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Sail Date: August 2019
This was more or less an impromptu cruise for my wife and I. When I say "impromptu" I mean we didn't book it a year in advance, we booked it about 70 days out (I'm a planner-type person so this was scary). Overall, it ... Read More
This was more or less an impromptu cruise for my wife and I. When I say "impromptu" I mean we didn't book it a year in advance, we booked it about 70 days out (I'm a planner-type person so this was scary). Overall, it was a great trip and Bermuda was beautiful as always. Embarkation went well. After much deliberation, we chose to park at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal lot for $40/day, or 280 for the cruise. We arrived about 11am and within 30 minutes of turning off the car engine, we standing on the ship. We found the vast majority of the staff to be friendly and helpful. The Main Dining Room staff were helpful and accommodating, but just didn't seem to have the candor and smiles we found on the bar staff and our room steward. We had a couple of minor flubbs in the MDR but nothing insurmountable. Two nights in a row my wife got a chicken dish that was either overcooked and tough, or in the case of the chicken piccata, it tasted like eggs to her. The asian-style dishes were very good, and I didn't have a steak that wasn't tender, juicy, and delicious. However, overall we found the choices in the complementary food venues to be underwhelming and uninspired. What was available was overall tasty and we are not foodies or anything, but we like to try some new things and new combinations of ingredients when cruising. The public areas were too, too small. Forget a dip in the pool on the sea days, you can barely get close enough to it much less get in. The hot tubs were lukewarm and almost constantly full anyway. We don't mind kids, but there the hot tubs were mostly full of them being left unattended while mom and dad sat at the bar or sunned themselves. Spice H2O was a little better, but no pool and the last sea day the exhaust from the stack was blowing over the spice area and people were getting covered with little droplets of a black soot/oil substance. We did not experience that on the way down simply because we were double-timing back from Bermuda. We arrived in New York around 1-2am, rather than the customary 5-6am and just sat in port like the Captain had a hot date or something. Slowing down would have probably alleviated this issue. The atrium shows were fine as long as you got in early. We're not too much in the way of show people so we didn't bother with the shows and such. Fortunately we got a great deal on an upgrade to a spa balcony via the bidding system so we were able to use the excellent thermal suite to soak and swim in the therapy pool. We enjoyed this immensely and spent time in every room - the saunarium, sauna, steam room, cold room, and salt room as well as using the heated lounges, therapy pool, and small hot tub. As we have previously visited Bermuda, we chose to go to Horseshoe Bay the first day and I had booked a Resort for a Day with The Elbow Beach Resort prior to embarking. Horseshoe Bay was very, very crowded, so we just dropped our stuff and jumped in the water for a bit. We took the bus to get there and hopped a minibus to get back (so we didn't have to climb the hill). So it was about $12 round trip. To get to Elbow Bay we took a cab from the pier for about $50. Expensive, but our driver was super friendly and gave us a little tour on the way. We chatted about life on the island and learned a great deal about Bermuda on the way. We thought it was worth it. On the way back, we got lucky and managed to hitch a ride on a minibus with a fellow who was going to Hamilton and then agreed to take 6 of us back to the port for $8 per person. He also gave us a tour and took us along some of the back roads back, so we got to see parts of Bermuda that a lot of tourists don't see, so that was neat. The third day we just puttered around the dockyard and bought souvenirs and such. Overall, we found the locals to be very pleasant and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Choose for the pools and activities for teens we brought. Very crowed pool area with just one adult pool that you could not stand up in. Child pool not so great either. I would call this "Cruise without pools". Cruise for the ... Read More
Choose for the pools and activities for teens we brought. Very crowed pool area with just one adult pool that you could not stand up in. Child pool not so great either. I would call this "Cruise without pools". Cruise for the 18 to 25 age group that like much noise. The big water slides are very slow with long lines, rope course not used much. They would have been better off using the room for more pools, these were not used much. Plenty of so called hot tubs with few umbrella's in upper quieter decks. Food was mediocre at best, restaurants all seemed to get food from same location with some minor differences. Don't bother with the filet, tasteless dry beef, they should wrap it with bacon. If your want hot food and real toast just go to buffet for breakfast, breakfast at restaurant will give you: no toast, under cooked bacon and just plain cold breakfast that is brought in from above. Maybe the buffet is the best for all meals, so skip the specialty restaurants, not worth it. They are strange about the towels, just make sure you leave what was in your cabin back when you leave. Balcony rooms are very nice with plenty of room, do not get inside cabin. Shows and activities just repeat every night it seems. Bottom line I/we will never go on this cruise again. Will look for something much better. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
I love cruising, and when planning another group trip, going with Norweigen was a no brainer. You get the biggest bang for your buck! I was going with a large group of 21 with mixed ages from 16 to 83 and wheelchair bound. I have to ... Read More
I love cruising, and when planning another group trip, going with Norweigen was a no brainer. You get the biggest bang for your buck! I was going with a large group of 21 with mixed ages from 16 to 83 and wheelchair bound. I have to say I was getting a little worried when I started reading recent reviews, but then I reminded myself to be open minded. I am a true believer that every vacation is what you make it! The embarkation was so easy and very efficient, this time they split the embarkation/ check in into two groups depending on cabin floor, which created shorter lines to get room key and then to get onto the ship. Ship: The ship was beautiful, with some areas that maybe can use some retouching, but thats to be expected with the amount of passengers that come through weekly. But I found it easy to navigate and plenty of signs to guide passengers. Don't get me wrong, it's a huge ship, so sometimes it gets confusing, but there is a diagram by the elevators that show each floor, especially for the dining rooms and bars. Cabin: Cabin was a balcony cabin midship, level 11. Loved my cabin it was clean and as roomy as you can expect for a ship cabin, you walk in the bathroom is right there, then the bed with a closet next to it, and then couch before the balcony door, on opposite side was a small vanity with small shelves, the mini bar and TV on wall. The closet has decent space for clothing, and what I did was use my suitcase as a draw and slid under bed. Our room steward Veeraj was awesome and very attentive. Dining: So, I was a little worried here because of all the reviews/ complaints about reservations and such. I am not sure what people complain about because I had NO trouble with obtaining reservations at ANY of the dining rooms. I made 3 reservations prior to boarding the ship, but the rest were made once on ship, and they never gave us an issue, and that is with a large party! Every restaurant was accommodating, my recommendation is that if you like to eat during prime time 7-730 make reservations early on, Personally I like eating early and the 5-545 reservations were perfect. The staff at all the restaurants were on point. Polite, and went out of their way to make our meals perfect. Moderno- Great salad bar and the meats were great quality, and not heavy on salt. the cheesy bread is amazing La Cucina - Way too much food,( I had meal plan, included 5 courses) the pizza is great to share with a few people. The pasta carbonara was divine. Cagneys- What can I say , my favorite meal, I had the surf and turf, and the filet was cooked perfectly. The apple crisp for desert was my favorite Taste/ Savor- ate at both restaurants and the food was good, smaller portions but filing. The deserts there were not my favorites. O'sheehans- So we decided to skip the buffet this trip and the majority of my group