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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
I wanted to give a review of the Escape, but don't have time to write out every single detail so I've narrowed it down to some pros and cons. To give you some background, I have been on RC and HA before, though it has been over 10 years ... Read More
I wanted to give a review of the Escape, but don't have time to write out every single detail so I've narrowed it down to some pros and cons. To give you some background, I have been on RC and HA before, though it has been over 10 years since my last cruise. My boyfriend also cruised with Princess almost 20 years ago. Since it has been so many years, it would be unfair to compare those other cruises to this one. We had heard excellent things about NCL from people who sailed with them previously and decided to book with them, especially since we live so close to the NY port. Pros: The ship is impressive; An adult only area is available (Spice H20); Every cruise employee was friendly and eager to please; The room steward (Jerome) always had our room in great shape; A variety of food options available; It was nice having 3 days in one port (Bermuda); The self-debarkation was fast. Cons: Food was only a step above cafeteria food (I don't blame the chefs, but believe NCL purchases cheaper items to keep costs low. While I've eaten in high-end restaurants before, I also love a good Costco hotdog and Kraft mac and cheese and those items would have been better than what we ate.); Service was very slow in restaurants (wait staff was friendly and eager to please though-maybe the kitchen was far?); It is difficult to get reservations at the specialty restaurants (which often remained empty even when they said they were booked); Crowds were overwhelming (It was difficult to get around the ship at times. Elevators were impossible. The first day especially was unpleasant with so many lines and people crowding in different areas.). Overall, we had a great time together and in Bermuda, but found the cruise to be just okay. We probably wouldn't cruise NCL again unless they had some unbelievable deal available. As I mentioned earlier, other people have said great things about NCL, so maybe your experience will be different. Just wanted to give my 2 cents! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We are avid cruisers and have done the last few in the Haven. We enjoy the priority embarkation and debarkation, room size and most of the amenities included in the Haven. We live local so no flight involved and booking through Costco ... Read More
We are avid cruisers and have done the last few in the Haven. We enjoy the priority embarkation and debarkation, room size and most of the amenities included in the Haven. We live local so no flight involved and booking through Costco gained us a $785 Costco gift card upon return. NCL direct booking couldn't offer anything close. Entorage teen club is for 13-17 year old teens. Basically the only ones that went were the younger girls and older boys, not a good combination. Shows were average, Escape the big top hasn't changed since last year, Dueling pianos good, Comedy Excellent. Bayamo/La Cucinna Average. Cagneys below average (Steak was supermarket quality at best). Tepanyaki was above average. Bermuda is great but most of the port shuts down early, no nightlife. We rented a Pontoon boat locally and did some swimming and snorkeling on our own. I highly recommend doing so. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Everything was absolutely top notch, as our past experiences with Norwegian have been. From Embarkation to Debarkation, nothing was amiss or a disappointment as far as quality and service. Staff is wonderful and the food is fantastic. ... Read More
Everything was absolutely top notch, as our past experiences with Norwegian have been. From Embarkation to Debarkation, nothing was amiss or a disappointment as far as quality and service. Staff is wonderful and the food is fantastic. Very clean and modern. My only complaint is the business of having to make reservations for shows and comedians, which of course is not limited to this ship alone and is done on other cruise lines. Stop calling it "Freestyle" cruising when this has to be done, and there is a risk of losing your dinner reservation if you're more than 15 minutes late. Royal Caribbean and Carnival also makes you have reservations for the main dining rooms for anytime dining, but they have a much longer window. While Carnival's shows are not at the level of Norwegian or RCL, their comedians are generally better and they never require reservations for any show. Every show and comedy show we saw had plenty of empty seats, which was our experience on The Gem and The Breakaway as well as every Royal and Carnival ship we've ever been on. In other words...No need to make reservations. If it's full, then it's full...try again another time. This is really our ONLY complaint. It's hardly "Freestyle" by any means. Food was outstanding no matter where we ate. Garden Cafe, Taste, Savor, Manhattan Room and some of the speciality restaurants - all totally top notch. We especially like the Brazillian steak house, Moderno, which we also ate at on The Breakaway. Every staff member was polite, courteous and accommodating, although the occasional singing can get a little annoying. We would definitely go on again, but also love the other lines as well and will probably do one of them sooner since we switch around. While we cruise often, this was my Mother's first cruise in more than 35 years and she was astounded at the size and scale of everything. We kidded her a lot when she remarked that there was no skeet shooting and that the cabin stewards used to lay out women's night gowns for them. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
