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Sail Date: November 2018
We had a wonderful time on the Gem! We’ve met new friends along the way also the ship has a friendly crew. The Gem seemed like it was lacking crewmen. Service was somewhat subpar in some cases. Service at Cagneys on our second specialty ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on the Gem! We’ve met new friends along the way also the ship has a friendly crew. The Gem seemed like it was lacking crewmen. Service was somewhat subpar in some cases. Service at Cagneys on our second specialty reservation was awful. Any ways we had a great time on her. I was not impressed with the casino staff, I had requested my points to be transferred from the other ships but only one was forwarded. Gem is a beautiful ship! I’m not sure if I wanna sail on her again. It’s a maybe or maybe not... Gem had a great refurbishment. I love Osheehans it’s my go to bar lol! I’m not sure why the bar stops serving alcoholic beverages at 2am. Osheehans service could can be on a slow side during lunchtime, and around the wee hours. I would suggest the Gem to my friends and family... Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Overall fantastic. The stateroom was spacious and clean. Great balcony view. Housekeeping was always efficient and very accommodating. Food great in all the restaurants and buffet. Friendly, attentive staff. Very knowledgeable about ... Read More
Overall fantastic. The stateroom was spacious and clean. Great balcony view. Housekeeping was always efficient and very accommodating. Food great in all the restaurants and buffet. Friendly, attentive staff. Very knowledgeable about gluten allergy and precautions needed to ensure safe dining. We at at Moderno, Bayamo, Cagney's, Teppanyaki, Le Bistro, O'Sheehans, Food Republic, Tappas Bar, Manhatten Room, Taste and Savor, as well as the Garden Cafe. Had drinks in most of the bars and lounges. The various activities in the atrium we're fun and we'll attended. Our bartendrs at the Mojito tasting we're knowledgeable and entertaining. Choir of Men show was phenomenal. We loved that so much we saw it twice. Our only disappointment was the Brat Pack show. It was raunchy and offensive and we had to leave. Sadly, good talent wasted with disgusting material. The 80s movies and songs could have been crafted into an entertaining show without people stripping disn to their underwear and making crude references to religions. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Went on this cruise with a friend and found it to be a better cruise than some others I had been on. Entertainment - especially "Choir of Men" was fantastic. Food available in quiet settings which was a good alternative to ... Read More
Went on this cruise with a friend and found it to be a better cruise than some others I had been on. Entertainment - especially "Choir of Men" was fantastic. Food available in quiet settings which was a good alternative to waiting in line. Pedicure was good but sales pitch for weight loss product throughout pedicure was horrible experience. (Found out later I could have requested she didn't do that, but shoudn't have to ask). Cabin very spacious and Casino had great lively staff. Stay in Bermuda was cut short, but wasn't much we missed out on except possibly a day trip to Hamilton. Went on RUM cruise and had a blast - beautiful sunset, delicious rum! Highly recommend that as a side trip. Did a "Cruise Critic" tour of rooms and LOVED the Haven suites! Definitely recommend the Haven for those who can swing them! Our family ocean view room was more than ample though! This vessel much larger than last Norwegian vessel which tells you how long it's been since I went on Norwegian! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Said on the Norwegian Escape out of NYC on Oct 14. Had a great time. We were in a minisuite on Deck 11 (11226) The view sailing down the Hudson River and out of the bay was totally worth it. I highly recommend sailing out of NYC at ... Read More
Said on the Norwegian Escape out of NYC on Oct 14. Had a great time. We were in a minisuite on Deck 11 (11226) The view sailing down the Hudson River and out of the bay was totally worth it. I highly recommend sailing out of NYC at least once. Thermal Spa Pass: We got Thermal Spa Passes the day they went on sale and it was totally worth it. I highly recommend it. We used the spa in the morning (wouldn’t get crowded until about 10:30am and then in the evening. Quiet times. Hydrotherapy was nice and so were all the lounges. Tried the snow room, salt room, sauna and steam rooms but didn’t stay in those long. Just nice to have a quiet place to relax. Overall impression of the ship: Even though there were over 4000 people it never seemed crowded. The only odd thing is everything seemed compartmented. There wasn’t any general main open space inside. For example on the Norwegian Sun the main guest services