ate breakfast here every morning, The staff was exceptional, especially the maitre'D , Leandra. She went out of her way to make us feel welcome and personally greeted us every morning. The younger adults in my group also raved about the late night snacks/ wings/ and . ice cream served there Margaritaville: Food was excellent and the charge was cheapt at $15 pp. The Nachos are delish. My one complaint about the dining, is I wish the specialty Restaurants were open for lunch, but thats a personal opinion. Bars: I love my drinks, and I had many over the course of the week, all of them were tasty and well made, I will say that the bar staff does seem overwhelmed, and could use some more help, especially the first couple of days, maybe even having more servers around the pool for drinks would alleviate the mob around the bars. A few times I would have bartenders who were borderline snotty, but most of them were fantastic. My favorite drinks are the painkiller, mudslide, Bahama mama, margaritas. I did try a few drinks from margaritaville, I cant recall the name of them. Pools Okay, big downside here, there are 2 small pools one for adults/ one for kids. the adult pool was very packed, which it were bigger, especially with size of ship! Thermal spa My husband and I purchased the spa package, unfortunately the first time we tried to use it people were reserving the heated loungers while they were not there, this was very annoying! I did get to enjoy it once or twice, and the thermal pool was wonderful. Don't think I would spend the $200 again, unless it was a winter cruise. PS. Do Not Recommend this for handicapped people. My in laws tried to use it, as they are both wheel chair bound, and it was challanging for them because of the height of the loung chairs, and the tiles were very slippery, they did not feel safe moving in the room, thankfully NCL refunded them since they couldn't use it . Entertainment: The choir of men show was great, the comedians also were a hit, howl at the moon, the piano dueling was also fun. The after midnight show was horrible in my opinion, while the performers were definitely talented, there was no storyline, I wasn't a fan, but a few people in my group did enjoy that. There ware some fun events throughout the week that were fun and many passengers participated in, the theme night parties in H20 were great , although they got packed out quick. Service: Overall the service was great, we went to customer service about a small mistake and they were very sweet, and made every effort to get to the bottom of it. Never had long wait there. We also dealt with the Cruise Next staff, and they also were fantastic with the questions I had. Highly recommend purchasing this if you plan to cruise in next few years. this is my second time using the cruise next vouchers. The elevators are a bit slow, I prefer the stairs,,but with wheelchair family, we had to rely on them. Pictures: Tons of opportunity for pictures, I just hated picking a few. I wish they would offer all the pictures digitally for one price! Just my opinion. Port: Went to Bermuda, was beautiful as always. This is my third trip there. People in my party went to horseshoe bay/ tobacco bay and said the beaches were wonderful, with a ton of fish swimming alongside. There is a wave-runner vendor right outside the ship that a few of us went on, and it was a blast. the shops around the dockyard are also cute , overall Bermuda is pricey when it comes to shopping. There are ferries cheap ($5) to take to Hamilton or St.George for more shopping. I preferred to hang on the ship for 2/3 days at port, which was lovely because the pool was basically empty! and plenty of lounge chairs available. Disembarkation- WOW is all I can say, last time I was on the ship with a group was 3 years ago and it was a complete hot mess with disembarkation. I was so nervous, but the system they set up to get the passengers off the boat in a safe manner without tons of lines is incredible. We were off an hour earlier than we thought, and our luggage retrieval went off without a hitch, and even customs was a breeze, I was completely shocked! Way to go NCL, obviously they listened to the complaints from the past cruisers! Overall I am so happy with the entire trip, we had a blast, and we are already booked on another cruise, the Encore 01/2021! Cant wait! For the future Escape Cruisers keep an open mind and you will have fun. If you have questions feel free to ask me Hscally1088@yahoo.com Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I have cruised with NCL from Boston to Bermuda many times over the years on various ships. (I'm now Platinum Plus.) Being a person who doesn't like to fly and loves to cruise, my choices are limited. That being said, it ... Read More
I have cruised with NCL from Boston to Bermuda many times over the years on various ships. (I'm now Platinum Plus.) Being a person who doesn't like to fly and loves to cruise, my choices are limited. That being said, it doesn't mean I feel this is a cruise I have to tolerate. I have been on NCL's larger ship, the Getaway, but do prefer a smaller ship. I will also say that the Boston to Bermuda cruise, regardless of what ship, has the best crew ever. There has been the Majesty, Crown, Dream, and Dawn (to name a few), that has cruised this Boston to Bermuda itinerary. I had never sailed on the Gem, it's Boston's new ship for this route, and I was quite excited to sail on a different ship. Like the Dawn, she is similar, but I feel, quite an upgrade. Having the Spinaker Lounge, The Great Outdoors, and 3 Champagne/Beer/Whiskey/Martini Bars (Dawn has one, which was always way over crowded), gave us the opportunity to enjoy a large space to listen to live music and get great service for drinks. The cigar/smoking room also kept the smoke contained to that room only. On the Dawn, it was a nightmare trying to sit in the lounge and not be constantly smelling the smoke that never stayed in the smoking room. I ate at both main dining rooms, the buffet, Cagney's, LeBistro, LaCuchina, O'Sheehan's, and Orchid. I didn't eat at the Great Outdoors or the grill by the pool. I chose neither because I don't care to eat where the food is kept outdoors in high humidity, heat, and near a pool with lots of people in bathing suits going in and out of hot tubs, outdoor bathrooms, etc. The food and menu is the same at both main dining rooms. Both have great service, but Grand Pacific is slower. Food was average to fantastic, depending on whether you ordered what was in season (like the salmon) or some of the specials. The usual, like roast chicken or meatloaf is more average. Having sailed many times, you get to know the menu quite well. LeBistro and LaCuchina had exceptional food and service. Cagney's, not so much. My fillet mignon was OK, but the sides were small and fair. Service was slow and it seemed hectic. Not bad, but I was a bit disappointed. I had high expectations because I had eaten at Cagney's on the Getaway and it was the most incredible meal I've ever had. O'Sheehan's was my least favorite. It's fast food, and more of a snack/late night hangout. The buffet had a large selection, and probably the most popular choice for families. I prefer being seated at a table in a dining room without the noise around me for dinner. Lunch is another story, and the convenience of being able to have a quick/easy lunch with far more variety than the main dining room (Grand Pacific) worked better for most days. About the crew: Always, always always....just incredible. No matter where I was or who was working anywhere on the ship. They are friendly, professional, hard-working, sociable, and extremely helpful. I felt spoiled and well cared for. I have always known the crew on every ship to be exceptional but this time, it was as though NCL has really worked hard at perfecting crew/passenger customer service. They seem to be much more professional on how to relate to issues and questions, even at the front desk. Can't say the same for the senior officers in white. They will do whatever they have to in order to pretend you are not walking by them. Zero eye contact. No "hello." It's something I've seen on all ships, unfortunately. About the entertainment: Yay!! For the first time in many years, I didn't have to see the same same same shows. Finally, the performances were all new. All the shows were absolutely wonderful with the exception of one, my least favorite, the guy who sang by impersonating other singers. His regular voice was OK but his impersonations, not so much. Bermuda: Always wonderful and beautiful. Major work (still) going on at the cruise dock. Having ships there constantly has certainly done it's job of wearing it out. Not as pretty at night time, and I've always thought the view with the lights to be quite memorable. Sadly, it just might be too much to have