought wrong. The Splash Academy kids club was at max capacity for most of the trip even know it offered terribly inconvenient hours of operation. The Guppies nursery was not nearly as crowded but was equally inconvenient in their operating hours (especially with the itinerary change and unexpected closure during our night in Nassau). Norwegian totally goofed when this ship was build by only having two banks of elevators. The max capacity of the ship and the placement of the elevators was so poorly designed. It would take forever to get an elevator and then stop on every floor both up and down. Every part of the ship was so painfully crowded during the two sea days and whomever decided to put Guest Services next to the Atrium activity area also made a horrible mistake. It was impossible to talk to someone without shouting. Despite constant video warnings about not reserving deck chairs, the entire pool area was unavailable by 9:30am on our first day at sea. I have no problem moving towels that are just left on a chair so I was able to find a spot but the fact remains the worst part of cruises is your fellow cruisers. Despite some very strong wind and rough seas, the ride was smooth. I really disliked Norwegian's approach to supplemental charges for so many things. Room Service is still "free" except for the $7.95 "convenience fee" for each order. SERVICE: Service was hit or miss. Some of the crew was amazing and others were so checked out it was obvious they didn't care. Getting a drink at most bars was a chore. The dining staff was decent. The folks who work the Garden Cafe (buffet) deserve an award for their patience and hard work. The complaints we did pass along to Guest Services were met with total indifference which was really disappointing. ENTERTAINMENT/ACTIVITIES: I didn't bother with the shows. The activities were decent. The ropes course was closed most days due to wind and packed (one hour plus wait) when it was open. On both sea days the water slides did not open until 10am. I cannot for the life of me figure out why they would hold the kids hostage until 10am. This goes back to my point about adjusting their schedule to accommodate the crush of kids on the boat. DINING: The Garden Cafe was so crowded at times that I just turned around and left. 1400 kids and four ice cream machines was a recipe for disaster. The Margaritaville restaurant was an add on charge (14.95) and I never saw anyone there. It was a large space that was empty or close almost the entire trip. Likewise the "Five O'Clock Somewhere" bar was almost always closed or used for activities. We ate at La Cucina and Teppanyaki. Both were quite good and the service was decent. DISEMBARKATION: We arrived in Miami around 5:30am and the process of leaving started. We were packed and out of our room just before 7am to walk off. We found the holding area as we awaited clearance to leave. As per normal there was a maze of ropes and staff directing everyone where to go as you left the ship. Off the ship by 7:40. In the car by 8am. Home by 8:45. One of the small joys of living in South Florida. SUMMARY: All and all I was disappointed by the cruise. The price we paid was sky high so maybe my expectations were equally (and unrealistically) as high. I appreciate the crew dealing with the obnoxious throngs of tweens and their constantly full plates of food left for garbage as well as their entitled attitudes. We were fortunate to be traveling with friends so we made the best of all we could. I think NCL would best be served by using this ship on a better run. Skip Jamacia, Grand Cayman and the private island and try to find locations that have a pier so tenders are not part of the equation. I'll probably avoid NCL for awhile or until they get their act together. Read Less
Sail Date March 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 chose to cruise on 3/24 since it aligned with our spring break. The pricing was decent and it aligned with our flights. Port/Embarkation: Miami as always is excellent. The short distance from airport ($27 flat fee for cabs) is ... Read More
We chose to cruise on 3/24 since it aligned with our spring break. The pricing was decent and it aligned with our flights. Port/Embarkation: Miami as always is excellent. The short distance from airport ($27 flat fee for cabs) is decent and there are decent hotel options for the night before. We arrived at our designated arrival time of 9:30am and were ushered into a line at security. We were allowed to move into the terminal at 10am. Check-in took around 5 minutes and we were given our card for boarding group 1. Juice, coffee, and water were available--however both bathrooms in the waiting area had out of order signs. We waited upstairs until 11:30 when our boarding group was called--there was a little confusion over which doorway to go through--there needed to be a bit better signage. We were onboard by 11:35 and were able to get signed up for the kids club and eat lunch at the buffet by 11:50. It was nice being able to get to the waterslides and pools while others were just arriving/eating lunch. A relatively smooth process--easily the fastest I have had in the last few years. Ship: We really loved the ship--I was on the Breakaway to Bermuda in 2016 and the Escape has definitely improved on many of the issues I had with the Breakaway. The District is the most significant improvement--it was a great space to gather and listen to music. I also loved the Tobacco Road bar. My wife and her sister enjoyed the Manhattan Room ambience. The ship felt less gimmicky (no Ice Bar like the Breakaway). The water slides were great and my daughter loved the aqua park. It was definitely a full ship and deck space was at a premium but we were able to find chairs when needed. The amount of people made it virtually impossible for bar staff to get to you at your chair