area had several levels and stairways going above it. The guest services area and atrium seemed very small. Farther down that deck was a stairwell near the casinos and stores and seemed small. Cabins seemed dated - at least the decor. For being such a new ship, I would have thought the decor, color, etc.. would seem newer and more modern. Looked like a tired old ship. I wish all shows were free, and all the speciality restaurants were free. Just seemed like a lot of extra costs for things. We had taken the 3 speciality meal and 250 internet plans. Both times the spa treatments shorted me on time. My facial was supposed to be 50 minutes and it was 10 minutes short. The person told me it was because I didn’t need any extractions. I paid for 50 minutes I should get it. Same with a massage, I swear I was shorted about 5 minutes. I should get the time I paid for. I remember on another ship my time was short and I complained and got a partial refund. Another passenger mentioned how she thought all the areas around the ship seemed small and compartmented. Theaters seemed small for a ship that size. I know they can’t build a 4000 seat theater but they seemed small. Secret spots/tips about the ship: Deck 7 – nice quiet empty place to walk and watch the sunset. Walk forward all the way near the front near the shuffleboard area. Food buffet – quiet spot to eat: Just outside on the left under the water slides. Always pretty empty While everyone rushed off the ship as soon as we docked, we ate at the buffet and leisurely ate and eventually left the ship with no crowds at all. Cabin: We stayed in 11226, a mini suite on the left side on the 11th deck. Nice sized bathroom. Enough storage area. Mid ship. Murugan was a steward and was always very friendly and nice. At first we had trouble finding the main switch for the light in the bathroom and cabin but realized it was under the compartment to put your key card in. We had brought a hotel car to put in the slot, but to save electricity we always pulled it out when we left the cabin. Arrival: We arrived at the Pier and found the porters who took our bags. They gave us new tags and the one guy said the paper ones are worthless. We arrived about 9:30am and the security line seemed long but got significantly longer after we arrived. It seemed like it didn’t open until 10am but once it opened it moved fast. I thought it was very organized. After security, lines were separated by Deck and the first line was a form about being sick. Then a short line to get our picture taken, show our passport and get boarding card. Didn’t seem like a long wait but we could still see people leaving the ship from the previous cruise. We were boarding group 10. The announcement kept saying we would be called by boarding group and the doors were in the middle, but a worker came by and announced our boarding crew in person and took us to the other end of the ship to board. Went to O’Sheehan’s for lunch (don’t listen to the announcements or the person at the check in who said the only place open for lunch was the buffet). When we walked up to O’Sheehans they were serving lunch and seemed pretty full even though it was just before the opening hours. Nachos weren’t great but the rest of the food was good. After lunch we walked around the ship, signed up for a behind the scenes tour and went up to see the spa. Had the 3 meal speciality dining plan and had reservations at Tepanyaki that first evening for 5:45pm. The food was good except the rice. Not sure how an Asian restaurant can mess up on the rice but they can. It lasted until about 7:05pm. Had made a massage appointment that evening so went up to the spa for that. The person who gave me the massage was nice but at the end recommended products of course. Day 2: Ate breakfast at the buffet and then spent the morning at the Thermal spa. Went to the cruise critic meet and greet and then had lunch at the buffet. The buffet was crowded and food wasn’t that great but a variety of choices. I went to the pamper party for women. It was nice, got to try each product they were trying to sell and had discount on some items. Didn’t buy anything but it was one of the fun activities. Compared to other ships, this cruise didn’t have many interesting activities. The waterfront is a nice and quiet area and lots of seating areas to sit, talk or read and enjoy the ocean. We tried Savor for dinner, but it was slow service, the choices weren’t that great and neither was the food. Didn’t go to Taste and didn’t go back to Savor. Used the thermal spa in the evening. It’s open until 10pm so it’s quiet and almost empty in the evenings. Day 3: Didn’t do anything special. Used the thermal spa in the morning and evening. Went to see Choir of Man that evening. Excellent show and I thought the food was good. I had read comments the food was awful but it wasn’t. I wish they just would have the show without the food and not charge extra. Day 4: Sat at