ships docked there all the time. I went to my favorite local place for lunch, The Pickled Onion, and fortunately, found it to be completely renovated. (It needed it.) Food was fantastic and as always, they have the most incredible bartenders. Pricey, like anywhere in Bermuda, so be prepared to spend about 60 bucks for lunch with one drink. Cabin: I had an inside (which I actually prefer because I like my room to be dark dark dark when I sleep.) I also find that with Bermuda's very high humidity, balcony rooms get wet from the moist humid air. Air conditioning can only circulate air from that room. I know, because I've had balcony rooms and found this to be so every time. This time, though, my room was at the very front of the ship. I mean the last room up front, on the 10th floor. I have been on cruises with very rough water many times. I have never gotten sea sick. I have never had to take sea sickness pills. We had one night, coming back from Bermuda, where we had some pretty rough waves. Not more than what I've experienced, and I got incredibly sick when I was in my cabin. I could absolutely feel much more motion being at the front of the ship. I got out as quick as I could, and went to atrium(center of ship), 2 floors below. Within an hour, I felt fine. Avoid at all costs getting a cabin at the front. The Boston to Bermuda cruise usually has at least one night of rough seas. The Atlantic in that area has always had that issue. Getting on the ship was far quicker than getting off, but considering the fact that over 2000 people take this cruise, and in a matter of 2 hours people are getting on and off, they do a great job of organizing this. Lots of people helping you navigate where to go. No problem with being short staffed and needing help. I have recommended this cruise to many others and will continue to do so. Mostly, it's the NCL crew I remember whenever I take this trip. The food, entertainment and cost has issues for many who cruise. I have found that I enjoy some of the above more than others and would certainly like some improvements, but that is true for anything in life. What I cannot hope for is a crew who could be better. They are the exception when it comes to looking back on your cruise and highlighting what you enjoyed most. They have always made me feel special, well cared for, and truly spoiled. I have loved every minute of my cruise:) Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise because we always wanted to visit Bermuda. My wife had just completed another Norwegian cruise on the "Sky" to Cuba. The Norwegian Escape is a much larger ship. Too many passengers for the ships facilities - ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we always wanted to visit Bermuda. My wife had just completed another Norwegian cruise on the "Sky" to Cuba. The Norwegian Escape is a much larger ship. Too many passengers for the ships facilities - specifically the pool area(s) and the buffet area and the outdoor bars. I do NOT recommend this cruise or cruise line! The ship had over 4200 passengers and the pool could only hold maybe 50! Add to that, there were signs posted around the pool area ADULTS ONLY. These were routinely ignored by "parents" who let their little ones fill up the two (count them, two) hot tubs. The food , especially at the "Upscale" restaurants was mediocre at best. All side dishes were served cold in temperature. The dining service was terrible. Long long waits (in excess of 20 minutes) between courses. Beyond that there were tons of OUT OF CONTROL kids and teenagers. No cruise personnel did a single thing to correct these problems. I will NEVER cruise on a "Mega Ship" again, especially Norwegian cruise line which has evidently become the "Carnival" of cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We just returned from 7 day trip to Bermuda with NCL Escape and I've come to the conclusion that cruises are not what they used to be anymore. Stay at the Haven was fantastic - great service, hospitality and amenity. However, the rest ... Read More
We just returned from 7 day trip to Bermuda with NCL Escape and I've come to the conclusion that cruises are not what they used to be anymore. Stay at the Haven was fantastic - great service, hospitality and amenity. However, the rest of the ship and what it offered was just average, nothing unique or spectacular. The Haven review - Staying in The Haven was worth every penny, just to be able to avoid the layers and layers of people at the main pool deck on sea days. We appreciated the constantly high level of attentive, friendly and professional service from the entire staff on the Haven (room steward, concierge, Haven restaurant staff, and other service staff). - Embarkation/Disembarkation was very smooth, having an ability to use Haven only priority lane as well as the Haven only elevators. But don't expect any welcome cocktail anymore (at least not at New York terminal). - We spent a lot of time on the Haven pool area. Because of the time of the year, there were many families with small children, but they were all relatively well behaved. There is also an adult only part of the Haven on sundeck, including hottub, if you want to get away from kids. That said, Haven pool area was never crowded or loud and we were always able to find a lounger or place to sit and relax. - We ate a lot at THE Haven restaurant. Food was very good with varieties of stuff on menu so we never got tired of eating there. I say the quality was equal or better than the high end specialty restaurants. The service was a bit slow but that's expected on cruise ship restaurant - you slow down your pace and get to enjoy your meal and family time for a change! Cabin (H5 on port side) Rooms are significantly small, compared to those on older ships, which is the downside of these newer ships. It's much smaller than family suite on Dawn, for example. It is enough for 2 adults and 1 kid but if you wanted to dine in your room, a table is not big enough (it's cocktail table). A deck is small, enough only for 2 chars and a small table. But since we were so close to the Haven lounge/pool/sundeck, it was fine. If you carry a lot of clothes, there may not be enough closet space though. One tip of advice - if you are going to Bermuda, a port side will face the island but there is a beach party some nights, which is pretty loud and goes to wee hours so if noise is an issue, you may want to consider the location. However, you get to see a beautiful sunset from your balcony. Rest of the Ship - Main pool area is small and compact (and crowded as expected) - Kids pool area is right next to the main pool, which is good and bad - adults can go get drinks and other things easily, but it feels really cramped. - H2O area is nice and it is open to all ages after 6pm. We enjoyed the outdoor movie night and dance party thereafter. - I thought indoor entertainment amenities were lacking. There are 2 lanes of duck pin bowling and arcade games - that's pretty much it. I wish they offer more music and other fun activities indoors during a daytime. I personally think RCI offers better fun amenities. - We ate at Cagneys, Teppanyaki and Cucina and I thought food qualities were much better than other NCL ships. I was pleasantly surprised by the teppanyaki filet. - Main entertainment was pretty good. We enjoyed magician and Choir of Man. However, the rest of the entertainment/activities throughout a day were very disappointing. Many were clearly designed to sell you stuff, which really turned us off. - Jogging track is a joke and seemed like it was completely afterthought. RCI, for example, has jogging track secluded from the main deck. This one cuts through the bars and busy access area to the pool areas so it's only open till 9am and after 6pm, which is fine as I usually run early in the morning, but the worst part was it was only 0.2KM in length! After about 5 laps, I lost track. For a ship this size, I expected much bigger and better jogging track. Also, it is right beside the smoking area so you get to enjoy second hand smoking as you run. Ports - We love Bermuda and this is our 4th trip there. We independently booked the access to Elbow Beach Resort. Since it was a private beach, it was not crowded and beach was great. However, wave was pretty rough (not sure if it was particular for that day or is usually like that) so was not ideal for families with small children. Also, food/drinks were so overpriced (2 regular beer on tap and 1 OJ = $35), we ended up not eating there. - Glass bottom tour was nice - our captain was very knowledgeable and we learned a lot about Bermuda, its marine life, architecture and history. It was packed but we all were able to see the glass bottom. - Snorkel beach is very tiny and is not nearly as nice as other beautiful beaches Bermuda offers but it's convenient. I hear it gets pretty packed on the last day so recommend going there the first day. Kids This was the second cruise on our 4 year old and she enjoyed it. It was nice that there were many families with kids in the Haven level. She did not want to go to Splash Academy until the last day - and when she finally did, she really enjoyed it. Hopefully she will go more the next time! Kids pool area looked fun but again, it was very crowded so she spent most of her time in the Haven pool area with us. I wish there were more kids friendly amenities indoor. Final thoughts Although experience at the Haven was very nice, I am not sure if it was worth the money we paid. We've been to all-inclusive beach resort with personal butler/chef/nanny included for the similar price. Although we will definitely go cruising again (what can I say, we love cruise), I think it is time to try different brand. NCL has become a bit too formulaic, and does not offer that special feeling you get on the cruise trip anymore. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We have cruised on Norwegian Breakaway two years ago, also out of NYC. The ship is almost exactly same layout and same size, but on Escape was much more people. It’s to crowd. We went on this cruise with 6 people. In our opinion, ... Read More
