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Sail Date: June 2018
I think all the hype we heard about cruising - especially about the Escape - may have set our expectations too high. The ship was very crowded and it took us four days to get the ‘lay of the land.’ Taste and Savor were very ... Read More
I think all the hype we heard about cruising - especially about the Escape - may have set our expectations too high. The ship was very crowded and it took us four days to get the ‘lay of the land.’ Taste and Savor were very enjoyable restaurants and the service at both was usually very good. The food at the buffet was also quite good and the many different selections were a pleasant surprise, but it was usually VERY crowded. The only really outstanding specialty dining experience we had was at Cagney’s; the service and food were both excellent. La Cucina was a disappointment. The service at Le Bistro was excellent, but the food was only average in my opinion. Overall, I feel that the ship is too big and, therefore, there are too many passengers which make for a VERY CROWDED vacation at sea. We may try another cruise to a different destination - probably on a smaller ship. The pool was too small for the number of passengers and it was almost impossible to get service at the bar. The DJ at the pool was just WAAAY too loud. I know they say if it’s too loud you’re too old, but we are definitely NOT too old. I’m a veteran rocker/former singer in a rock band and our son is a musician who gigs quite often and we are always front and center when he plays. That being said...there was a band, Kartunes, and a bunch of their local fans that were on our ship. The band played three different times at the pool and they were fantastic! And - this is the kicker - they were LOUD and sounded GREAT! Norwegian should consider hiring that band as a ‘house’ band for some sailings. The one very pleasant experience was meeting all of the lovely people onboard. Everyone we chatted with were veteran cruisers that were happy to tell us newbies about their many sailings and what they did - and did not - like about each. It gave us hope that our next cruise would be a more enjoyable experience. Final thought: some of the crew did have an ‘I already got my tip so I don’t care’ attitude. Those folks did not get anything extra from us. We handed out cash to the many that were pleasant to deal with and the (sadly) very few that went the extra mile to make our trip a memorable one. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We booked this cruise as a last minute something to do after being home for a while. It was our first time on the Dawn but not first time cruising with NCL. We had a balcony on the 9th floor right across from the lounge entrance. Our ... Read More
We booked this cruise as a last minute something to do after being home for a while. It was our first time on the Dawn but not first time cruising with NCL. We had a balcony on the 9th floor right across from the lounge entrance. Our cabin was nice but as in all balconies there was little room to maneuver. We really enjoyed the lounge area, had never seen that on the other ships we have been on. The atrium was beautiful and we liked the stage area being in between the 7th and 8th floor with a view from the 9th floor lounge, while listening to Patti and Jose sing each night. We had a dinner package and a drink package, which is well worth the service charge that you pay. Since we booked this cruise late, we didn’t get the best choices in dinner reservations so I highly recommend making those reservations as soon as you can. The filet at Cagney’s was the best we have ever had......so tender and flavorful! We tried the Mexican restaurant (not offered on all NCL ships) and didn’t care for their version of Mexican. The main dining room is always nice but basically the same menu every day. I was a little disappointed that people didn’t dress a little better for dinner. The crew is always so very helpful and friendly. The waiters in the bar get to know you and remember what you drink. This cruise was a little different for us Southerners......95% of the people on this ship were from Boston and many were regulars. Enough said about that! The entertainment was good.....there were 2 comedians and both were funny! We didn’t see the Elements show because we enjoyed Patti and Jose so much and our last night we just stayed and listened to them. We had 2 excursions booked but the one on our last day was cancelled due to the rain. We took the Evening Cruise to the Bermuda Triangle in a glass bottom boat and the guide was very good and humorous. We were supposed to see a shipwreck but never saw it.....just a piece of the ship sticking up out of the water. And we were supposed to see fish....well, we saw several of the same kind of fish. I was looking for some pretty fish and it was some big white fish....not very interesting! Bermuda is a very expensive place.....lunch for 2 was about $50, but I guess that is expected in Bermuda. NCL has a free ferry that we took to St George’s and then took a bus back for sightseeing. I never saw the pink sand except as we rode by and it looked beige to me......someone on the bus told me that that was as pink as it got. Bottom line......I love to cruise and don’t care where I go, as long as I am cruising!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
It’s a smaller ship so of course you don’t get all the amenities of a larger ship like multiple large pools, and slides and a few other things such as a devoted comedy area. It was easy to navigate after walking around for a ... Read More