the H20 deck for awhile, although it got very crowded with almost no seats available. Had lunch at Margaritaville (a speciality restaurant) and it was one of the best meals we had on the ship. The fish tacos were really good. Finally arrived in Bermuda that evening at 6pm. Saw the Brat Pack show that evening. Another good show. Walked up about 5 minutes before it started and there were plenty of seats. Only issue were people who talked through most of the show. I don’t understand why people see shows and just talk which is rude to everyone around them. A couple near us had brought a baby and the baby didn’t make a peep and was quieter than some adults. Had signed up for the night cruise via the ship. It was excellent and I recommend it. I think it left at 9pm and was a lot of fun. Glad we signed up for it, as the ocean was too rough the next evening and our sunset cruise was canceled. Day 5: A few months before the cruise I had contacted a private taxi driver that was recommended on this board. We had booked him for a 4-5 hour tour. I emailed him a week before the cruise and confirmed he was still available. He said he was. We went to the pier and he never showed up. Even a couple pier workers who knew him tried a couple times to call and he never answered. I eventually got an email from him later that day and he apologized and said the Escape had changed it’s itinerary so many times in the last month and he said it wasn’t on the schedule. I just wonder how dozens of other taxi drivers and tour guides knew about the ship being in port, they showed up at the pier. It was raining just as we got off the ship and part of the day but eventually stopped and cleared up. **Luckily while waiting, a mini bus service driver was advertising a tour of the island. We joined a couple and so glad we did. He was a great tour guide, friendly person and it cost us half the price of what we were originally going to pay. ($60 each) He drove us all over the island, to St. George, stop in Hamilton, the forts, lighthouse, near the airport and even a stop at Horseshoe Bay. **I recommend Tucker’s Transport Ltd – 504-6657 or rtucker@transact.bm ** Afterwards we came back and walking around the stores and ate at a good restaurant right near the pier. Good food, especially after eating cruise ship food for several days. As I mentioned because of the rough seas, the catamaran sunset cruise was canceled. Friday: Went to Horseshoe Bay. Normally I don’t get excursions through the ship as private excursions are normally cheaper and better. I know it’s cheaper to take a taxi or the bus to Horseshoe bay but because we were leaving that day and we were worried of an accident or issues on the roads, we booked the transportation via the ship to Horseshoe Bay. It was easy and convenient. We left at 9am and then had to meet the bus back at 12:20pm. It was a 30 minute bus ride each way. The driver pointed out sights and stopped at spots for good pictures. Walked down towards the coves and found a quiet almost empty area and went swimming. Walked down a path and then found other paths down to the water. I recommend walking away from the entrance and the crowds. I don’t understand why people all huddle near the entrance of the beach. The beach has a bar, food service and small gift ship. Ate lunch at O’Sheehans. Service was really bad this day. We ordered appetizers and never got them. The table next to us first was never waited on, and although they arrived before us they were still waiting for their food when we left after finishing ours. After we got our food we never saw the waitress again. Went to the atrium and watched the Cruise Next presentation. Saw the show “After Midnight” and it was probably the best show we saw on the ship. Highly recommend it. Saturday: Took the behind the scenes tour. Elsyabeth was our guide and she was friendly and informative. We were offered to take a photo in the kitchen with a chef’s hat and holding some item. We didn’t realize by declining the photo we wouldn’t receive the folder with the Escape photo and us. Had lunch at the buffet in our quiet spot to eat outside. Spent a couple hours at the Thermal spa again. Due to the fact we were going through a storm and the ocean had waves at 11 feet, the hydrotherapy pool seemed like a wave pool. Had dinner at Moderno that evening and that was probably the best food of the whole ship. Salad bad had so many choices I could have eaten the whole dinner at the salad bar. Meats and side dishes were good too. Highly recommend. Sunday/Disembarkation: Got up early, went up to the buffet soon after it open, so it wasn't crowded yet. Got the color to disembark with our own baggage at the latest time. Took the elevator up and just stayed on when it went back down (otherwise the elevator was packed). Easy to get off. Customs line wasn't even very long and got to Penn Station by 9:15am. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our first time on the ESCAPE and the first time on this large of a ship. Way too many people for us. We will be going back to the smaller ships. WAY to many kids. A few suggestions for NCL- 1. Perhaps have a kids sections ... Read More