We have cruised on Norwegian Breakaway two years ago, also out of NYC. The ship is almost exactly same layout and same size, but on Escape was much more people. It’s to crowd. We went on this cruise with 6 people. In our opinion, the pool aria is way to small for the size of the ship. We were not happy to get up early in the morning just to be able to save six seats together. About embarkation processes: We are PA residents and we are never experienced so many rude people. They were screaming, cutting of lines, pushing, and embarkation staff was NOT care at all. Regarding the ship staff: Extremely hard workers, it’s obvious. The shows were an outstanding, spectacular. Choir of man is an excellent performance. These guys are hugely talented. “After Midnight” show is also extremely good. The dancing, the singing, the band were amazing. Overall, we had a good experience on this cruse, but NOT grate. Bigger ship it is not always better. It just means more people on board. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
outstanding service, people literally bend over backwards to accommodate your every need . Pool area way too crowded (jersey shore) vibe. If that's what you are looking for great. Not for me with wife and kids. Water slide lines ... Read More
outstanding service, people literally bend over backwards to accommodate your every need . Pool area way too crowded (jersey shore) vibe. If that's what you are looking for great. Not for me with wife and kids. Water slide lines took too much time. Just too many people for the water accommodations . Really enjoyed the overall experience. I can't say enough about the food and the staff. The room was very nice, very much enjoyed the bathroom was not expecting it to be so nice (shower with jets great water pressure) double sink. Bed was very comfortable . Top notch all the way. The few specialty restaurants we took advantage of were exceptional. I would give this experience 8 out of 10. I had a friend who went on the same ship a few weeks before me, went with the haven option. I did not, think next time around that would be the way to go. Balcony was very enjoyable. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
very nice ship -- first time on Norwegian -- food great -- service great-- shows great-- I liked the crew singing in the cafe and restaurant--- getting on and off the ship -- no problems- liked the water slides- zip line -- nice spa area ... Read More
very nice ship -- first time on Norwegian -- food great -- service great-- shows great-- I liked the crew singing in the cafe and restaurant--- getting on and off the ship -- no problems- liked the water slides- zip line -- nice spa area -- rooms service great- if I had any problems --guest service handled them with ease--- but I had very few issues-- liked the specialty restrauents ---- I sailed out of New Jersey before so I had no problem finding the port-- I did a jet ski tour and snorkel tour but I did not book through the ship -- it was captain kirks adventures -- yes I would book another cruise with Norwegian --- we saw 5 shows choir of man- two thumbs up- after midnight -- a magic show- duding pianos also small acts in some of the smaller clubs- always something to do - if you were board cruising is not for you Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The food was absolutely delicious. Venus, Ralph, and Vincent couldn’t have been better or anymore attentive to our needs. Wonderful caring people. Five star. The boat was clean. There was always something to do from shopping, the casino, ... Read More
The food was absolutely delicious. Venus, Ralph, and Vincent couldn’t have been better or anymore attentive to our needs. Wonderful caring people. Five star. The boat was clean. There was always something to do from shopping, the casino, pools, shows, rope course, and have some drinks at the bar. This was my first experience with a cruise and after being a passenger on the Escape I don’t know if I’d want to do another if isn’t Norwegian. I had concerns with my step son being 8 and having a balcony for a room. The room was safe, the balcony door had a lock on the top and high railings outside. This eased my mind and my wife’s. The kids club was impressive in both how safe it was and how secure. It was a huge relief and better still, he had a lot of fun and wanted to go back. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Background: I "won" a "free cruise" after gambling at a casino near my hometown. I was hesitant at the idea that it was "free", but after researching the offer, I decided to take a gamble (pun intended) on ... Read More
Background: I "won" a "free cruise" after gambling at a casino near my hometown. I was hesitant at the idea that it was "free", but after researching the offer, I decided to take a gamble (pun intended) on this "free cruise" to see how free it really was. It was basically me paying the taxes and port charges only, with an option to bid to upgrade from inner to ocean view and/or balcony. I had attempted to put in a bid for a balcony, but my bid wasn't accepted, and the sailing was full. (No complaints about the room quality I ended up receiving.) I wrote a very lengthy review of the Cabin below, so here I will list off the other items that I feel are important for people to know. Ship: It is well-maintained and clean. The decor was fine. It was on par with other cruise lines and I had no complaints about the level of quality with the ship itself. It had as nice of decor as Royal, Princess and Disney. No issues here. Cabin: See below for lengthy description and list of annoyances / lack of privacy. Dining: This was the most sub-par dining experience I have ever had while cruising. The food quality on the Gem was embarrassing. The only 2 photos I am attaching have to deal with the dining. First off, let me say, I found it hilarious how they listed meals as "complimentary" with many of the high end restaurants requiring a $39 charge per person along with a forced 20% gratuity. I can not comment on any of those, as I downright refused to pay extra for restaurants that I could experience at home. There is also no free room service on this cruise line, except for a very meager continental breakfast. If you wanted any other room service, there would be a $7.95 service "convenience" charge. Ridiculous. A can of soda from the refrigerator was $3.95. I bought one. I admit, after days of non-carbonation, I found myself desperate for a Sierra Mist... The only "free" 24x7 dining is the "Irish pub" O'Sheehans, which offered typical pub-like food. We went there once, and laughed at the godawful chicken wings they were serving. I would have swore the wings were made like 2-3 days previously, tossed with whatever sauce you ordered and re-heated. My son got the "Buffalo" wings and they were so red as if they were dyed, that they actually dyed his fingers bright red. There are 3 dining rooms, and only one, the Grand Pacific, is considered a "dress-up" which isn't even "dressing up" as it just doesn't allow shorts, as the others do. The first night was the best night, and after eating the first night, I had some high hopes for the meals, but they only went downhill. As this is a freestyle cruise line, which many people will hail as awesome, since you don't have to dress up, you don't have a set reserved dining time, etc... I personally found it made things LESS enjoyable. You didn't have the same guaranteed server, didn't build any rapport or closeness with dining staff... and while I am an introvert, I still enjoy feeling like I get to know my