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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
I like to write my review right away so everything is still fresh in my mind. I was travelling as a single parent with two friends who are also single parents. Our kids are different ages (12, 15, and 18.) There is something for everyone ... Read More
I like to write my review right away so everything is still fresh in my mind. I was travelling as a single parent with two friends who are also single parents. Our kids are different ages (12, 15, and 18.) There is something for everyone on this cruise. It’s a small ship, so no big climbing walls, zip lines, etc. We all had an amazing time. Our cruise was over the 4th of July and the ship was at full capacity. I did the same cruise a couple of years ago with less people in late August. Although it seemed crowded at times around the pool, it was amazing. I learned a few things that I would do differently next time we go. We signed up to go again with a great program Norwegian has because we loved it so much. We did not get the internet package – no phones, no internet, no snapchat, Instagram, Facebook. So, if you travel with other families (on not) it’s great to bring a small white board to stick on your door so you can leave messages the old fashion way. When you’re in port there are plenty of places to get free Wi-Fi to update friends and family. The Bermuda Information center has free Wi-Fi, you can sit on the bench outside and access it. We found it nice to be “off the grid for a couple of days.” DINING: There is so much food. I did not go to any specialty restaurants, but my friend went to some and said they were great. I made reservations for our party of 6 at Aqua and Venetian online for our days at sea. Once you are on the ship the main dining times are not open to make reservations at the complimentary restaurants. We did not have to wait in line for any of our dinners, and were seated right away b/c we had reservations. If you plan dinner reservation online you can only schedule Aqua and Venetian. Bamboo (Asian Fusion) says no reservation required. However, you can make a reservation the day you want to dine there once you are on the ship. It usually has a big line so make a reservation in the morning on the day you plan to dine there. Make sure to go to the Venetian for breakfast at least once. It’s mostly the same food as the Garden Buffet, but so nice to have five-star service, and some special menu options. ENTERTAINMENT: Go to every show. The performances are great. If you’re not that interested, at least make sure to go the Elements performance. It is the best show you will see at sea. It’s Broadway meets David Copperfield, and Cirque du Soleil in one amazing show. EXCURSIONS: Book most on your own. You can get to Horseshoe Bay on bus or shuttle. Public bus is great way to see island if you want to see lots of places in one day. Or buy tokens at the Bermuda Info. Center. The cruise excursion to Horseshoe Bay is $45/pp. – Just walk off ship and you can get $7 one way or $14 rt. (per person.) You must see Horseshoe Bay - there are tons of shuttle buses, so pay one way and when you are ready to leave pay the other $7. Most everyone on the Norwegian Dawn does everything they can to make sure you have the best vacation. Of course, there may be things you are not 100% happy with; overall you make what you want of your vacation. We loved it. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
This was our first time visiting New York City. We stayed two nights at Hampton Inn North close to Times Square. We went to see Escape to Margaritaville. We really enjoyed the show. At the end of the show Jimmy Buffett and Pit Bull came ... Read More
This was our first time visiting New York City. We stayed two nights at Hampton Inn North close to Times Square. We went to see Escape to Margaritaville. We really enjoyed the show. At the end of the show Jimmy Buffett and Pit Bull came out and sang Margaritaville with the cast and audience. We enjoyed Central Park also and ate our share of New York pizza. It was out of this world! This was our first cruise to Bermuda and 4th cruise on Norwegian. The weather was great overall. The seas were calm for the most part. A little motion on the trip back to New York. Embarkation in New York was fast and seamless. We arrived around 11:00 and as soon as we checked in and got our cards we boarded immediately. NCL personnel were all pleasant and helpful. It probably took less than an hour. We got under way on time and sailed past The Statue of Liberty and then under the bridge. Muster was probably the most unpleasant part of the cruise. So many people packed inside the ship. The