so you had to go to the bar for drinks on deck but this wasn't too much of an inconvenience. The pools were very cold saltwater and were small for the number of people on the ship. I really liked the public rooms and the waterfront is still one of my favorite places to relax--lots of wicker chairs/couches/lounges to relax with friends/family. I wish there was a venue like the Spinnaker lounge on the Jewel class ships where Trivia and game shows can be done--the Atrium seats just don't cut it and there are too many people moving through the area. Everything was spotless on the ship. Restaurants: We ate at Cagney's the first night--the steak was excellent and the service was great. The Manhattan Room was very nice and the band was terrific--service was very good and the waitress doted on my daughter. Taste and Savor serve the same menu as the Manhattan Room but offer views a little closer to the ocean. Le Bistro's menu has definitely improved--the meal was one of the best I have eaten on a ship. The Teppanyaki room was great. I really cringed at paying extra for Margaritaville at Sea--I am not a big fan of the music and I couldn't see where the $14.95 would be worth it. My wife wanted to go so we went and it was fabulous. I really liked the Conch Fritters, the volcano nachos, fish tacos, and key lime pie. The atmosphere was great and they played excellent music. The buffet was the buffet--a wide assortment of decent quality food. I love having the English rasher bacon and bangers in the morning to be able to have an English breakfast. The crepe station was a favorite of my daughter. The Restaurant Manager (Jay Hizon.) was great--very visible and took excellent care of my family. My daughter loved the gelatos and cupcakes at the bakeshop. I think there was only one or two dishes we weren't thrilled with and that was more our taste buds than the dishes themselves. Service time was good in all restaurants but was slow in Margaritaville (but the bartenders and waiters made sure that we were stocked up while the kitchen crew got themselves out of the weeds). Loved having the Washy-washy guy onboard--he was on the Norwegian Jewel a few years ago when we sailed out of Houston--nice to see familiar faces. Entertainment: This was by far the best batch of entertainers I have seen on an NCL ship. We thoroughly enjoyed the Howl at the Moon guys, Beau in the district, Orly on guitar, the eastern European couple singing cover songs, and the After Midnight and Brat Pack shows. My only issue is the way the ticketing is set up for the comedians and the Howl at the Moon shows--we can book the big shows months out but we have to book this stuff on board the first day which is a pain. The cruise director, Scott, was very visible and did an excellent job. Crew: We went to the Meet and Greet for Cruise Critic (thanks so much for the others who organized it). The meet and greet was in the district and included some great appetizers and samples of beer--we enjoyed it and it was actually a better party than the Latitudes party that was later in the day. We met the various crew/officers and they talked to us and gave us their cards. Usually this is the end of things with the crew/officers but Jay Hizon (Restaurant Manager) and Deepak Punia (Hotel Director) went way out of their way to remember us and we felt pampered on the cruise. Definite kudos to them and their crew who were very friendly the entire cruise from deckhands all the way up--we rode the Disney Wonder in July and the NCL staff was actually friendlier and went way above the level of service we experienced on Disney. Kids Club: My daughter was coming off a Disney Cruise in July and we weren't sure how things would go. Initially the first two nights she was very excited about the kids club. Loved the games, loved the themes, etc. The third night the kids club tried to call us but the messenger system we paid $9.99 for doesn't work unless you always have the app running--we didn't know this. She was unhappy and wanted to leave. Turns out the activities were very organized and if you didn't want to do one of the activities you had to sit out but you didn't really have anything to do--she was used to Disney where there were things you could go play and do your own thing. This was a problem on two or three nights of the cruise as there were activities she did not want to participate in and she would have to sit out--she was particularly unhappy with a Russian guy nicknamed "Ice" who was very stern and was not particularly nice to the kids. She loved the spy themed night and overall I think she was okay with Splash Academy but she had a lot more fun on the NCL Jade and Jewel but that could also be her age. Shore Excursions: Terrible. This was the worst aspect of this cruise. It would have been so easy for NCL to make this right but this was by far the worst shore excursion experience I have had on a ship. I understand that the route was adjusted due to the hurricane damage and that the ports were a little overwhelmed with the amount of people from the MSC Seaside and other ships but NCL really screwed up the basics. Falmouth, Jamaica--Dunn's River Falls/Reggae Hill: We went to the tent/meeting place where we were supposed to gather for our excursion--there were several hundred people from the Norwegian Jade and the Escape mixed in the tent--the signs for the tours hung from the ceiling of the tent but some of them were reversible and had a different tour on each side of the sign which with the strong wind was blowing around so it kept on changing which tour was supposed to line up behind it. We arrived 15 minutes early--we ended up waiting 45 minutes and as we watched each group go we wondered when it would be our turn. We looked for NCL staff but it was all Bamboo Beach personnel and they did not know what was going on--they finally realized that they