It was so convenient to board ship in the port of New York and immediately be "on vacation"without having to take a flight. Bermuda was beautiful and I liked it much better than the Caribbean Islands. The ship was beautiful ... Read More
It was so convenient to board ship in the port of New York and immediately be "on vacation"without having to take a flight. Bermuda was beautiful and I liked it much better than the Caribbean Islands. The ship was beautiful and clean. As it was the last week before the start of school in NY there were many young families with small children aboard. Though the children were well behaved I would like to go again while school is in session. It was certainly understandable that the young families chose this ship, there was lots for the kids to do. I was a little embarrassed to be playing with their toys, but mini golf was fun! The balcony cabin seemed to me to be a bit small, but it was well appointed. No drawers, there were shelves which was much better. Our stateroom attendant Antonio was excellent! He kept the room spotless, I think he came in 3 times a day. Each day he filled the ice bucket and made us a towel animal. NCL does not place a chocolate on the pillow, so if you need it, bring your own. The bathroom was supplied with quality products, a bar of soap as well as liquid hand soap, shower gel, a small tube of body lotion and conditioning shampoo. No conditioner, so if you have hair like mine, bring your own. There was also no shower cap or Q-tips or cotton balls. The blow dryer was a good one. The beds were comfortable, not hard, as another reviewer had stated and the bed linens were comfortable cotton. The entertainment was enjoyable on this cruise and there were plenty of different activities to keep everyone engaged and amused. We booked some extra paid activities such as the wine tasting and the Choir of Man. Thoroughly enjoyed the Choir of Man singers. Was not too thrilled though that it came with a fixed dinner. It seemed to me that NCL was purposely trying to make extra money on the event. By giving us bangers and mash (sausage and mashed potatoes) they were saving money. I would have preferred that the Choir of Man did not include dinner unless it was something more extravagant than what I would have ordered in the main dining room. There was unlimited beer included as well, but I had the drink package anyway and I also don' t prefer beer. The "Ultimate Beverage package" offered by NCL is something I wish to address. IT DID NOT INCLUDE BOTTLED WATER!! NCL also now has a policy that no water may be brought onboard. Drinking water is provided, but like many people, I prefer bottled water. Best deal was to purchase 6 1 liter bottles for about $16, which lasted two of us for the cruise. Otherwise the water was $5.50 per bottle!! Also want to note that the regular coffee onboard was acceptable, on some other cruise lines it is not. It was my first time to Bermuda and it was beautiful. It is easy to get around but you should do a little homework. Best way to get to Horseshoe Beach was by Mini-van at $7 per person. If you take the regular bus you must walk down to the beach, which was OK going, but on the return it is preferable to have a minibus that takes you up the hill. The minibus was also a more comfortable ride and quicker since it made no stops. The Aquarium and Zoo was a nice outing as were the stunningly beautiful Crystal caves. Be forewarned though, it was approx 87 steps down to the Fantasy Cave and it is a steep climb back up. I would most certainly do this NCL cruise to Bermuda again. I last sailed NCL on the Gem 7 years ago and I felt NCL has greatly improved since then. This trip, the quality of the food was much better. I especially enjoyed the fresh salads and fruit. We received a dining package as a perk and enjoyed Cagney's, Moderno Churrascaria, and Le Bistro (except I do not recommend the Dover sole at Le Bistro, I had better fish in the main dining room) Most times we dined at Savor. The Buffet was nothing special, but it was OK. Our last Breakfast was in the Savor dining room, I ate perfectly poached eggs. The Disembarkation process was smooth, no cattle herding. I would definitely recommend the NCL Escape, it was as fun as they claim! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
This will be a very in depth review. First I will go over the bad...then I will go over the good. I cruised with about 45 people in our group. My wife was group leader of 20 cabins. These reviews are from all of us. BAD: ... Read More
This will be a very in depth review. First I will go over the bad...then I will go over the good. I cruised with about 45 people in our group. My wife was group leader of 20 cabins. These reviews are from all of us. BAD: The ship does not have a lot of entertainment. 