servers, and with this freestyle mode, I definitely didn't feel like that happened. I can tell you also that if you are not a person that is going to order from the bar, you can forget receiving "exceptional service" in regards to your choice of beverages and getting bread served, etc. My son and I had a difficult time getting any lemonade or iced tea. We were lucky to have our water glasses filled in any decent time. We were laughing because around the 4th night of dinner, when we were dining towards the end of the evening, we literally were given only brown bread and water (when on all other nights, we had a variety of bread choices of 2-3-4 types of bread offerings) - We didn't have any "chef's recommendations" and the staff seemed more rushed and understaffed, ready to get us in and out as fast as possible. We went to the "fancy dining room" just today for lunch. It had a nice view, overlooking the back of the ship. We were handed the menus, but had the typical hurried experience of taking our entire order, including dessert. The peanut butter cup cheesecake was overall a disgrace. They make the plating look nice, but then you bite into it and wonder how long it was in the freezer before it was quick thawed and served to us. It was not at all creamy and I was hard-pressed to find any peanut butter cup taste to it. Service: I am well aware that cruise ship employees come from fairly impoverished nations and are looking to make a better life for themselves, as well as providing for their family, but you can see their unhappiness through the forced smiles and furrowed brows. While the whole "washy-washy" sing-song of the woman spraying our hands every time we entered the buffet area soon became humorous and meme-like, reading in the daily guide that they don't recommend handshaking because it spreads illness... I was like, okay, enough of the dirty-tourist shaming. Not all of go to the bathroom to relieve ourselves without washing our hands afterwards. I get it, noro-virus is real.. But, again, it actually became insulting to me. WiFi: This is my biggest complaint, and one I plan on fighting with the cruise line itself to get my money back. I spent over $350 for my son and I to have unlimited WiFi on 1 device each for the week-long cruise. Now, this may seem like a ridiculous fee to many of you, but I back my choice up with we enjoy what we enjoy, and we enjoy having access to email, news, YouTube, games, etc. My first cruise was in 1996, and let me tell you, after using the "Internet Cafe" back in 1996, the speed we had for this WiFi was NO BETTER than it was back in 1996. Dial-up speed at its finest. I am well aware we are OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN. I get that. I get that WiFi may be sporadic. We paid for the HIGHEST LEVEL QUALITY of WiFi and we could barely do anything we wanted to do. We would be disconnected in the middle of reading news or email, games would be reset, videos wouldn't load. I paid the amount of 5 MONTHS of Cable Internet for ONE WEEK of WiFi on a cruise line, and so I'm going to say again, I expect for the cost of FIVE MONTHS of cable internet, we should have a RELIABLE connection. Otherwise, cut the cost in half. Would I Go Again: I love to cruise. I have done quite a few cruises. Would I ever sail with Norwegian again? NO WAY. Too many kids running up and down the hallways un-escorted. Too many younger children WAILING. Now this is not something Norwegian itself can fix, or can they? I mean, I guess it's time for me to look at more adults-only cruises. Way too many people trying to do a bunch of nothing on the 4 days at sea. Being docked over night for 2 nights while in Bermuda was kind of a new experience for me, and those days/nights it did seem a lot less crowded as people were off doing excursions, but yeah, too many loud and sheep-like tourists not at all realizing how annoying they and their kids were being. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
My husband and I love to cruise and decided to go on the Gem from Boston to Bermuda. I booked a balcony room but at the last minute saw there was a forward facing penthouse suite available so I called and changed the reservation to the ... Read More
My husband and I love to cruise and decided to go on the Gem from Boston to Bermuda. I booked a balcony room but at the last minute saw there was a forward facing penthouse suite available so I called and changed the reservation to the suite. We got to the pier at around 10:30 and were in the Haven/Suite waiting area by 10: 45. Anoop, our amazing concierge met us there and gave us our card keys and all the information we needed. We were escorted onto the ship at 11:15 and brought to Cagney's for our first lunch onboard. After lunch we decided to see if our room was ready even though they hadn't made any announcements about that yet. We were pleased that it was ready and waiting for us. We have had aft penthouse suites in the past which we have enjoyed but when we get suites on this class of ship, it will be forward facing from now on! The room is pretty much the same as the aft suite but the balcony is at least three or four times the size. There were two lounge chairs, two regular chairs and two small tables with plenty of room to walk around. We spent many hours on our balcony. While we were sailing, it was windy but if you sit on the loungers/chairs, it's really not bad at all. When we were docked, it was perfect! Our room stewardess was Helen and she was probably the best we have ever had! She took care of everything we needed and then some. She always had a smile and called us by name each time. She was so friendly and kind. We looked forward to seeing her in the hallway so we could chat. Our butler was Joaquin but we only saw him a couple of times. We didn't ask him to deliver any meals or anything like that but he brought our snacks every day. I was a little disappointed that we didn't get to know him better. We got all the perks - beverage package, dining package, excursion credit, and 250 minutes wifi. We are platinum so we also got two more specialty dinners. For dinners we ate at Cagney's twice, Teppanyaki, LeBistro, and LaCuccina. All meals were good but our tenderloin from LeBistro was the best steak we've ever eaten! I highly recommend LeBistro. Because we were in a suite, we got to have breakfast every morning in Moderno. It was quiet and the servers were very good. My husband's favorite breakfast there was steak (filet mignon) and eggs. My favorite was eggs benedict. Every morning while we were having breakfast, Anoop, our concierge stopped to see us and make sure we didn't need anything. Any questions we had, he answered for us and took care of a few minor issues with charges right away. The assistant maitre'd, I Made also visited us every morning. We enjoyed talking to him about his country and how things are run on the ship. He saw us when we were at LeBistro and came right over to us to say hi and make sure everything was ok. We had lunch at O'Sheehan's one day which was ok. We walked through the Garden Cafe a few times and saw they had a great variety of choices. The burgers there were pretty good! We didn't go to any of the shows because we've seen them all a few times. We spent a good amount of time at the Great Outdoors which is at the back of the Garden Cafe. It was a really nice place to sit and have a snack and a drink. There are tables in the shade and sun. They also have a buffet that has snacks, salads, fruit, sandwiches, and desserts. There is also a bar there with really good bartenders! We had priority disembarkation when we got to Bermuda. We met Anoop at Maltings along with the other people that had priority and he escorted us off the ship so we could skip the very long line of people waiting to get off. In Bermuda, we did the Rising Sun Catamaran Swim and Snorkel excursion. They met us right at the pier and we walked a short way to the catamaran. It was a three hour excursion that seemed more like a half hour. The crew were great. They were funny and entertaining telling us about Bermuda. They took us to a cove where we could swim, snorkel (with their equipment if we didn't have our own), paddle board, or kayak. The place we went this day had caves you could explore and there were a lot of fish to look at while snorkeling. They have Rum Swizzles that you can buy until the last hour when you are on the way back to the ship and they are free. They are the best Rum Swizzles too! We had a great time and I would go on this excursion every time we were in Bermuda! We also went to Horseshoe Bay. We took a mini-van in the parking lot between the two piers. It's $7 per person each way. They take you right to the entrance of Horseshoe Bay. When you are leaving (no set time), there will be another minivan there waiting or one will be there shortly. Horseshoe