had forgotten about us and boarded us onto a bus with about a 20 year old tour guide named Shalene. They then realized that they boarded us wrong and made us change buses. The excursion was supposed to last the day and return around 3pm--giving us two and a half hours on shore before the boat left at 5:30. We drove the hour to Ocho Rios which was a pleasant drive through Jamaica. We arrived at Dunn's and there were huge lines--we waited over an hour to get down to the falls and were never quite sure which line we were supposed to be in or where we were supposed to go. The falls were crowded and it was kind of miserable. We left the falls at like 1:00 and arrived at Reggae Hill about 20 minutes later. They served local food which was relatively tasty and some mojitos and rum punch which were okay. The setting was pretty enough. The dj was blasting music which cut the tranquility and our tour guide had to serve us lunch which meant she had to walk long distances with a tray from a buffet setup. Not real ideal. We boarded the bus at 3:30 and had to make a scheduled shopping stop and an unscheduled bathroom stop. The onboard time was 5:30 and we pulled into the parking lot about a quarter mile from the pier at 5:17. NOT a relaxing experience at all. Shalene and Lenny the bus driver did their best in a bad situation and I would not fault them. Grand Cayman--Sea Turtle Preserve/Stingray City: We met in the Manhattan Room at 8:20 in order to ride our tender to dock. When we arrived at the dock it was again not real well marked where to find our gathering area. We found a few others and gathered. A representative of the tour comes by and quietly begins telling people the tour is cancelled. We looked at each other in disbelief. He said we should go back on the tender and get our money back. We ended up hopping a cab with a lady and her daughter that had been on the Jamaica fiasco with us and rode to the Royal Palms on Seven Mile Beach. We paid $4 per person for the van ride to the Palms, $2 per person entrance and $12 per chair and $15 per umbrella for a seat on a beautiful beach with bar service, a pool for 18+ year olds, restaurant, wifi, and waverunner/aquatic rentals. We loved it--was definitely a great experience and there were lots of vans making the trip back and forth to the ships. It filled in later in the morning but we had our chairs and the beach was great. Great Stirrup Cay: The whole trip was cancelled as it was too rough to tender. In the end we got an extra sea day and the ship sailed to Nassau and docked at 3pm. It was actually great--I hate Nassau because it is usually hot, crowded with cruise passengers, and dirty. This time the other cruise ships had all left, it was mid-70's, and the port had cleaned up significantly--thoroughly enjoyed our walk around the city. The VIA restaurant across the street had good WiFi. Nassau--Blue Lagoon Dolphin Experience: Once again we were given instructions to meet on the pier. NCL staff directed us to go stand by the palm tree--there were 5 palm trees in the area and we could not clarify which one. There were tons of people around us for several different tours and the Celebrity Summit and MSC Seaside were dumping off passengers as well. I heard someone say there is the boat for Blue Lagoon Dolphin Experience and a group started moving--again no clear direction--we followed and got on the boat. Others stayed behind--turns out we went early but we got good seats on the boat before it filled. It was an anxiety filled experience again and caused arguments over whether to stay or go. Once we got on the water the boat ride was narrated and was great. This was well worth the money. The island/lagoon was beautiful--loved the water and was a great place for families. The dolphin experience was also terrific. Did not want the day to end. There is a rush to get to ferries back to Nassau so make sure you leave plenty of time to get back to the ship/go shopping. The NCL shore excursion experience sucked on the Escape. I would say I would book on my own from now on but I always get nervous about a tour not making it back to the ship. I would have no problem with the Blue Lagoon or Seven Mile Beach but I might be a little worried about going out on my own in Jamaica. Basically NCL could fix the problem easily enough--I saw MSC passengers on tours and each tour had a cruise ship crew member with the group. Each member of the tour group had an MSC sticker with the number of the tour/group so that everyone could stick together. If NCL would have everyone meet in a room on the ship and pass out stickers and send a crewmember (anybody that speaks a moderate amount of English) with the tour I think it would alleviate a great deal of anxiety/confusion. Someone from NCL on our bus in Jamaica that could have reassured us that we weren't going to be left in Falmouth would have been welcomed. Also I am not sure why we had to go all the way to the dock in Grand Cayman to find out our tour was cancelled--this should have been communicated before we ever left the ship. Overall: We loved the ship, loved the crew, loved the entertainment, thought the food was good and had a great time. The major drawbacks were the NCL organized shore excursions and crowded deck space. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We are a a family of 4 with a 10 year old and 13 year boys. My 10 year old enjoyed the "dolphin" club and my 13 year old loved the teen club. The top deck activities were perfect for "hanging out" while my husband and ... Read More