temperature rose rapidly due to all the body heat. The rooms were ready a little later than usual. Maybe by 3:00 but that wasn't a biggy because we got to have a couple more celebratory drinks. We had Dinner that night in the Manhattan Room. It was very good. Dining overall was very good. We ate at three Specialty Restaurants, including Pinchos Tapas, Maderno, and Le Bistro. We ate breakfast at Savor, O' Sheehan's and The Buffet. We preferred Savor and O' Sheehan's due to the lack of crowds that the Buffett had and we enjoyed being waited on. Bermuda was great! Very clean, and never felt threatened or harassed. We booked one shore excursion our self on the Bermuda Triangle Twilight Cruise. It was fun and lasted about 1.5 hours. We went out over a ship that had been sunk in the channel about 125 years ago. We were in a glass bottom boat so we got to see lots of fish and corral. The crew were very knowledgeable about the history of Bermuda. We took the ferry to Hamilton on the first night in port and enjoyed a couple of drinks in an Irish Pub with some chicken wings and watched the Goombay Dancers go down the main street. Catching the ferry back to the ship, I advise that you get in line early. We took the Norwegian supplied ferry to St. George on another day and enjoyed looking at the old buildings and had lunch at a local pub. $$$ but good. We shopped in the local shopping area at the Royal Naval Shipyard and my Wife got a good deal on some Pandora bracelets. We also went to the National Museum of Bermuda and spent a couple of hours there. If you like history I highly recommend it. On the last day we went to Snorkel Beach and just chilled out until it was time to get back on the ship. Went down a couple of water slides on the ship. That was fun. Also spent some time in the Spa Thermal Suite. Great place to get rid of sore muscles and chill out. Disembarkation wasn't too bad. We had a transfer to the airport. The only problem with that is we had to wait a pretty good while on about 5 people. I think we left a couple. Overall a great trip! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Excellent time Excellent Ship, and Crew. A bit crowed at the pool area so you need to reserve a chair early in the day, they actually have a guy going around and time stamping the chairs and after an hour the chair is stripped of anything ... Read More
Excellent time Excellent Ship, and Crew. A bit crowed at the pool area so you need to reserve a chair early in the day, they actually have a guy going around and time stamping the chairs and after an hour the chair is stripped of anything that's on it and it up for use ( property can be picked up at another location ) We ate at the Italian, Hibachi, Cagney's, Taste, Garden Café and The Manhattan Room...All where great but if you go to a Non specialty place like the Manhattan room Go early ( they open at 5pm ) or else its a wait. The Broadway shows, The Comedian/Magic shows where great also. The kids enjoyed the time at the Splash academy with plenty to do....Disembarkment they do the walk off you get a colored tag with a time they call the color and carry your stuff and Go.... its the way to go we were off the ship by 830am...this was probably my 4/5th cruise with NCL and I will be going back Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose it to celebrate our 50th anniversary! Although I requested a cake to celebrate the occasion, It was never acknowledged. We enjoyed everything but wish we knew that it was the first cruise of the summer when schools in NYC ... Read More
We chose it to celebrate our 50th anniversary! Although I requested a cake to celebrate the occasion, It was never acknowledged. We enjoyed everything but wish we knew that it was the first cruise of the summer when schools in NYC got off. That aside it was nice to see so many families enjoying themselves. We found it to be convenient to leave out of NYC since we live in Ct. Embarkation went very fast and orderly. But disembarkation in NYC was hectic with very long lines in the Manhattan Room waiting for our color. We learned that next time we definitely will self-disembark.! As for shore excursions, we had our trip to the famous Horseshoe beach cancelled due to weather (although it never rained) and when we asked at the excursion desk if there was another way to get to the beach on our own she replied no. She should have told us about the beach bus .As a result, we spent the day just walking around the Naval Yard. We enjoyed the cruise but wish we had an extra day or two to explore Bermuda. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