It’s a smaller ship so of course you don’t get all the amenities of a larger ship like multiple large pools, and slides and a few other things such as a devoted comedy area. It was easy to navigate after walking around for a few hours, the staff was amazing and I personally loved the washy washy guy even though some of the older crowd weren’t very fond of him. The complimentary food was good and little to no issues other than a bit of a wait. The guest entertainment was fantastic and the Elements show was fantastic some of the dancing can be a little risqué and seemed unecessary at times, but since it has been produced by Norwegian you’re stuck with it for a while until they revamp the shows. Overall staff and crew and fellow passengers all become like a family and greet you every morning, day, and night. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
This was our first time on the Dawn, and it more than met our expectations. We wanted to go to Bermuda, but not on the bigger ships. We have sailed many other NCL ships, (Starward, Magesty, Norway, Jewel, Gem and the Sun. We never were ... Read More
This was our first time on the Dawn, and it more than met our expectations. We wanted to go to Bermuda, but not on the bigger ships. We have sailed many other NCL ships, (Starward, Magesty, Norway, Jewel, Gem and the Sun. We never were disappointed in the service food or entertainment. We live near NYC, and when looking for a cruise to Bermuda, the only choice we had was the Escape. We did not want to sail the big ship, so we chose to drive to Boston and booked the Dawn. Well the Dawn is in a class by itself. The ship is older, but the Captain has made sure that she is beautifully maintained' The staff is unbelievably attentive, and they look like they really work as a team. We met many Bostonians who have sailed her many times to Bermuda and have only good things to say. Many that we met said that they were sad that she will be going to New York next year, and will miss her and the staff. The entertainment was outstanding. Patti and Jose was very talented musicians, and they plan to stay on the Dawn. Dave Dingo, Cruise Director does a great getting people excited about the events of the day.The comedians, Julie Barr, and Harry O'Donoghue keep us in stitches. Harry is an Irish comic, who plays and sings Irish favorites. Chris Burke and the dancers gave great performances. The high light was Elements, a award winning production show. We took a 3 hour Catamaran Cruise and Snorkel on the Restess Native, gave us a chance to swim and snorkel in beautiful Bermuda waters. Great crew and would do it again when we return to Bermuda. On the last day we took the ferry to Hamilton and had lunch at the Hog Penny, nice service and good food. It's one of the oldest restaurants in Hamilton. Deciding to drive to Boston from Long Island was a good decision. Parking was easy, the Dawn more than met our expectations, and we loved sailing with Bostonian's I can say ParRk the CaR i HaRvaRd Squar with a Boston accent. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
I went with 3 other friends. We have all cruised before, but this was the first time on a Norwegian cruise. We were told the ship holds over 4,000 passengers, and boy did we feel it. The pool was so crowded with humanity that you didn't ... Read More
I went with 3 other friends. We have all cruised before, but this was the first time on a Norwegian cruise. We were told the ship holds over 4,000 passengers, and boy did we feel it. The pool was so crowded with humanity that you didn't even want to go in, even if you could have fit. Hot tubs were the same. The sundeck on Deck 20 was a nice respite from the crowds, but there was no pool to cool off in. The worst part was that there was no drink service up there. We were there for many hours on 2 different days, and not once did a server come around Part of the Sundeck was like a cruel joke - you looked over the area for The Haven on Deck 19, with their private hot tub, cushioned lounges and lots of wait staff. Obviously these passengers knew the right way to book their cruise. Breakfast restaurants (Savor and Taste) are only open until 9:30 am, which is absurdly early. If you want to avoid the feeding trough atmosphere of the main buffet, which is teeming with what seems like 99% of the passengers, you have to wake up and get to one of these restaurants before 9:15. Likewise, dinner restaurants closed at 9:30-10:30 pm, depending on which one you go to. At one restaurant, The Manhattan Club, the staff was cleaning and vacuuming while we finished our dessert! Because of the location of The Haven, the private premium passenger area, there is no lounge at the front of the ship for the general population. That is a big negative. It is always nice to be able to look out at the front to see where you are going. The musical entertainment was great. Especially Bryant from The Classic Tones, who is an incredibly talented Colombian guitar player. You haven't seen anything until you've seen him play Hotel California behind his head!!! The cabins were adequate. Our porter, Jacinto, was the sweetest and very helpful. All in all, I would not go on a Norwegian cruise again. If you do decide to go, look into the fares for The Haven - it is well worth it to have all that privacy - private check-in, better staterooms, much better class of service. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Don’t buy anything from the shops! No matter how good of a deal it may seem, it’s not. My husband bought a watch that was 75% off the last day at sea, making it $195. He came home and researched the watch and the name brand ... Read More