We are a a family of 4 with a 10 year old and 13 year boys. My 10 year old enjoyed the "dolphin" club and my 13 year old loved the teen club. The top deck activities were perfect for "hanging out" while my husband and I enjoyed all of the show, stores and games inside the ship. The game show activities were especially hilarious and very entertaining. The staff was amazing, fun, and very helpful. The only few "complaints" I have are that the AC was on blast all the time and the whole ship felt like a refrigerator. The other was the food. While the food did taste good the variety was nothing to write home about. They served the same foods everyday and the restaurants that were included in the "free package" didn't have very many options. I also thought the two "twin" beds in our room were very uncomfortable. I think next time we may try another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Chose this cruise for the timing (spring break), cost seemed reasonable, looked like there were plenty of kids' activities, NCL has a good reputation for its food quality. Also, $15 corkage allowed me to bring many good bottles of ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the timing (spring break), cost seemed reasonable, looked like there were plenty of kids' activities, NCL has a good reputation for its food quality. Also, $15 corkage allowed me to bring many good bottles of wine on the ship. The food was great. Really tasty from the buffet to the specialty restaurants. My wife and I don't drink a lot of alcohol, so it was important to us to be able to bring good wine on board, which we were able to do for just $15/bottle. That's a good deal for drinking $100 bottles. Of course with any gathering of 5000 people, there are trashy other guests. The Cruise ship staff was absolutely awesome...but those other guests are rude, inconsiderate, selfish...leaving many of their kids unsupervised acting like animals all over the ship. It was also difficult at times to get good chairs by the pool. The layout of the Escape leaves a "good side" and a "bad side" depending on the direction of the sail/sun location. It's not a super wide-open floor plan so you really need to know the direction you are sailing that day, then get up early to get a seat...but the one thing I liked is that they enforced the "no saving seats" policy...they'd tag your seat and take your belongings if somebody else arrived and wanted your chairs if you have not been there for an hour. I love that! More places need to do that. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I can't say enough about how much I wish I had spent my money elsewhere. My biggest complain is the staff. On our 7 day trip, there were only 2 staff members that weren't either incredibly rude or simply just there. As young ... Read More
I can't say enough about how much I wish I had spent my money elsewhere. My biggest complain is the staff. On our 7 day trip, there were only 2 staff members that weren't either incredibly rude or simply just there. As young adults, we were passed over at the bar multiple times in favor of older patrons. Even when the other passenger would say "they were here before me", the bartenders would either ignore or literally say "I don't care, what do you want?". I have been on multiple cruises with other lines, resorts, hotels, Airbnbs, and I have never been treated so poorly and felt more like I was so unwanted by staff. Our waiters simply just didn't speak-which could have been due to their very poor English skills. The food was good with some major exceptions. I had a friend find a toenail in his soup, have a raw chicken sandwich, and raw meatballs. When the food was cooked properly, though, it was good, although there were not many different options day to day. Don't let the ultimate drink package fool you- it's not all that ultimate. There is a certain dollar amount which is included and after that amount you have to pay-which they don't inform you of, of course, until you get your bill. You were also charged if you got more than 2 glasses of wine with dinner, which we did given dinners took quite a while with 10 people in our group, and you weren't made aware of that charge either. But, the package overall was a good value if you're looking to drink a lot- which we did given there wasn't much else to do on the ship during the day for young people. The cabins were very nice and the roomy for being on a cruise ship. The housekeeping staff did the minimum, but it was enough for what we needed. I found the entertainment options to be lacking and a bit repetitive. Another huge downfall was the lack of information given by staff. Had you not been on a cruise before, you wouldn't have known a lot of what to do. We were unaware of how to book a tender to shore or that that was even an option. We usually heard about activities through the grapevine. They were wildly unclear about the fact that you had to go get different color luggage tags for when you wanted to leave the ship. Many of my group were first time cruisers and had no idea what was going on and little to no help was given from the staff. They also skipped going to Norwegian's private island where everything was included due to high winds and safety reasons. I was told, though, that they only stop at their island on every 1 out of 5 trips and to avid cruisers that's a known fact, so that's a real shame and seems a little shady. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
BOOKING: This was a group trip planned almost a year ago. We were a group of 7 of various ages. I booked directly through NCL and booked a studio (solo) cabin to myself. We didn't give a thought to the fact that this might be during ... Read More