I will start by saying that I was very hesitant to go on the NCL Escape after reading all of the terrible reviews on here. I would have cancelled had there been an alternative for the week I was able to go. I am SO GLAD that I went ... Read More
I will start by saying that I was very hesitant to go on the NCL Escape after reading all of the terrible reviews on here. I would have cancelled had there been an alternative for the week I was able to go. I am SO GLAD that I went anyway!! We had an amazing time and the ship far exceeded my expectations. This was my 7th cruise, but my first with NCL. I've also traveled pretty frequently and usually stay in 4-5 star all-inclusive resorts (just to give you an idea of what I'm used to). Here are my thoughts: EMBARKATION- very easy, quick, and efficient. Our "arrival time" was for 1pm, but we were on the ship by around 11:45. No issues whatsoever. CABIN- we had an inside cabin, which was TINY but comfortable for 2 people. It would have been way too small for 3 people. The bathroom was a good size and the shower was excellent. Beds were very comfortable. No real channels on the TV other than news. This was disappointing since I like to watch TV at night as I fall asleep. The cabin was SO CLEAN it felt like we were the first people to ever use it. FOOD- we did not go to any of the specialty restaurants as there was no reason to spend more money, the food was excellent in all of the included ones. We ate at Taste, Savor, Manhattan Club, O'Sheehans, and the buffet. All were excellent. The menus at the first 3 are the same, and the atmosphere is nearly identical in Taste/Savor. The buffet had more options that I've ever seen on any ship OR in any resort. If you think you've seen everything on it, keep walking and you'll notice that there is much more. We didn't realize that until the 2nd day. We always found a place to sit, no matter what time we were there. There were only 2 of us so it was easy. If there were 3 or more, that would have been more challenging. I never felt rushed or crowded as there was lots of space for all. ENTERTAINMENT- We saw After Midnight (very good) and the Brat Pack (excellent). Be sure to pre-book your (free) tickets to these shows! We met people who couldn't get in because they didn't book in advance. Howl at the Moon was so much fun- definitely go in there. We never made reservations but we were able to get in every time we wanted because people are constantly coming and going. The game shows were all fun as well, but again, with more than 2 people it would be nearly impossible to find seats in the Atrium. These really should take place in a larger venue. There was always so much to do on board, that I always felt like I was missing out because there were so many things going on and it was impossible to be everywhere! OUTDOOR AREAS- there were 2 pools, 1 was for kids only (but adults did go in there) and the other was adults only. There were SO MANY lounge chairs, almost too many as it made it difficult to walk and access them. We didn't go in the pool, but we did use the hot tubs and the grotto in Spice H2O (very nice area of the ship). We always found lounge chairs somewhere on deck, but sometimes had to move them to be together. Once again, with more than 2 people, finding chairs and space to sit together would be very difficult and frustrating. The ropes course was super fun and despite the wind up there, I felt safe. The waterslides were fun, too. I didn't travel with kids this time, but they would have had a blast- SO much to do. DISEMBARKATION- again, very easy and efficient. OTHER- the service on this ship was excellent. Every officer, crew member, etc went out of their way to greet us, ask us about our cruise, help us, etc. With the exception on 1 bartender (who wouldn't make a drink because it wasn't on the menu even though he had all the ingredients) everyone else was wonderful. I am prone to seasickness, but I very rarely, like maybe once or twice, felt this ship move. It felt like we were still for almost the entire time. Smoothest ship I've ever been on. Didn't even need my motion sickness meds! This ship does require you to pay extra for quite a bit, but it's all optional. I chose not to pay for any of the extras, had a wonderful, relaxing time, and they owed ME money when I got off the ship as I didn't use all my on-board credit. SUMMARY- If you are traveling alone or with 1 other person, don't hesitate to book this cruise!!! If you're traveling with a small group who plans to spend the entire time together, you may want to look into a different ship. That being said, it amazes me what people will complain about. It's a CRUISE...it's a VACATION, and it will be what you make it to be. If you go with the intent to have a great time and let little things go, then you will have a great vacation, wherever you are. :-) Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