Don’t buy anything from the shops! No matter how good of a deal it may seem, it’s not. My husband bought a watch that was 75% off the last day at sea, making it $195. He came home and researched the watch and the name brand store is selling the exact same watch for $105 regular price. What a rip off! We have been trying to get in touch with the cruise customer service to discuss our highly disappointing experience but no one answers or will return our phone calls. The entertainment was okay. Most of the game shows and such were held in the Atrium right next to customer service. It was an awful place to have main events and entertainment because there was not enough seating and it’s right next to the guest services where you can’t talk or hear. The layout was awful. Main shows and entertainment should have been held in a theater where there is enough space. The restaurant MANHATTAN is a place I do NOT recommend! The service is very slow, and unpersonable. Half of our group did not get everything they ordered and barely saw our server to ask for it. I would however recommend TASTE. The restaurant has awesome waiters who are very personable and will strive to meet your every need. They are also really reasonably fast. Our waiter Ceva made sure our group was happy and even kept my nephews entertained with lots of cool tricks. At the Bermuda port I was very irritated, because the dolphin mascot grabbed me trying to make me take a picture with him/her. So watch out for hands/flippers! So unprofessional! It was nice to come back to the boat and be offered a wash cloth and drink. That was very nice. Overall though, I was not impressed at all by this ship. Which is unfortunate because it is a fairly new ship. I have been on 15+ cruise ships though, and this one is probably really low on my list due to all the problems we had. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We are a young family and cruise a few times a year. We were excited about the Norwegian Escape because it was going to our favorite cruise destination: Bermuda. We are from Boston and could have easily sailed out of Boston but chose to ... Read More
We are a young family and cruise a few times a year. We were excited about the Norwegian Escape because it was going to our favorite cruise destination: Bermuda. We are from Boston and could have easily sailed out of Boston but chose to make the short trip to NY to try out the highly acclaimed Escape. Looking over deck plans and descriptions it seemed this ship would have something for everyone! We cruised as a large group: 10 adults and 6 kids, ages 7m-6 years. Cabin: We have 3 young children and this was our first cruise as a family of 5. Most cruise lines can only accommodate 4 people to a state room. Norwegian Escape has a Family Oceanview options which accommodates up to five people. Perfect. No complaints about the room. It’s more spacious than a balcony room and the kids have their own area which is sectioned off by a curtain from the adults bed. Bathroom was significantly larger than an average bathroom with a tub, which was also great traveling with kids. This was the first cruise we went on, however, where I had no idea who our room steward was. The room was tidy and always made up and turned down but usually the stewards learn our name and make it more of a personal experience. I missed that. Dining: The Norwegian Escape seems to have never ending dining options but very few options you don’t have to pay extra for. We ate at all the Complimentary restaurants: Taste and Savor, The Manhattan Room and, of course, the Garden Cafe. The Garden Cafe is great for a quick bite to eat but it’s like eating at a cafeteria. It’s loud and the food is subpar. But it’s fast service. Taste and Savor are sister restaurants that serve different options every night. The food is delicious and you can order as many entrees and appetizer combos that you’d like and I advise ordering a few because the portions are small. The Manhattan Room serves the same menu as Taste and Savor but is their “fancier” option when you feel like getting dolled up for the night. We didn’t eat at any of the non-complimentary options. Why should we? Almost all options on the specialty restaurant menus are available at one of the complimentary restaurants menus at some point during the week. Save your money and keep your eyes peeled at the menus. A final thought on dining and a thought that resonates much farther than just the restaurants: make reservations! This was probably the most disappointing parts of cruising on the Escape. The ship is huge yet there are waits and people everywhere! We had to wait for tables at almost every meal at every dining option...yes, even the Garden Cafe (“the cafeteria”). Unacceptable. Then, once seated, service can be extremely slow in the restaurants. We had 3 dinners where, from the time we sat down to the time we got dessert it was over 2.5 hours. And we had kids with us so we were trying to rush. Doesn’t bode well for those trying to make a show in the early evening. Spa: Every cruise I get a massage. My way of treating myself. If you’ve ever gone to the spa on a cruise you know you’re going to pay double for treatments than what you’d pay on land. You would hope paying such a hefty price tag that service would be on point and impeccable. Wrong. I had an appointment for a 75 minute massage. I arrived to the spa 10 minutes early but I was taken for the treatment 15 minutes after my appointment time. No big deal, I thought. I have my massage which was ehh OK and then get dressed. I check my watch to see I wasn’t even on the table for an hour!! I paid for 75!! I bring this to the massage therapist’s attention and she says they “reserve 15 minutes for