BOOKING: This was a group trip planned almost a year ago. We were a group of 7 of various ages. I booked directly through NCL and booked a studio (solo) cabin to myself. We didn't give a thought to the fact that this might be during spring break. I like the fact that you can pay towards your balance, so I split my bill by the months I had and paid a little each month. Then I paid my gratuities (and air fare). That really took the sting out of paying for vacation! Also, I got the UBP booze package included as well as $75 in OB credit. Prior to leaving, we all downloaded the iConcierge app. BACKGROUND: I'm 41, but look much younger (which I'll allude to later). I usually get along with anyone and like talking to new people, but I really dislike crowds and foolishness. This was my 4th cruise and 2nd on NCL. Others were RCCL and Princess. We're from New England where snow was still on the ground. ARRIVAL: We went down a day early mostly to avoid any issues with flights and weather. We pub crawled around FLL and had a great time. I (traveling alone at this point) took the Port shuttle the next day from FLL to the docks for $20. There's some bad reviews on google, but the experience was great. I even called an hour and a half early and asked for a pickup which they did. That means I was THE FIRST PERSON IN LINE to board the ship. First. Period. I didn't notice no one was collecting bags. I had to stand at the entrance until it opened (9:30a). Then I sat waiting for the xray (10a) which is when I realized no one else had their luggage. But I threw it into the machine and no one batted an eye. I went to get my room card. I didn't notice a seperate line for rewards members, but whatever- I was first. And then we waited again for boarding (11:15ish). I made friends with a few people including the person who happened to be staying in the cabin next to me! Some were trying to get on the ship asap to get the Vibe pass. I had no interest, so I let them go ahead of me. When I got on, they say the rooms aren't open until 2pm. I went immediately to my room with my luggage and it was ready, so I settled in. Great job steward!!! THE CROWD: I read reviews about the ship being very crowded. I also read some that said it was fine. Being a person who appreciates some quiet, I decided at last minute, days before the cruise, to get the Thermal Spa package (more on that later). But overall, with the exception of a few events, I didn't feel the ship was all that packed. I didn't have issues finding seats or tables. I had no interest in lounge chairs, but that didn't appear to be an issue, either. There were a lot of college kids aboard. Thankfully, most of them seemed fairly responsible and in control. The guys didn't seem all that D-Baggy. There was at least one sorority. And I, as a single male cruiser, was happy for the eye candy. My friends and I were asked which college we attended (remember, I'm 41) and I even spent an evening with a 28 year old- enough said, but thank goodness for that single cabin. THE APP: I hear the iConcierge app is being replaced soon. We all bought the $9.99 unlimited onboard texting package to communicate between our 7 people. It was worth it. Though the app bites- you have to continually reload it and it was question as to if and when your messages were delivered. But, again, it was still worth it. You don't need to pay for that feature but instead use it for checking your account and the day's events. not to mention reserving tenders and other events. THE SHIP EXPERIENCE: Our first stop was O'Sheehans. I expected this place to be a corner pub that was largely ignored. In reality, it's the heart of the ship and second only to the main pool- if even that. This is the bar that never closes and has food which any other place doesn't. Being St Paddy's- my first drink was a Guiness. PRO TIP: While in Miami or another US port, you will get taxed on your drinks! You'll see a charge on your NCL app- this is NOT gratuities, but tax! After we left port, those charges disappeared. I never went in the main pool. I did go into the spice h2o hot tub once. But I prefered the spa, mentioned later. All in all, I spent more time on decks 6-8 than up top. I didn't attend any shows or most of the events. Most were poorly, if at all, described. So why bother going if I didn't know what it was? The first night, we went to Irish trivia in the brew house and won, easily. Speaking of trivia, we also played World Beer trivia which we should have won (especially being brewers and beer judges) except for the fact that someone got them ALL right... but only because they've been on the ship for weeks and already knew all the answers according to the quiz master. So to the morbidly obese couple in the rascals- I hope you get a lot of use from your (MY!) frisbee. You'll probably use it as a plate. You're cheaters and the worst people I encountered on the cruise. So, speaking of the brew house... 8 port forward in a corner by the stairs... this seemed to be the hidden gem of the ship. Nice place and never too crowded. Adults only! But this as well as many other places had weird operating hours, even when the ship wasn't in port. Sometimes the only place to get a drink (or food) was at O'Sheehans. There was one afternoon while in jamaica that I was the ONLY person on deck 8. 4pm and no one was around and nothing was open. I found that to be annoying. MUSIC: The bands on board were decent and floating around venues. There were a few, but not very many, bands at the pool deck. The DJs Suuuuuuucked!!!! And it's not that they didn't play the music I like. I was happy and actually looking forward to some booty shaking garbage music the kids listen to. I went to the first dance party at Spice around 10:30p and had an amazing time dancing (which I never do, being a middle-aged hetero male) and then went to skyline after that an danced some more- and received compliments and a companion back to my room. BUT THEN came the glow party (white party, neon party). Same situation- Spice H2O 10:30p. What a HORRIBLE time! They played remastered versions of popular songs for about 15 seconds each followed by the DJ saying ok.. 3, 2, 1, jump! So, basically it was a bunch of mismatched people (kids and the elderly there despite there being a family glow party at 8:30) jumping up and down and