Bay is absolutely beautiful with its pink sand and little coves to walk to. The last day we were in Bermuda we walked around the Dockyard and did some souvenir shopping. It was pretty hot and very humid so we got back on the ship early. We were glad we did because we were able to get chairs right by the pool! That is something that in nine cruises, we have never been able to do. People "save" chairs by putting towels or other things on the chairs. Unfortunately, some of those people leave the towels there all day and only go to the pool for an hour or so. There are two pools, one adult only pool and one for everyone that has a lifeguard. There is also a big water slide that the kids love. For us, the wifi was only ok. We tried to FaceTime with our grandchildren twice and had issues both times. I checked my email and messages a few times and the server was very slow. It would take about a minute and a half for my emails to load. I also couldn't send any pictures to my sons or receive any from them. If I didn't get the free wifi, I wouldn't pay for it. Maybe it's better if you get the unlimited though. There were many people, especially teens on their devices all the time. We decided to get the Cruise Next deal where you pay for two Cruise Next certificates ($250 each) and get four. You can use two at a time on future cruises that are taken within four years. We tend to cruise once a year so that's a good deal for us. The only issue we had was at the shore excursion desk. My husband and I walked over to the desk and before we could say a word, the guy put up his hand and said, "Wait a minute, I need to do something" in a very nasty tone. We waited a couple of minutes and were finally able to ask our question. When he looked us up and saw we were platinum cruisers, his tone changed completely. It shouldn't matter what level you are at, everyone should be treated kindly. Overall, we had a wonderful time. I can't say enough about the crew and the service we received. I would highly recommend the Gem to Bermuda. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Our 1st cruise and we are NCL cruisers for life! We have already booked our 2nd cruise, a transatlantic. We can't say enough about how smoothly this vacation went. From getting on board and fine dining, followed by great ... Read More
Our 1st cruise and we are NCL cruisers for life! We have already booked our 2nd cruise, a transatlantic. We can't say enough about how smoothly this vacation went. From getting on board and fine dining, followed by great entertainment, this is the way to travel! Norwegian put the "Pro" in professional, the ship was immaculate from morning to night, and you hardly noticed the work it took to keep it that way. Our stateroom was attended to at least twice daily, and our steward was a joy. The entire staff made us feel special! After our transatlantic, we will cruise around Japan on a Norwegian ship as soon as possible. I'm a retired career Merchant Marine; these ships ride smooth and are meticulously maintained. We feel safe aboard Norwegian. NCL is a top-notch company! So what are you waiting for? Put some money down on your dream vacation and leave the rest to Norwegian! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The boat was overcrowded and not enough staff to attend to everyone. Since gratuities were suppose to be paid all upfront they did not have to work hard to get people there food or drinks, I waited 20-30 min for drinks and at dinner took ... Read More
The boat was overcrowded and not enough staff to attend to everyone. Since gratuities were suppose to be paid all upfront they did not have to work hard to get people there food or drinks, I waited 20-30 min for drinks and at dinner took 2hrs. at least. But then once you are on the boat they hit you with a 15$per person per day charge for someone to make up your room. If you want decent food you have to go to the specialty restaurant and pay for it. The adult pool was so small and way overcrowded. They had another adult pool but it had limited spots and fee was 210 per person for the week. The Spa was a nice facility. So one would think that after you pay for an overpriced massage you can use the rest of the amenities there but No that's an extra fee too. So be wary when you think you have an all inclusive they are so many hidden fees. Also the shows sucked, Royal Caribbean is such a better cruise line. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I think it's important before leaving a rating to understand the frame of mind of the traveler and their expectation levels before cruising. Let me say that in my case - I love cruising. To be it's about relaxation, the ... Read More
I think it's important before leaving a rating to understand the frame of mind of the traveler and their expectation levels before cruising. Let me say that in my case - I love cruising. To be it's about relaxation, the vacation coming to you, the full itinerary, the work is done for you, and the fact that everything is settled in advance. You go, you don't have to think too much about spending a fortune, you unwind, recharge, and when you get back, you don't feel like you need another vacation. That said on The Escape... The service was absolutely excellent, the food was excellent. The shows (Choir of Man and After Midnight, their Magic duo) were excellent. Our weather and our "ride" to an fro were excellent. So why just a 3-star review? The Escape loses points because it is simply overcrowded, there are not enough "open" spaces to just conversate or relax unless you want to tan on the upper deck and even that is way too overcrowded, and a little unruly and dirty (not their fault, the guests just leave food and drinks and dirty towels everywhere and the staff can't keep up). A lot of the indoor functions took place in the Theatre or the "Atrium," and it too was way overcrowded. The Theatre was fine, uncomfortable and rather small considering that there are 4000 guests on the ship. Spice H2O is a great party space, but again, way too overcrowded. This made it uncomfortable for my kind of tastes. As NY'ers, we go on a cruise to get away from that shoulder-to-shoulder discomfort, not to enter into it. Bars were hit or miss with service. O'Sheehan's., the main bar overlooking the Atrium was incredibly understaffed at the bar, and on a number of occasions we were simply ignored for 10-15 minutes at a time. Thankfully, there are other bars where it's easier to score a drink...no big deal. Felt a bit nickel-and-dimed at times (do they really have to charge $5.50 for a bottle of water in the room, especially when they charge guests $15 a day already?), and way, way, way too much space designated to art and photography. that's just a money grab and a waste of good space. On nights when photographers were around you had stairways blocked, cues of lines in hallways just to pass, it was rather obnoxious at times. It's a problem because the Escape just doesn't have a lot of usable space for a ship this large, there is simply too much congestion, and then throw in blocked hallways and staircases into the mix simply to take a portrait, c'mon now! And to do it for the final 4 nights on the cruise is a little too much. Choose a single night to do that, people dress up, take your picture, and be done with it. The Escape just hits you over the head with that nonsense. The automated bingo with predetermined winners was a letdown and way too expensive. Deal or no Deal and some of the other "game shows" were really boring and a letdown, but because that's not why I choose to cruise it didn't lose too many points. The bottom line is this - the Escape is NOT cheap and it is a good time. Where it needs to deliver - Food, drink, service, cleanliness, embarkation process - it truly is fantastic! but there a lot of minor annoyances that certainly will have me looking to "try something different" next time around, not because it's a bad ship but because I didn't walk away saying, "Wow, that ship is amazing" and that's simply what I want when I cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
For our family vacation this year we chose the NCL Escape. This was our 3rd cruise on NCL, and the 2nd on a Breakaway class ship. This cruise was, unfortunately, just OK. The Escape is a HUGE ship, over 4000 passengers, but I found it ... Read More