1 theater, 1 small pool, plus a kids pool at the back of the ship. 1 club that plays the same music all the time. Same with the band, the band was good but played same music every day. Overall, we were very bored after 7 days. The casino is obviously rigged. They use auto card dealing and shufflers. We had a group of about 45 people, nobody left there up money. DO NOT gamble on a cruise ship. Cabin: We had a balcony. The room was small compared to Carnival's balcony cabin. We had to have a table removed because when the pullout bed was open, you could not get to the balcony. The bathroom was VERY small.....could barely move around. We had to dry off in the cabin because there was no room in the bathroom. The toilet was so small you had to be a skeleton to even fit on the toilet. I'm 5'10" 200lbs....and I barely fit in there. It was very uncomfortable using the bathroom. The bed was pretty comfortable. Balcony was good. Dining: The food on this ship should be quarantined. We have been on Carnival, Royal Carribean and Disney cruise lines. This was by far the WORST food in the history of cruises. Let me clarify. I'm talking about the main dining and the buffets they offer for breakfast and lunch. I will get to the specialty dining under my good review. We ate at the Aqua and Venetian main dining halls. The Aqua had crab cakes the first day...they were the best thing on the menu...so of course...they never had them again. Everything they served was VERY salty. That is coming from someone who LOVES salt. None of the main entrees were very good. They were at best average or below. The breakfast in Venetian was a joke. The pancakes were hard as a rock...the waffles came out cold. Coffee was horrible. I could go on and on. Service: The service on this cruise was laughable. We gave our room steward a 20 dollar tip the first day, so maybe she would be a little more attentive. That was a mistake. We had our 11 year old daughter in the room with us. On Carnival, she had a different towel animal on the bed every single day. This cruise she got maybe 3 out of the seven days and they weren’t even good ones. Whenever we saw her in the halls, she wouldn’t even say hi. We said hi first….it was like she was trying to avoid us. Somebody in our party asked her if she liked her job because she always seemed so miserable…she said no, I hate my job. Seriously????? We couldn’t believe she said that. We believe her because she seemed like she wanted to jump overboard every time we saw her. Her name was Flavia. She even yelled at one of our parties for asking her if she could clean her room around 3pm because she was sick all day. The rest of the crew weren’t much better. In the dining rooms they made us feel like we were bothering them. Trying to get a drink while dining was joke. It took about 20 minutes, so we started ordering 2 drinks at a time. They could barely understand us when we asked for something, we had to repeat ourselves a few times. The 11 year old ordered a ginger ale….they gave her a whiskey on the rocks. She said mommy this ginger ale tastes funny, so my wife tasted it…it was straight whiskey on the rocks….seriously???? The nicest wait staff person was HAPPY HAPPY WASHY WASHY….he was very good and also Wu Hoo from Cagneys steakhouse. Above and beyond. Other then that, total disappointment. I should request some of my included gratuities back for such poor service. Specialty dining: ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!!!! We ate at the Tapanyaki, Itilain place(I forget the name) and Cagneys Steakhouse. Tapanyaki was VERY VERY good....I had steak shrimp and scallops. They gave me the scallops for free because it wasn't part of the combo. We couldnt even finish all our food it was so much. Chef was great. Italian place was very good...good service Cagneys was GREAT...the waiter Wu Hoo...yes thats his real name....went above and beyond...the food was perfect....we had our gratuities included but we gave him an extra tip because he was so good. Ports and Shore Excursions: Bermuda was AWESOME…I’ve never seen such crystal clear bright blue water in my life. It was truly gorgeous. Horseshoe Bay Beach was stunning. The beach was perfect the water and the views were amazing. We went on a jet ski tour at Somerset waterworks. The tour was great, got to swim with and feed the fish. Their business practice needs some work though. They tried charging my credit card because 2 people didn’t make the tour and they asked to join our group, so SWW decided to just put them under my credit card. I never authorized that. They told me to get the money from the person in my group who I didn’t really know that well. Needless to say, I filed a fraudulent charge with my bank. The caves were awesome. We hired a personal taxi to drive us around all day, he was awesome. We have 4 casino cruises coming up and we are not sure if we are going to use them after this experience. OVERALL. The cruise was fun, the ship was terrible. I will never sail on the Dawn again. Bermuda was awesome. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
The ship left from Boston which made it convenient. The ship was nice, bathrooms throughout the ship needs more attention. Entertainment was average, needs more diverse entertainment. Cruise personnel were very nice. Very small pool. ... Read More
The ship left from Boston which made it convenient. The ship was nice, bathrooms throughout the ship needs more attention. Entertainment was average, needs more diverse entertainment. Cruise personnel were very nice. Very small pool. Arrived on Sunday to Bermuda even though most shops closed early on Sunday. The food was very good, loved the chili on the deck near the pool. The drink package was a great value. Again the restrooms needed much more attention. The disembarkation went extremely well. The staff was great and the crew worked really hard, god bless them. The room service was great. The staff at the front desk needed a little more patience with first time cruisers. One of the people who was with the group I was in expressed concern about being rushed and inconsistent information. This was not our first cruise so we addressed her questions and concerns. Overall the experience was good. The guests on the ship were very friendly and we met a lot of people. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Overall, my experience on this ship was fantastic. I like the smaller NCL ship, as it is not nearly as crowded as the larger NCL ships. The staff is friendly and on top of their game. The biggest drawback on this ship is the lack of ... Read More