not being able to dance because as soon as a song came on and you started to get into a groove- it was changed to something else. This was probably the most disappointing event on the ship. I hear the 80's night was much better as was the one I attended. Avoid the glow party at all cost!! FOOD & DRINK- I love food. I grow it, cook it, eat it. I like food from every country and eat anything from taco bell to fine french cuisine. I also like booze and am a brewer as mentioned. The food overall on the ship was okay. The closest anything came to standing out was some indian food in the buffet one night. The desserts, with exception of the rum balls, were spongy and disappointing. And the food, whether buffet, MDR (we did the manhattan room many times), or even in the a'la carte restaurants was just good. Not great. Not memorable. Having that $75 credit and nothing to really spend it on (minus the texting plan). I brought some dishes at food republic. Same story- good but not great. Especially considering you have to pay extra for it. I also tried some bites of other peoples' items and was still unimpressed. On the last day, I still had $35 in credit, so I bought a friend that expensive $50 glass of wine. -$15 for UBP discount +$7 service charge. I'm not a wine person, though I've been to many wineries and have even made my own wine (pinot noir and riesling). While this $250 bottle of wine was indeed smooth and tasty, I've had $20 bottles that I'd vastly prefer over this Mondavi thing. The brew house had a decent lineup of taps and bottles. Nothing too great, but still impressive for a cruise line. I appreciated trying the floridian brews including Funky Buddah, Cigar City, and others. Though, I mostly kept to hard alcohol drinks as beer is too filling and sometimes doesn't do the trick. Most of the drinks were okay though your overall choices are sugary or sour. So it's not long before you're sick of the acidic mixed drinks and start getting creative. Bombay and tonic. Rum and ginger beer. In most cases, the bartenders were great. I had one or two bad experiences and received drinks that were way off. STAFF seems like a good segue now. Other than the drink blunders above, I found the staff to be very friendly and attentive. Some of my friends would disagree, but I didn't have an major issues. Kudos to them and their hard work. SPA - So, again, I got the thermal spa package ($200 a week or $50ish a day) and I consider it money well spent. If you're contemplating getting a massage, just get the spa pass! It's a far better value and you'll enjoy it more. I'm not a rich man by any means and I like to watch my budget, but I have no regrets about buying the week pass. I went every day and maybe even twice on one of the days. It's quiet and relaxing. I'd go into the steam room and sweat out the booze then hit the jet pool for a massage better than what I've gotten from many humans including professionals. The saunas were also nice and then I'd finish in the salt room which did clear up my nose. For obvious reasons, I never stepped foot in the snow room- I can just open my door at home. OVERALL - There were times I was too bored, too hungry, and too sober. Not from lack of opportunities, but lack of interest in the available opportunities. The experience was okay, but I'm not looking forward to a cruise anytime soon. But if there's a next time, it'll probably be on RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
My last two cruises were with Carnival, and while we liked it, my husband and I (early 30s, no kids) were looking to try a different cruise line. I had been on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean as a kid, but all my friends kept raving about ... Read More
My last two cruises were with Carnival, and while we liked it, my husband and I (early 30s, no kids) were looking to try a different cruise line. I had been on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean as a kid, but all my friends kept raving about NCL so we went for it. The ship itself is huge and beautifully decorated. Our balcony room was very nice, and while the balcony is nothing extraordinary, we both loved spending time on it in the early AM or before dinner. We enjoyed the water slides on the ship, tried out the ropes course (which turned out to be more intimidating than I thought!), and LOVED taking late night walks around the Waterfront. The casino slots were pretty tight (no surprise there) but it's a huge casino area if that's your thing. What I didn't love was being nickel-and-dimed all week. Want room service? There's a surcharge. Want to enjoy a yoga class at the gym? Upcharge. Want a cappuccino at breakfast? Charge. I even booked a $300 body treatment at the spa, and later came to find out it didn't include use of the steam room/sauna/thermal suite, which they were asking $250 per person for the week. Ridiculous. Not to mention that a lot of the entertainment required an extra fee...I understand paying for something like Bingo, but the comedy shows?? Insane. The biggest disappointment was the food. Everyone raved about how NCL is a foodie's dream...not quite. Maybe if you compare it to something like Olive Garden or Outback, but if you think that's fine dining we're on very different levels. We tried Cagney's, Le Bistro, and Moderno, all of which were good but nothing great considering the upcharge. Bayamo was slightly better. The service at all of those restaurants, including the main dining rooms, was always PAINFULLY slow. A dinner for 2 should not take 2-3 hours unless we are sitting there chatting/drinking. O'Sheehans was decent for lunch. The one shining star was Pincho Tapas Bar which we wound up going to 3 times because we loved it so much. High quality ingredients presented beautifully...THAT'S gourmet dining. As for the staff on board, the majority just seemed very unhappy