an after-treatment complimentary skin and body consultation”. What’s that you ask? It’s when they sit you down and try to sell you extremely expensive lotions, creams and scrubs they used on you during your massage. What a scam. Never again will I get a massage on a Norwegian Cruise. Port and Excursions: Bermuda is paradise. We love it because, unlike the Caribbean Islands, it’s a “safe” destination. We can freely leave the boat and walk around without worry of people constantly trying to sell you things or rob you. We took a taxi to Horseshoe Bay. It was packed but it’s so gorgeous there the people don’t matter. We did not do any shore excursions. I compared the Norwegian shore excursions to what the companies just off the boat were offering for the same experiences and off the boat was cheaper. I guess the convenience of having Norwegian arrange all the plans could be worth it but I’d rather save a few bucks and fend for myself off the boat. On board Entertainment: I wouldn’t know. This was probably the most disappointing aspect of the whole cruise. If you’re going to build a ship to accommodate 4,000 people, you better make sure you have availability to entertain all of them. My biggest piece of advice for anyone cruising on the Escape is to book your entertainment for the week as soon as you get aboard. If you don’t it will sell out and you’ll be left to entertain yourself every night. Half of going on a cruise is for the entertainment and to have all options sell out was terrible. Kids options: We sailed with our 3 kids. The two older kids were able to go to Splash Academy daily, the on board children’s program for kids aged 3-12. My kids loved it. They had different theme nights all leading up to the most adorable show put on by the kids on the last day. Very well done and I know my kids will be talking about it for a while. The Norwegian Escape also is the only Norwegian ship to offer childcare for infants. We have a 6 month old so this was a great option for us. You have to book in 2 hour blocks which can be annoying but they take great care of the babies and always make you feel confident in their abilities. Only complaint about the Kids program is the times. All other cruise lines seem to be open during the evening for drop off so parents can go to dinner. Norwegian Escape doesn’t open their program until later in the evening which can get in the way of dinner for the adults. That’s really my only complaint about the kids program. Overall impression: The ship is definitely something to see. It’s huge and nicely decorated. The staterooms are beautiful and the food is tasty. However, understand that your ticket price is more or less paying for your bed and a few meals. They try to up charge you for everything everywhere you look. And prepare For crowds everywhere! Make reservations as quickly and as often as possible. Avoid shore excursions and trips to the spa: ripoffs. If we could do it again I think we would still choose this crusie. It worked for our family. The money charged across the boat adds up quickly so prepare your elf. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
The NCL Ship- Escape is very well maintained and many really nice areas to explore on this ship. Everything on this ship was clean. The staff was right on top of picking up dishes and empty glasses. The thought is was very clean. I ... Read More
The NCL Ship- Escape is very well maintained and many really nice areas to explore on this ship. Everything on this ship was clean. The staff was right on top of picking up dishes and empty glasses. The thought is was very clean. I traveled to Bermuda which I loved! Our cabin had a balcony - mid ship. It was clean and comfortable with a lot of storage. It was similar to most cruise ship. Tons of dining options. Main dining rooms were very nice and plenty of food choices. Very delicious! (One night service was quite slow over 2 hours to eat). I went to three specialty restaurants- Cagney's, Moderno's and Teppanyaki which all had excellent food with excellent service. A really good time. I did go to the Supper club one time.Really enjoyed the atmosphere, so intimate. The entertainment was an illusionist and comedian, so fun. But beware there is only ONE dinner option- grilled salmon(which I don't eat) fortunately, I could go to buffet after. The buffet was excellent so many different foods. Seriously, the best of all cruise ships I have been on!. Plenty of seats too.Oh, I loved the pizza.( usually not great on ships) I don't want to forget, not only do they have soft served ice cream but hard as well. Yum All the desserts were amazing. I read before cruising on cruise critic that staff was unhappy and not friendly, however I didn't see that at all. EVERYONE I came in contact with were super nice and friendly. Totally willing to please. Also I read the ship was super smokey, people smoking all around the ship. Areas around the casino were smokey and I did not like that, but that was the only place. I had the unlimited beverage package. Drinks were excellent and NOT watered down at all. Only things worth mentioning is bottled water is not included and they don't have straws at all. There are tons of bars and waiters to provides drinks. I tipped each time I got a drink, they really appreciated it. One of our favorite bars was Tobacco Roads, "Arnie" makes a great martini and helped me to try new drinks. The hotel director , his assistant, and the cruise director, Alvin are a few worth mentioning. Always around the ship and honestly wanted everyone to be happy. They each must have asked me at least 5 different times if I needed anything and if things were going well. I did have one