Overall, my experience on this ship was fantastic. I like the smaller NCL ship, as it is not nearly as crowded as the larger NCL ships. The staff is friendly and on top of their game. The biggest drawback on this ship is the lack of quality entertainment options of the larger ships such as the Epic and Getaway. With this said, don't miss the Elements performance in the Stardust Theater. It is very good. Bands around the ship were all very good, but the music by the pool was far too loud. This isn't uncommon, but it really isn't necessary to have it so loud, as it can be heard very well in the far reaches of the pool area and beyond. There were many trivia games, which I enjoyed, but most took place in Gatsby's lounge, which has a very smoky environment with proximity to the casino and cigar smoking room. Even when people aren't smoking, the stale smell of smoke permeates the area. It is also too small to accommodate the number of people who like to play most of the time. NCL has a free ferry that goes to the island of St. George two of the three days while docked in Bermuda. We spent the day doing this and walking all over St. George from the dock and it was a fantastic time visiting the Unfinished Church, Tobacco Bay, and other areas. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because we had a couple of CruiseNext coupons left over, and it is easy for us to do out of Boston (because we live an hour away). We were sort of done with Norwegian a couple of years ago because the staff was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had a couple of CruiseNext coupons left over, and it is easy for us to do out of Boston (because we live an hour away). We were sort of done with Norwegian a couple of years ago because the staff was unhappy and unfriendly, the food had gone downhill, and every cruise (regardless of itinerary) had the same "formula" and feel. They redeemed themselves this time! The staff was happy and responsive and helpful - which made everything so much more pleasant. The food - still just o.k., but they were trying, and some things were actually very good in the main dining rooms. Activities - I noticed that they added some interesting activities - things like paper box making, origami, Spanish lessons - not just things that either cost money or are the silly activities by the pool (like sexy legs contests). Someone in our party had 2 food allergies, and we were so impressed and relieved that they were all over that in the dining room, and had the situation completely under control. We like NCL because of the membership you can get to the Mandara Spa for the week, and that always is something we enjoy, and we did! Only complaint is that when my 20-year old daughter had a massage, the massage therapist was rude and too heavy on the cross-sell, which detracted from the experienced. We will definitely consider NCL again when we decide to book another cruise. They redeemed themselves and won us back! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Great cruise, everything fun, relaxing. Entertainment incredible with the exception of the atrium duo, they were sketchy could tell that they used pre-prerecorded music averag aversge at most, but nightly band fantastic. The trip was as ... Read More
Great cruise, everything fun, relaxing. Entertainment incredible with the exception of the atrium duo, they were sketchy could tell that they used pre-prerecorded music averag aversge at most, but nightly band fantastic. The trip was as expected. We had very calm seas and the weather was hot and sunny. public transportation on the island was spotty so use boat shuttles. St George limited on thingdss to do, Horseshoe Bay is very small. Most staff were friendly and helpful. Flex dining was limited more than expected. Great going out of Boston harbor and avoiding need for flights. One item sticks out, very hard to hear announcements over the intercom at all times, very frustrating at times. Boat interior was clean but aged. Restaurants very clean, Aqua was very loud, only used for dinner. Eat early for shortest wait. Would definately take cruise again same time of year, I think overall cruise a good choice if wanting to relax . Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We had a great time on the cruise. We went to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. We upgraded to a balcony room and was so happy we did. We went with 5 other couples that we knew, they all were celebrating there anniversary, All of ... Read More
We had a great time on the cruise. We went to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. We upgraded to a balcony room and was so happy we did. We went with 5 other couples that we knew, they all were celebrating there anniversary, All of us had a awesome time on the cruise. We loved the entertainment, especially Patti and Jose. The food was great and our bartender at dinner, Michael, was outstanding. We would definitely do this cruise again. Our room was great and our room attendant Dinky was great. Our cruise was a very memorable time and we had great weather and the seas were so calm. We went to horse bay beach and had a fantastic time, what a beautiful beach. I would highly recommend if senior citizens go to the beach they take a taxi and not go on public transportation, there are too many stairs! Read Less
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