For our family vacation this year we chose the NCL Escape. This was our 3rd cruise on NCL, and the 2nd on a Breakaway class ship. This cruise was, unfortunately, just OK. The Escape is a HUGE ship, over 4000 passengers, but I found it to be poorly thought out and crowded. Our embarkation was flawless, NCL really has this down. Since we are latitude members we went from parking on the pier, to being on the ship in less than an hour. We were able to get into our cabin in about 2 hours, and finally start to relax. We sailed on time and leaving NY is always amazing to see! The ship is beautiful, clean and BIG! NCL's mantra has always been "Freestyle Cruising", so if that is the case why do I have to BOOK EVERYTHING! The one thing that I don't want to do on vacation is to make appointments and to keep them, but I can tell you from experience if you do not book shows, dinners, etc beforehand you will NOT get in. On our last NCL cruise you could just show up to the dueling pianos, or the comedy club, or theater, not this time. Everything was sold out, standing room only. The specialty dining sold out almost immediately so even though we had the dining package we ended up eating at the included restaurants most nights. The other issue I have is the "mandatory" tipping that has caused the service to go away. In the past tipping was something that we did when the service was excellent. Now, with mandatory tipping there is no reason for any of the staff to go above and beyond. I can tell you that I would wait almost 20 MINUTES for a drink at the pool bars. There was only 1 bartender on staff! My cabin steward for not unfriendly, but he rarely spoke to us. He worked his butt off and our room was spotless, but on past cruised they were always so friendly and went out of there way to get to know you. Also an FYI, NCL has stopped doing towel animals, stating that they want to cut down on washing, how about if you just put one less towel in the room and make the animals anyway, those little things cannot be emphasized enough. You can ask for them, but I did not know that until our last day. The food was hit or miss, some entrees were to die for, others I could make better at home. The staff in the dining rooms was also unpredictable. Some nights the servers were amazing, others they just did not seem to care. It was disappointing. Debarkation was as smooth as getting on. We walked off the ship through customs to our car in about an hour. It is definitely worth it to walk your own bags off the ship if possible. Any vacation is what you make it to be and we did have a great time. However, because of the things I mentioned above I will have to consider other cruise lines for our next trip even tough we are Latitude members. The ship was just too crowded and poorly thought out and mandatory tipping has taken the great service away from what has always been a great cruise brand. We may have to try Royal Caribbean next time. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
All the entertainment options my wife and I wanted to experience were fully booked by the first evening on the ship. The complimentary restaurants all had the same menu so there was only really two food options each day, one of the ... Read More
All the entertainment options my wife and I wanted to experience were fully booked by the first evening on the ship. The complimentary restaurants all had the same menu so there was only really two food options each day, one of the complimentary restaurants or the buffet. There was more food options but of course you would have to pay extra if you wanted to dine at them. The internet package that my wife payed access for only let her connect have of the time. Although the ship looked big the deck space was limited and almost all lounge chairs were claimed by 9am each morning. On the positive side the room steward was excellent and very attentive. He provided ice for us every day so we could keep or son’s baby food frozen. We did do excursions but decided to book on our own because it was cheaper then to book through the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
OK . . . I'll start by saying that there were plenty of positives, but... The food was not nearly as good as any of our previous cruises with other cruise lines The lines were too long for the slides and the high ropes course ... Read More
OK . . . I'll start by saying that there were plenty of positives, but... The food was not nearly as good as any of our previous cruises with other cruise lines The lines were too long for the slides and the high ropes course Every comedy show we tried to go to was sold out well in advance of the show The other shows we did attend were average at best, nothing spectacular No convenient way to stay hydrated, suggest putting in water bottle filling stations Smoke wasn't contained to casino and could be smelled on other levels Automatic gratuities do not encourage excellent service, had to complain more than once Teen curfew was not enforced, found at least 50 noisy teens out and about at 2:30am Took advantage of a massage special that included a Dr consultation, massage great, no Dr In general, crowded with over 5,500 guests on board, lots of lines and not enough seats! Would we go again? To get to Bermuda, yes! But we would probably consider looking at other options. We thought we would be wowed by NCL and they turned out to be slightly better than average. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
I am a first time cruiser but was going with my best friends family who regularly cruises multiple times a year. They kept referencing the fact that they do Royal Caribbean cruises and how it was so much better overall from this Norwegian ... Read More
I am a first time cruiser but was going with my best friends family who regularly cruises multiple times a year. They kept referencing the fact that they do Royal Caribbean cruises and how it was so much better overall from this Norwegian boat. The overall amount of people on the boat was overwhelming and it seemed like there was no space anywhere. We continued to have a great trip, making our own fun while on shore. Our stateroom attendant was the kindest worker on the whole boat, he took great care of us, Reggie. The staff on the waterslides were very indirect about regulations and were very rude towards me and my best friend’s brother for no reason. Friday night, after embarking from Bermuda, the boat conditions were absolutely horrific with the rocking of the boat and hearing the mini fridge and coat hangers slam around as the massive waves shook the room and the boat. We were all sick and got little to no sleep after being awoken every half an hour at least by how unsafe you feel and how the boat made us feel. My diagnosed anxiety has been never been so bad on a vacation. The customer service man at the main front desk was extremely helpful and understanding when my best friend lost her phone and they helped to recover it. The rock grotto was absolutely incredible and stunning, along with all of the views on the ship from the waterfront when it didn’t feel overcrowded or overwhelming, such as on the pool deck. I always have heard great stories from cruises and I wish I had that experience. The boat was the worst part. We did travel with a 3 year old and he seemed to enjoy himself but again there was minimal space for him to play. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I choose Norwegian Escape to Bermuda because I wanted lots of time to relax and be pampered, great excursions and one port of destination. From boarding to disembarkation, I felt like I was treated like a queen...but I do tend to act like ... Read More
I choose Norwegian Escape to Bermuda because I wanted lots of time to relax and be pampered, great excursions and one port of destination. From boarding to disembarkation, I felt like I was treated like a queen...but I do tend to act like one. Lol. The staff referred to me by name (which blew my mind), they remembered details and special needs. I honestly do not have the time to explain the quality of the freestyle dining in terms of food, presentation, and staff. You honestly would think the Maitre D's were taking care of royalty. The entertainment was great. An older couple who were on their 27th cruise with different cruise lines told me that it was the best entertainment they had ever encountered. I don't have the comparison, because this was my first extended cruise, but OMG...the entertainment was first class with Broadway and Motown entertainers, as well as comedians from well known television shows. Would I do it again? I can't wait to do it again. I am hypersensitive to cigarette smoke, so my only displeasure is that some of the events I wanted to attend were or the two smoking floors and required me to go in and out so that the faint smell did not cause me difficulty. Please note that the faint smell did not bother most people, and probably would not bother 99.9 but as always, cigarette smoke can cause headaches for me. Excursions were professional and fun! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We cruised 7/21 out of NYC to Bermuda. I was a little hesitant after reading the negative reviews by some about the number of people on the ship. After the first day, I knew crowds were not going to be much of a problem. Full review ... Read More