and like they didn't want to be there. I'm sure they were exhausted and burnt out from the seemingly understaffed ship. Finally, keep the kids out of the adult areas!! This is definitely not a ship for a relaxing couple's vacation. A group of ridiculously loud and obnoxious 6-7 year olds should not be allowed to takeover a hot tub on the sun deck for HOURS. My husband heard one of the kids tell his mom he peed in the hot tub, and the mom told the kid to shh and not tell anyone. Disgusting. Not to mention everyone coughing and sneezing all over without covering their mouths. No wonder I got a cold by the last day. Maybe we just picked a bad week with an especially awful group on board, but it just seemed like too many rude, classless people ruining the experience. And NCL has the gall to snark about Carnival all week? It was literally the same experience except Carnival's a lot cheaper and their specialty restaurants are worth the price. This was not a luxury experience, nor a gourmet experience. We loved having a week in the warm weather and spending time on the beaches, but I wouldn't recommend this ship to other couples. It's definitely a party boat for parents who don't want to watch their obnoxious kids. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We planned this trip only a few weeks in advance. It was my husband and me, plus our three teenagers. Only my husband and youngest child had cruised on Norweigan before, so this was new for most of us! Arrived at our embarkation time ... Read More
We planned this trip only a few weeks in advance. It was my husband and me, plus our three teenagers. Only my husband and youngest child had cruised on Norweigan before, so this was new for most of us! Arrived at our embarkation time and all went smoothly. We carried our luggage on and snuck back to leave it in the cabin with no issues. Our cabins were great (side by side balconies on deck 9). Quiet location, easy to get to everything. This deck is directly over the lifeboats, which means you can't stand at the rail and look directly down to the water but that really never bothered me -- I was always looking off into the distance anyway!! Cabins were clean and well-appointed. We preferred 9854, which had the bed closer to the balcony vs 9852, which had the beds closer to the door -- it just seemed like a better layout and did not restrict access to the closet. Our steward seemed nice enough but made no effort to introduce himself. Our booking included the beverage package and 3 nights of upgraded dining -- thank goodness I had read on here to book the dining ahead, as everything seemed booked up by the time we boarded (at least for groups of 5). It was odd, because the restaurants did not seem full? We chose to eat at Bayamo (which was a charge on TOP of upgraded dining but was WONDERFUL and totally worth it -- just a dream meal), La Cuchina (the Italian restaurant -- we ate there our last night of the cruise and it was a fitting ending -- the best meal of the week), and the Churrascaria (lovely, varied menu and the service was great -- we never felt like we were being pushed into the lower quality items and loved the sushi at the salad bar!!). Other nights we spread out to various included restaurants and loved them all. We did not realize until Day 2 that we could get Continental Breakfast delivered for free to the cabins in the am by putting out a card the night before -- it was a wonderful addition!! As soon as we got on the ship we booked tickets for the comedy shows and liked both. One was better than the other, but both were fun. My husband loved the District -- the Craft Beer location. The selection was fabulous and the bartenders really went above and beyond to get to know their patrons. Our big issue with the cruise is that it was just so darned CROWDED. Most of the time we could work around it, but unlike other ships we've been on, there was no effort at all to make sure that people did not leave their things on deck chairs and disappear. This meant that some days there were chairs that were taken but unoccupied for many hours at a time (one day the 18 and over chairs at Spice were all taken by 9:30am but we saw some that were never occupied at all before we left at 4:00 in the afternoon). This was very frustrating for so many people! It was Spring Break but seemed pretty tame. Only exception is that there were some roaming (and clearly way beyond drunk) groups of teens and pre-teens out much later than I would have expected and they could be loud in the hallways and the balconies. We did not do any cruise-offered excursions but had a great day with Peat Taylor tours in Jamaica -- HIGHLY recommend them!!! Our teens did not ever go to the teen events but it seemed that lots of other kids did and had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Second time in the Haven, and this cruise convinced me I will never cruise without the Haven again! Loved all the restaurants on the ship, we pretty much ate everywhere. Our favorites were Le Bistro and Bayamo. Entertainment was good. ... Read More
Second time in the Haven, and this cruise convinced me I will never cruise without the Haven again! Loved all the restaurants on the ship, we pretty much ate everywhere. Our favorites were Le Bistro and Bayamo. Entertainment was good. Best thing about the ship was the Haven experience. Excellent service, fabulous food and drinks and a beautiful sun deck and lounge. Conceirge was amazing and our butler really helped when my daughter got sick for some of the cruise. The cruise was a peak soring break week, and the ship, especially the pool area was packed beyond comprehension. People were putting pool towels directly on the pool deck and trying to sun right in the muddle of the path! Compare that to the haven area where though it could get crowded, never felt overwhelming and was simply a fabulous place to be in the sun. We loved GSC and all the ports. Fabulous escape from the everyday! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