This was a family reunion trip planned by parents 1 year in advance. We live in Westchester and the cruise departed from NYC, so you could not beat the convenience. No planes! When we embarked, we were able to eat immediately and the ... Read More
This was a family reunion trip planned by parents 1 year in advance. We live in Westchester and the cruise departed from NYC, so you could not beat the convenience. No planes! When we embarked, we were able to eat immediately and the depart from NYC party on deck was fun. The kids immediately wanted to get in the pool to go on the kid friendly water slides. The kiddie area with the water fun games was a good place to feel comfortable that the kids were not going to get hurt. The pool was nice and warm and very clean. The all inclusive drink package was nice in that you did not think about the cost of every drink. The food at Cagney’s and Tepinyaki were one of the best restaurant experiences I have ever had. The room attendant and all of the staff were incredibly friendly. I was put in a good mood everyday. The Splash academy was also something that made the trip feel like a real vacation as it gave us time to relax away from the kids. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
I chose this cruise because of the layover in Bermuda. I received much more than I expected. The ship was totally awesome. Always something entertaining, but yet could be relaxing as well. Met wonderful, exciting, interesting individuals, ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the layover in Bermuda. I received much more than I expected. The ship was totally awesome. Always something entertaining, but yet could be relaxing as well. Met wonderful, exciting, interesting individuals, the good was great!!! There was always something tasteful to eat. Sidebar-gained five lbs. worth every pound. But the best part of the Norwegian Escape Wes’s the staff. All of the staff. All jobs well done with a smile and always courteous. Amazing!!!! The cruise director was so very entertaining. The captain was personable. The steward was polite, professional and always accommodating. I thought this would be a one-time trip. However, we are already making plans to go again!!!!!! Highly highly (did I say “highly “) recommended. I am hoping to have more friends and family join us because we want everyone to expect the wonderful experience we had. Excited to board again!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise because other families from our son's graduation class were going. We were part of a large travelling party and had a ball! The only negative about this cruise was the loud music. The bands by the pool were so loud ... Read More
We chose this cruise because other families from our son's graduation class were going. We were part of a large travelling party and had a ball! The only negative about this cruise was the loud music. The bands by the pool were so loud you could not hold a conversation with the person next to you. When the young adults 18+ were complaining about the music level, you know it was way too loud. Several complaints to staff resulted in no reduction in volume. The club Bliss and Piano Bar also had excessive volume levels. I would suggest bringing noise reduction ear plugs to reduce ear damage. We found the food to be excellent with lots of variety. We did miss having straws for our drinks. It was a little weird having a frozen drink without one. Don't know why there were no straws on board. Definitely need more bartenders at the pool bar. It took a while to get a drink and the bartenders were pretty cranky when you asked for 2 drinks to save the wait. All in all we still had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We weren't sure that our teenager would have enough to do on the cruise and not convinced that she would join in with the Entourage group without knowing anyone. We were totally wrong. She never wanted to leave and is still in contact ... Read More
We weren't sure that our teenager would have enough to do on the cruise and not convinced that she would join in with the Entourage group without knowing anyone. We were totally wrong. She never wanted to leave and is still in contact with the group. The Director really knew how to get the kids socializing and planned great activities for them. That opened up more opportunities for the adults to participate in different games like Yes or No, see all of the shows, try Mojito tastings and Pamper Classes, etc. The activities for teenagers didn't start until later in the day so we didn't have to pry her away from them to at least spend some time with us. The entertainment was great, there were lots of choices for dining and plenty of places for quiet reading in the sun or shade. Bermuda is lovely and it was great to have just one stop for an few days because there's so much to do and see. We went to two beaches, the Crystal Caves, took a sunset Catamaran cruise, went snorkeling, had a nice lunch and went shopping and sightseeing in Hamilton. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