This was our first time on the ESCAPE and the first time on this large of a ship. Way too many people for us. We will be going back to the smaller ships. WAY to many kids. A few suggestions for NCL- 1. Perhaps have a kids sections at the dining rooms so everyone doesn't have to listen to crying babies while trying to enjoy a nice dinner 2. Use the Main Theatre for events/gathering instead of the Atrium for everything- NOT enough seating and jams up the area-very frustrating MOST Events were held in the Atrium, very strange! 3. DON'T make people pre-book comedy shows etc. half the people don't even show up that book it and then the tickets are sold out and you have to get there 40 minutes ahead of time to wait in the standby line. Too much thinking ahead of time. People just arrive that want to go to the show, when it's full come back to another one. Once again the venues are WAY to small for the size of ship to many people having to stand at ALL the shows or turned away. Use the Theatre that is mostly never used at night Staff was very friendly, food was good, rooms were nice. It was a great trip just too many kids which we were surprised this time of year. Crystle Caves are a must for a tour- Do both! NCL is still our favorite cruise line! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
The ship is very large with alot of people. This cruise we traveled with friends, not all liked the large ship. We travel out of the NY port which is very convenient for us living in Penna. One draw back on the ship is the Atrium is way ... Read More
The ship is very large with alot of people. This cruise we traveled with friends, not all liked the large ship. We travel out of the NY port which is very convenient for us living in Penna. One draw back on the ship is the Atrium is way too busy. I prefer a Martini bar which NCL has omitted from the newer ships. The martini bars were always out of the way of the crowd. The only place to get favored Martinis is at the Atrium where there is a lot of activities going on most of the time. So you can not relax very often at the Atrium bar. NCL has added a couple of other bars, where you can go for a quiet atmosphere. a wine bar and a brewhouse (beer). The stores on board had some nice products. We always like the specialty restaurants, mainly Le Bistro, Cagney's , and Teppanyaki. The mini-golf is always a draw for many people but is a fun activity for all. We were not able to enjoy all the shows but the ones we attended were enjoyable. Because we have been to this port before we did not take any excursions but walked around the port shops. The shops had a variety of items at mostly reasonable prices. The overall cruise was good and enjoyable. NCL has the best prices and ammenities for the price. The cabins have always been comfortable for us. I will continue to cruise with NCL (16 cruises and number 17 coming up) but do not like all the changes that have been made by the company. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
It was close to home so we didn't have to fly and we have never been to Bermuda. Overall the cruise was wonderful but we were a bit surprised and annoyed a bit. 1) The whole 7th floor smelled like smoke and gave us a headache cause ... Read More
It was close to home so we didn't have to fly and we have never been to Bermuda. Overall the cruise was wonderful but we were a bit surprised and annoyed a bit. 1) The whole 7th floor smelled like smoke and gave us a headache cause they allow smoking in the open area of the casino so we didn't gamble even though i really wanted to 2) the food was AMAZINGLY TASTY and FLAVORFUL. they also had a lot of choices 3) Most of the chairs in the sun had towels or personal items on them for hours with no people in site so it doesn't allow others to use it for the purpose for which it is meant. TO SUN BAITHE. 4)Plenty of activities but no itinerary for the whole week up front so it makes it hard to plan day by day in advance. 5)the bermuda beaches were fantastic 6) When booking your cruise PLEASE find out the EXTRA CHARGES you will be hit withi.e gratuities per day @ 14.95 per persondarts/bowling/pool all have to use ur swipe card and cost from 2-6$ to play. don't use your phone unless you are ok with 100-250 in inernet charges. most of the extra charges were just not made aware of to us prior but otherwise we had a lot of fun. i would recommend this cruise unless you like to gamble and shop on the boat and you don't like smoking. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our 11th cruise on Norwegian in about 3 1/2 years. While it isn't a really big deal, we are now Platinum. We had cruised on the Escape before and liked it very much. We were "supposed" to be going to Bermuda, but ... Read More