concern about a golf excursion and they did their very best to make it right. I was very happy. My one big complaint about this ship is it has a lot people, over 4,000. The pool area was over crowded. There just isn't enough pool space for everyone. I had to reserved a chair at 9am otherwise, there was no way to sit by the pool. Forget about actually going in the pool, every space taken. A little disappointing to me because pool time is very important on a cruise vacation. However, if you enjoy quiet time, the "Waterfront" area is the best. You can relax, read, and have a drink in peace! My Favorite space. Let's not forget the entertainment- there is something for everyone- "Dancing with the crew",, trivia, games shows, towel folding, sushi making, movies, karaoke, glow party, dancing, comedy, Broadway type shows, shopping , casino and on and on! But my personal favorite, and would go on another cruise just for this was the Howling at the moon Piano players- Mark, Vince & Whitney. Fabulous. They sing, play the piano play the drums, and really know how to get the crowd going. You couldn't drag me away. They had a packed house for 4 hours straight. Every night they played. ONE NOT MISS! Comedians were so funny too. It was nice that the headliners room was spacious. I wasn't thrilled that you couldn't make reservations prior to departure. everyone had to wait at the box office If you were late getting on the ship, show wee booked and you had to go stand by. Last thing to mention- I purchased the "spa Package" (cheapest if you purchased before cruise) I loved every second in this space. They kept this area immaculate. Heat beds, steam room sauna, chill room and the pool was awesome. Jets everywhere! Everything you need -lockers, towel, robes, shampoo, water, tea and a beautiful view I I also had a massage by Maricris. All I can say is "THE BEST" Worth every penny. The spa manager was super helpful too. Thumbs up to entire NCL staff. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Had sailed before on the Breakaway, so the Escape was familiar. Ship was clean and well kept; crew was friendly. Entertainment wise; 'Cirque' was not featured on the Escape and I missed it. 'After Midnight' was excellent show! Casino and ... Read More
Had sailed before on the Breakaway, so the Escape was familiar. Ship was clean and well kept; crew was friendly. Entertainment wise; 'Cirque' was not featured on the Escape and I missed it. 'After Midnight' was excellent show! Casino and surrounding areas were smokey. Late night parties on SpiceH2o , were very loud, and musical selections could have been better. The Skyline Bar had good entertainment, but a weird set up, not that comfortable or attractive and smokey. Loved Spice during the day and the Water Grotto was fun. The wine tastings were informative and fun. District Brewhouse had comfortable seating with large windows overlooking the water. I missed the Martini Bar and the Ice bar. The Garden Cafe Buffet was very good and had lots of choices. We also enjoyed eating at Savor and Taste as well as the main dining room. We ate at 3 specialty restaurants: Le Bistro was excellent, Cagneys had great atmosphere and service but rib eye not. La Cucina shrimp dishes crazy salty, sent back. Bayamo great food and service. Bartenders and bars excellent, especially Tobacco Road and Atrium. Enjoyed the comedy shows! As far as our cabin went, the balcony was a little larger than 'Breakaway'., which was a plus. Cabin fine, was kept clean and tidy, but attendent not so personable, { threw out our dessert that was sent by the Hotel Director that had just been delivered to our room ] Didn't do excursions in Bermuda, just walked around the port. Seems they are better at policing chair hogs at the pool, so that was good. Favorite spot: The Waterfront. Will be sailing next on the Bliss out of NY. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Chose this cruise for it's port of call - Bermuda! Incredible country and loved the fact that we had almost 3 days there. First time sailing w/ NCL...loved being able to board by 11am and embarkation process was smooth. Ship has SO many ... Read More
Chose this cruise for it's port of call - Bermuda! Incredible country and loved the fact that we had almost 3 days there. First time sailing w/ NCL...loved being able to board by 11am and embarkation process was smooth. Ship has SO many dining and drinking options - don't think we managed to get to them all! Our kids LOVED Splash Academy - said they liked it even better than the kids' programs on Disney cruises! Food was overall good - would highly recommend specialty dining - exceptional meals in Teppanyaki, Cagneys and La Cucina! Only criticism is the lack of pools - only 2 pools and, of those, one is reserved for adults only. With ALL kids on ship only being able to use one pool (and therefore the parents all using that pool, too) it was way too crowded and poorly monitored. Also, the way the deck is arranged with a water slide on one side of kids' pool and aqua park on other side, there is NO seating around kids pool for parents to use. You essentially are left standing the whole time or sitting on a bench that runs along the wall. No loungers, no chairs, no nothing. Only other negative was the overall level of service. We didn't receive bad service anywhere...we just didn't receive exceptional service almost anywhere either. Disappointed in leaving w/out feeling like we'd been "pampered". Isn't that part of the cruise experience?! In summary, we will be back I'm sure - if not on the Escape than on another NCL cruise. They run a good show! Read Less
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