About Us…couple in our 40s, celebrating our 13th anniversary and my 46th birthday on this trip. Have a 9 yo son who loves cruising, but not kid’s clubs – organized activities and sports are not his thing. We’ve ... Read More
About Us…couple in our 40s, celebrating our 13th anniversary and my 46th birthday on this trip. Have a 9 yo son who loves cruising, but not kid’s clubs – organized activities and sports are not his thing. We’ve been on Disney, Royal and Celebrity, and have done suites / Havens for the past 6 cruises; this is our first cruise as Platinum and were delighted at some of the non-Haven Latitude perks including free laundry, a few bottles of wine, and specialty dining. We save up for this luxury twice a year, and it’s worth every penny for the perks, peace of mind, lack of queuing, no planning requirements, personalized service and a pool you can happily use when it’s cold or rainy. We have met really wonderful travelers from all walks of life on all of our NCL cruises – a number of which we were happy to see again on this cruise. EMBARKATION / DISEMBARKATION Father’s Day was embarkation – so cool to see so many “dad” shirts / ties / hats. We take a car service from upstate NY vs parking. Similar price, but no worries about flat tires, shoveling (not at this time of year, of course), etc. From being dropped off to registering in the Haven lounge was approximately 15 mins – very efficient NCL & Port Authority crew making quick work of seemingly long lines. From Haven to ship – 15 minutes tops. No time to even enjoy the coffee and snacks. We had a personal escort to a private elevator right up to the Haven where I found myself getting a bear hug from Amit – a pool attendant on the Gem last Thanksgiving and we became friends. On the last night of our Thanksgiving cruise he found out he had been promoted to assistant butler. He said that it was his dream job – coming from a village in India without electricity to being trained as a European-style butler after starting out as junior wait staff was why he was so loyal to NCL (and us as well)! Disembarkation was equally smooth. We chose the self-disembark option and rolled our 3 small suitcases down our Haven elevator right onto the terminal. 1 escalator, 10 minutes to and through customs (no declaration forms any more unless you purchase >800$), then met our driver on the 2nd floor of the terminal. We left our room at 0830 and were on the road home by 0915. ROOM H4 2 Bedroom Suite 17712. This is our 4th H4 and perfect for families though a little quirky. This 2nd bedroom does have an odd pull-out bed – straight onto the floor vs elevated. Not a problem for a 9 yo, but for older adults it potentially would be difficult getting in and out of. Master bathroom was glorious – the view from the bathtub is better than most places on the ship! Having 2 bathrooms is such the “mommy perk” – the smaller bathroom has a shower, but strangely no outlets; well-laid out otherwise – we actually measured out the furnishings to duplicate in our own tiny bathroom space at home we are renovating. More storage than you know what to do with, 1 safe, and fantastic toiletries. The free movies were a great way to finish off every night (drifting my son to sleep on the wings of Black Panther) and to break up the monotony of limited TV programs focusing on a ton of world cup soccer. The best part of the room was Jefferson our butler and Diego our stateroom attendant. My G-d…the most pleasant and hard-working gentlemen on the ship. And true gentlemen – their smiles and kindness were genuine, and despite their 10 hour days, they never hesitated to wave, say hello, inquire if we needed anything - generally just great conversationalists. They were so personable – made us feel like family staying in a guest room rather than “customers”. They, plus David and Nimfa the concierges, were extraordinarily….just extraordinary. Every request from every Haven-ite, no matter how ridiculous (and we heard some crazy things while we sat in the lounge), was met with an “of course…let me take care of that for you”. They arranged a birthday surprise by decorating my room, flowers, wine, a “fruit”cake, and rounds of happy birthday songs. HAVEN COURTYARD For the first time in any of our Haven stays, was actually full of people. Not crowded – just not empty. Kids were kids – yes, there was splashing and laughing. But everyone was attentive and respectful. This was the first cruise in which the top deck was limited to 16+ - very disappointing as it was initiated without notice. Apparently, the last cruise had many disruptive kids and inattentive parents – this was the response to all of the complaints. My personal favorite in the courtyard was the dry sauna – no need to spend money on the thermal spa. One quibble is with the poolside bathroom which had a door so heavy that kids / differently abled passengers could not get in and out without assistance. Poolside service was awesome, and the courtyard attendants were always on hand with drinks, snacks and water-spritzing. Nighttime in the courtyard was stunning – the waterfall and colored lighting was just glorious. BTW – the Haven bar and bartenders…again, friendly, cheerful and incredibly inventive. Hubby and I had a number of their creations – rebellious fish, cranberry vodka surprise and Bermuda mule (thumbs up); dark and stormy (meh). They even wrangled up a root beer float for my delighted child. DINING Haven: superb service, and the menu, though limited, was well executed. The breakfast buffet is something we look forward to on every cruise. French press coffee prepared table-side with almond milk was reason to get out of bed every day. After our first meal, never had to tell anyone my dietary preferences. Maître’s D Pamela and Leonora were incredibly kind – made our entire family feel welcomed every meal. My personal favorite dish – berries with Grand Marnier (nothing beats drinking your dessert). Hubby was presented with caviar service for our anniversary – and had a personal lesson on preparation by the chef. Our waitstaff Roma, Pricilla and John went above and beyond to make sure everything (and I mean everything) was perfect! Room Service: Breakfast on a white tablecloth, hot French press coffee, perfectly cooked omelet for hubby and crispy Belgian waffle for little man. Glorious eating in PJs, sitting on balcony overlooking Bermuda, and feeling utterly pampered. Food Republic: Ah…May…Zing. Best view in the house, and the Korean-Mexican-Asian street-food menu was uniquely flavorful. Highly recommend the chili edamame. You can also customize any of the menu items – fantastic for my vegan diet. Bayamo: per my crab-loving hubby and son – worth every penny of the extra charge. Clean lines, classic muted colors made this one of the prettiest restaurants on the ship. Service was impeccable – long pants are required except for night one (due to some passengers historically receiving their luggage late). Cagneys: as always, a favorite. Service was unusually slow, but the meal made up for any delays. Hubby’s filet was perfect – and our picky eater son’s grilled cheese and “Cagney fries” got a thumbs up. My veggie platter was tasty – and perfectly prepared. Got to sit next to 2 couples enjoying their 50th anniversaries and made new friends for the evening. Moderno: Weird choice for a vegan? Nope. Best damned salad bar we’ve been to. The hearts of palm alone worth the price. Hubby called it quits early – taken down by meat on swords. Tip: skip the sides offered at the start of the meal. They just fill you up needlessly. Garden Café: my guilty pleasure for pretzels and Indian food - better than some Indian restaurants I’ve been to thanks to the Indian and Asian crew who know their stuff. Tip: papadams are readily available, but you can also request freshly grilled roti that will knock your socks off. Son and Hubby loved their hard scoop and soft serve ice cream as well – and much more convenient that the Gelato offered on the waterfront. Busy at times, but we never had difficulty finding a seat. And clean, clean, clean – their table service was so fast that our neighbor got up to grab some bread and her soup and drink were scooped up and the table wiped down by the time she got back. ENTERTAINMENT Choir of Man: Oh. My. G-d. Fantastic. Amazing. Talented. This was such a fun night – they invite the guests up to drink at the actual working bar (not just a set decoration) and my son made himself at home. They invited him back up to stage for one of the numbers and he had a blast singing and dancing with the crew. These guys are going on tour in July – and training their replacements this month. Their CD is currently in my computer and I’m loving their harmonies. Such great guys – check them out on YouTube. Genuinely having a great time, and made everyone in the audience truly feel like they were at their hometown pub. And..married or not…anniversary or not…DAMN…these boys are good looking. Read Less
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