This was our 11th cruise on Norwegian in about 3 1/2 years. While it isn't a really big deal, we are now Platinum. We had cruised on the Escape before and liked it very much. We were "supposed" to be going to Bermuda, but Hurricane Florence changed our itinerary. (Last year, a week later in September, we has a similar experience going to Bermuda that was interrupted by Hurricanes Jose and Maria.) So, we receive a phone call from Norwegian notifying us of the changes that were being implemented. We were now going to Port Canaveral, Great Stirrup Caye and Nassau. Except we weren't going to Nassau either, that was eliminated due to weather. Which didn't matter all that much to us. We had 3 days at sea going back to NYC. So much for our weather woes... The Escape- a GREAT ship... love it.. my favorite place to visit on the ship is the District Brew House. Not to forget, Cagney's Steak House, La Cucina and Moderno's. All in all, we still managed to have a great cruise. Priority disembarkation in NYC was the BEST ever.. we did the walk off, and were literally in a taxi within about 10 minutes... At Port Canaveral, we took a shore excursion of sorts by taking a $15 shuttle to Cocoa Beach. Dropped us of right next to RonJon, which is a very short walk to the beach..it was an awesome beach day, flawless, quick shuttle ride. Next stop was Great Stirrup Caye, which we didn't get to go to on 2 previous cruises due to rough water. It has been re-done since our first visit and it was much better this time. Walked far from the entrance and found a great shady spot (it was HOT and SUNNY) We were within easy walking distance to the food area and bars where we took advantage of the unlimited beverage package... Then Nassau was cancelled because of weather concerns (we had no issues on the way home to NYC) Anxiously looking forward to our next Norwegian cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Planned to go to Bermuda for a high school reunion but we were diverted because of the hurricane. We made the most of it because the sun was shining everyday and our fun times were at the district brew house. The piano man was great but ... Read More
Planned to go to Bermuda for a high school reunion but we were diverted because of the hurricane. We made the most of it because the sun was shining everyday and our fun times were at the district brew house. The piano man was great but even better was our server curly. Got our drinks and made us laugh. He was a good comedian. Our cabin was a mini suite and the bathroom was really nice, double sinks, big shower but the room was not bigger than a regular room. Not really worth the extra money. For 4000 plus passengers ncl really needs bigger pools. Food was good, drinks were also good. Service is always good. Didn’t get to see much of the entertainment since you needed to make reservations early. But the brat pack show was excellent!! I only got off at the private island but it was very hot and couldn’t find chairs so after a dip in the ocean I went back to the almost empty ship and had the pool almost to my self , also People still put towels out very early and I never saw any towels removed even after they were marked I always travel on ncl but like the smaller ships much better. All in all nothing to much to complain about We had a good time and I can’t wait till January for my next cruise on the dawn Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Escape 9/9/2018 - This cruise was originally scheduled to sail to Bermuda but changed to NYC to Nassau due to Hurricane Florence. We departed from NYC a little early on a cloudy rainy day. We experienced very rough conditions the first day ... Read More
Escape 9/9/2018 - This cruise was originally scheduled to sail to Bermuda but changed to NYC to Nassau due to Hurricane Florence. We departed from NYC a little early on a cloudy rainy day. We experienced very rough conditions the first day and night due to TS Gordon. On day 2 the sun came out and the seas were flat calm. Rough seas - I am prone to motion sickness so I have come up with a routine while cruising. I begin Bonine at night about 2 days prior to sailing. Bonine can make me sleepy at first so by the time I cruise I am over the “zombie” state. I tried Dramamine unsuccessfully on one cruise so I recommend Bonine. Behind the scenes tour - Michael and his tour were amazing. We had a large group that needed to be divided so we split up and were treated to a very friendly event. It made us realize the hard work that goes on behind the scenes and we consciously try to be more conservative with our choices when on a cruise. Skyline Bar - We attended 2 events at the Skyline bar along with playing VP at the bar. The Casino at Sea event was accommodating with drinks and appetizers as was the Latitudes event. The NCL Latitudes event - We arrived early to the Skyline bar to get good seats and I’m glad because it’s