We cruised 7/21 out of NYC to Bermuda. I was a little hesitant after reading the negative reviews by some about the number of people on the ship. After the first day, I knew crowds were not going to be much of a problem. Full review below: Embarkation - Easy. We arrived at the pier at 10:30, and we were on the ship at 11:30. Ship - Beautiful and clean. Even though there are a lot of people on this ship, we could always find a quiet place to sit and relax in the sun, or in the shade (Deck 8) Cabin - We had two inside cabins across from each other. It's a cruise ship cabin. It was small, clean, and served our needs. Dining - We always ate in one of the three main dining rooms for dinner. We did not eat at any specialty restaurants. We had reservations, but sometimes we wanted to switch dining rooms, or eat a little earlier. So we did not always use our reservation. We are a party of 5, and we had no problem walking in without a reservation around 5:30. I thought the food was excellent. My wife thought it was very good. She wished they had more seafood selections on the menu. The buffet had a seafood night for dinner, and she wished she checked it out. The service was very good. Some of the wait staff were very personable, and asked about our day. Others, just served us food. But everyone was extremely nice.The desserts were great. We ate at the Garden Buffet everyday for breakfast and lunch. They had a wide selection of food. It was all very good. Entertainment and Activities: We booked After Midnight prior to cruising, and we booked The Choir of Man as soon as we got on the ship. The music in After Midnight wasn't my type of music, but the show was excellent. Definitely worth it. The Choir of Man was awesome. Again definitely worth it. We saw Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos on three different nights. They were great. My boys and I went on to the ropes course any time we wanted. We waited in line one time, but only for 5 minutes. Make sure you walk the plank!! Half of the course was usually closed due to high winds. The tube water slide usually had a line. Service: Fabulous. Our cabin steward always asked how my day was going, he opened the door for me whenever we were in the same hallway, and upon my request, he made towel animals every night for the kids. All other staff were great as well. Extremely friendly, and personable. Earlier reviews had mentioned long waits at the bars, chair hogs, and not enough seating in the Atrium for shows. I agree that some bars were crowded, especially by the pool. I just walked to another (usually the complimentary side of Vibe) and I had no problem ordering drinks. To deal with the chair hogs, stickers were placed on chairs with the time a towel and belongings were placed on it. If the chair was not sat in during that hour, a worker removed the towel and the belongings of the person who had the chair. I thought that was great. My wife and I always got a chair where she wanted on the 17th floor, one deck above the pool overlooking the ocean. Regarding the Atrium, if many people were standing watching a show, workers would bring additional chairs for people to sit in. I always had a seat available, if I wanted to sit. But, I did not go to many shows there. Disembarkation: Organized. But it was the only aspect of the cruise that I was disappointed in. Everyone had to have a colored tag with a time frame to leave the ship. Even though only the first color was called over the intercom, workers let anyone with the first three colors (with a time given) off the ship. This made the line extremely long. However, it did move quickly. Overall: A fantastic cruise. I highly recommend NCL and the Norwegian Escape. As long as you plan accordingly, the number of people are not an issue with the exception of the pools. If you want to swim, it needs to be done early in the morning or late in the day. During peak sun hours, the pool is too crowded. But in my experience, pools on cruise ships are always overcrowded. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose Norwegian because I heard it was a great company to sail with. From when we stepped on the ship everyone was welcoming, friendly and helpful. We only stopped in Bermuda but what a great stop it was. People are friendly and helpful ... Read More
I chose Norwegian because I heard it was a great company to sail with. From when we stepped on the ship everyone was welcoming, friendly and helpful. We only stopped in Bermuda but what a great stop it was. People are friendly and helpful and we felt safe to explore on our own. If you don’t like crowds then I would recommend the spa rooms. We upgraded to the spa balcony and loved that we could get away from all the noise and drunk people and use the quiet time to relax. The only issue I had was the restaurants where slow to serve. Some might thing that’s ok but for us it wasn’t. Allow 1 1/2 to 2 depending on your group size for dinner. Make reservations before you get on the ship or right when you get on it. They have kiosk that you can do yourself which was great. The shows on the Escape where ok but needs to be booked as soon as you get on the ship. Would highly recommend a Norwegian Cruise Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
There’s absolutely nothing negative that I can say about my first experience with Norwegian. This will be the first of many because I don’t think there is a better cruise line out there and I’ve tried carnival but this cruise line ... Read More
There’s absolutely nothing negative that I can say about my first experience with Norwegian. This will be the first of many because I don’t think there is a better cruise line out there and I’ve tried carnival but this cruise line far exceeded my expectations. Everything from the food to the service to the entertainment was top-notch. Anything you could possibly need they are there to accommodate without a problem. For me the food was the highlight of my trip because I am a huge foodie and for me that was very important. And not only was it good at the specialty dining restaurants but also in every other dining option you had from the buffet to the complementary dining rooms. My family and I totally love the entertainment on board from the comedy shows to the bands that played. The friendliest crew of people i’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting on a ship. Good work Norwegian keep it up!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We stayed in the Haven area, and I will tell you this, once you go Haven there is no turning back. We had the best butler, Roland, the best cabin assistant Jennifer, and Adrian and his staff were outstanding. Our every wish was taken ... Read More
We stayed in the Haven area, and I will tell you this, once you go Haven there is no turning back. We had the best butler, Roland, the best cabin assistant Jennifer, and Adrian and his staff were outstanding. Our every wish was taken care of sometimes without even realizing we had a wish. The Haven restaurant impeccable. The wait staff was so attentive breakfast, lunch and dinner. Must have..Rack of Lamb! Oh! And the bartender in the Haven area makes a mean Bloody Mary. Don’t miss Cagneys, LaCucina, or Moderno. You can’t make a bad choice. The staff and crew from boarding the ship to disembarking were attentive, pleasant, and just SPECTACULAR. Don’t miss The Choir oh Men...The best show. Our trip was so great my sister is booking her trip for September. thank you NCL. For reviving me ✌️ Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Well I was a bit skeptical going in......Some of the past reviews I have read about the Escape were somewhat mixed. Large ship, lots of people, bad service?? I was concerned let's be honest. But it was just so wonderful, where do I ... Read More
Well I was a bit skeptical going in......Some of the past reviews I have read about the Escape were somewhat mixed. Large ship, lots of people, bad service?? I was concerned let's be honest. But it was just so wonderful, where do I begin. We haven't cruised in 30 years. This was our 30th anniversary celebration. This ship is just beautiful. The service was first class. Food very good. Shows were amazing. Yes, some areas crowded up, but it was never a big issue. So much to do so everyone was scattered about. We will definitely go Norwegian again. I also loved the designated quiet areas on the ship The Waterfront on deck 8 was very relaxing when you wanted quiet time. Something for everyone on this cruise. One thing I can suggest, if any: maybe another pool area for cause one pool for adults only? Could have been a bit larger. But still it was no big issue for us. Maybe some get togethers for couples of two - just a suggestion. All in all, a perfect cruise to Bermuda. Read Less
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