My wife and I are not anti-child, but one of the things that we've appreciated after switching from Carnival to Norwegian a couple of years ago is the lack of children onboard. Well, that was certainly not the case for this trip -- we ... Read More
My wife and I are not anti-child, but one of the things that we've appreciated after switching from Carnival to Norwegian a couple of years ago is the lack of children onboard. Well, that was certainly not the case for this trip -- we had, without knowing it, booked during the winter holidays in the Northeast, so the ship was packed with kids. Blame it on the parents, but there were kids in places they weren't supposed to be -- in Spice H2O, at Howl at the Moon after 11pm, sitting at the bar in O'Sheehans, etc. More than once, we wished that we had sailed a week earlier or later, though we'd have missed meeting some wonderful people that became fast friends. Kids aside, we had a great time, and would never hesitate to sail on the Escape again. Very friendly and helpful staff, bartenders and servers, we've never had a complaint with NCL crew members, and the Escape was no different. We had the Ultimate Beverage and Dining Package as perks and enjoyed both. Phenomenal meals in the Italian, Brazilian and Cagney's restaurants, and very good dinners in the Manhattan Room (main dining room.) I was a little disappointed to see that they no longer have a dress code for the Manhattan Room, there were men in there wearing t-shirts and shorts. The entertainment was, as normal for NCL, excellent. We saw For the Record - the Brat Pack, Company Men and After Midnight and loved them all. After Midnight was particularly impressive. We took in Howl At The Moon every night it was offered -- Rhonda was amazing, Tommy was very funny and Michael was a great piano player. We only did one shore excursion, the "Bike Tour," in Grand Cayman and, as I wrote in my review on the NCL website, I do NOT recommend this excursion, it is extremely unsafe and it is only a matter of time before someone gets killed on it. Riding bicycles on the side of busy roads, with reckless drivers and older people on the bikes that don't really know what they're doing is a recipe for disaster. It didn't help that the "guide" paid little to no attention to the people riding behind him. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Pros. The ship is very clean and still looks like new. The food was good. The buffet had plenty of great options and large enough to never be busy. Finding a table in the buffet was never an issue. The complimentary dining ... Read More
Pros. The ship is very clean and still looks like new. The food was good. The buffet had plenty of great options and large enough to never be busy. Finding a table in the buffet was never an issue. The complimentary dining rooms were very good. Great options, great staff The staff for the most part was very friendly and helpful. The nightlife at Spice H2O and the Skyline bar was great The UBP was a great plus, hardly ever a wait for a drink. Cons There are many options throughout the ship for entertainment, bars and eateries, however to fit so many, they were forced to make each location small. Dining and entertainment were difficult to book and all filled up from the first day of the cruise. The pool and pool area is far too small for the amount of guest on the ship. Too many people on the ship, most public areas at night were always packed. The ports need to be rethought. Not enough time on Tortola. Nassau is nothing to write home about, too many ships in Nassau. Overall, the ship is nice, the staff is friendly, just too many people on board to be comfortable and the ports need to change. Average cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We have cruised Norwegian before but it is not our cruiseline of choice. We looked forward to cruising with a large group of friends over the spring break. We thought the ship itself was great. It was beautiful. Our cabin was lovely. ... Read More
We have cruised Norwegian before but it is not our cruiseline of choice. We looked forward to cruising with a large group of friends over the spring break. We thought the ship itself was great. It was beautiful. Our cabin was lovely. The bathroom was a good size comparatively. It was quiet. I thought the design of the ship lessened the feel of so many people in one spot. The pool deck was the only spot where I really felt the numbers. We took advantage of the slides, rope course and mini golf. We felt there was a good variety of entertainment at night. We greatly enjoyed the duelling pianos and the comedians. The big theatre musical numbers were average. We took full advantage of the beverage package. We find the food on Borwegism acceptable but not outstanding. I personally feel it pushes you to buy up in the premium restaurants. The itinerary was what we expected in St Thomas and Tortola . These stops were not new to use. There was a medical emergency forcing us to bypass our Nassau stop. This was a disappointment but I figure 'there by the grace of God go I". If it were one iof my loved ones I would want the same consideration. My biggest issue was the smoking. We couldn't be on our balcony or leave our door open because people were smoking beside us. The casino stunk making its access off limits. We avoided the atrium because of the stench. In this day and age that is really inexcusable. The beautiful weather added to our overall enjoyment as did the company of good friends and the company of the new friends we met on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 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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