standing room only. My husband played some VP while I listened to the live entertainment. Drinks and appetizers were served but with this large crowd it was difficult for the staff to get around to all. We sat for over 35 minutes without being offered anything to eat or drink. Hmmmmm, it’s not the best way to treat your Platinum guests. I finally went over to the serving area and obtained drinks for my husband and myself . When an officer asked if all was well we told him about service during the event. We were served some food. The bar is way too small for this event! We were introduced to the captain and senior officers. New itineraries were disclosed by the wonderful Michael who also shared information about new ships coming out. Teppanyaki - We have eaten at this restaurant on many occasions and between the food and entertainment from the chiefs we always enjoy ourselves. I noticed that the appetizers no longer included shrimp but we were OK with this. Make sure you have a huge appetite because food is plentiful. The Buffet - What can I say? It’s the same buffet typical of all NCL cruises. We avoid it on the first day and limit our visits. My husband likes to hit it in late afternoon for the cookies. The service is good and NCL tries to keep it as clean as possible. Mark was a friendly staff member that cleaned our area after we finished. We find it less crowded between 11:30-12:00 noon so we skip breakfast and eat a light lunch. Room - Our stateroom was a balcony and arranged as we requested with both beds put together. When unpacking a maintenance gentleman showed up to fix the lighting over our mirror. This did not bother us and we appreciated the fix. There was hair on the bathroom floor and one of of the three glasses in the bathroom did not have a paper cover. Either cover them all or don’t cover any. They locked the refrigerator and I’m assuming this is something new. We left a note to unlock it and remove the contents. Steward - We didn’t meet our steward until Wednesday and it was by chance. Our room was always cleaned and she followed our notes so I can say she was a good steward. Embark - NCL’s part on embarkation was smooth, friendly, and took about 5-10 minutes. Know that we have VIP checkin. On the other hand, we always seem to encounter the rudest port employees when leaving out of Manhattan. Why does one greet customers to their city negatively is beyond me. Room Service - We order coffee and bananas in the morning for breakfast. We try and order enough coffee for each to have 2 cups but it’s totally a hit or miss adventure. We always order 4 and sometimes we get 1 pot and other times we get 2 pots. 1 pot is enough for roughly 2 cups. We also order 1 milk and keep it in the refrigerator for future coffees. Breakfast room service can keep us satisfied until lunch. We try to only eat 2 bigger meals per day. Levity Comedy Group PG13 Quinn Patterson and Spencer James - You should reserve a spot and show up 10 minutes prior to the show because that’s when they give standbys the remaining seats. It’s standing room only. Both acts were highly entertaining and I would recommend an evening with this crew. After Midnight evening show - This is a must see show so plan on making your reservations upon arriving on the ship. Bayamo - The crab cakes were good. Calamari was both crispy and soggy within the order. I ordered the red snapper, shrimp, and lobster. All was good. There are so many options on board with their promotions that I’m not sure it was worth the additional cost. Cagney’s - This is for our steak lovers. My petite fillet was great but my husband’s porterhouse had parts that were a little chewing. The service was impeccable and we highly recommend his specialty restaurant. Spice H2O - On this cruise the adult only area was crowded. The chair horders were out but we found it easier to get a chair in the shade later in the day. In the morning to mid-afternoon we took advantage of the comfortable seating along the water front in another area. The regular pools were too crowded for our likes. Casino - The Casino was less busy during the day, early in the mornings, or late at night. We played mostly VP and some slots. One area seemed less ventilated and was too smoky for us but we liked to play at the bar where the ventilation was adequate. At night the bar area turned into a lively area with dancing and a variety of entertainment. As were many others, we were disappointed in the itinerary changes but we understood that I was Florence’s unpredictability that was the cause. This was our 4th sail on the Escape and we have already booked another cruise on the Getaway just after Thanksgiving. We love the new larger ships but know there are many more passengers. The smaller ships are more laid back and relaxing. One must choose what’s best for their traveling desire and the Escape has never let us down. Read Less
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