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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I have cruised 15 times prior to this cruise on 3 other lines so I have lots to compare my experience to. There are only a couple of areas that I thought were better than past cruises. PROS: * Selection of food at the Garden Café ... Read More
I have cruised 15 times prior to this cruise on 3 other lines so I have lots to compare my experience to. There are only a couple of areas that I thought were better than past cruises. PROS: * Selection of food at the Garden Café buffet. They have all types of hot, cold, international, grilled, soups, salads, sandwiches, etc. The staff there was also exceptional where they will bring you beverages or help carry your plate to your table. * Our O/V family stateroom had double sinks and a tub! (See more below in my cabin review) * Howl at the Moon piano bar was fantastic. * Bermuda, although very expensive, was absolutely gorgeous and would go back! * Heritage Wharf, where we docked, is a great little area if you want to some light shopping, eat and drink outside the ship without taking a cab. There's even a free trolley that makes stops along the way if you have difficulty walking. Also, Snorkel Park is a man made beach about a 5-7 min walk from the ship where they have chair and watersports rentals, food and drinks for $5 admission. The only bad thing is that it is VERY rocky to go in and out of the water, BRING WATER SHOES!! CONS: (This may take a while) 1) The embarkation process could have been so much faster had NCL had you set up your onboard account online. 2) Big issue with wine I put in my luggage. NCL policy on the site reads as follows "Guests may bring bottles of wine and champagne on board. When bottles are brought on board and served or consumed in any restaurant, public room area or in their stateroom, a corkage fee will be charged according to bottle sizes" When I opened my luggage I was greeted with a paper saying I violated the policy and my bottle was confiscated and will not be returned until I pay the fee or they will hold it until the end of the trip. WHAT VIOLATION??? You said I could bring it on board!!!! I spoke with management and they apologized and opened it free of charge. 3) No straws on board. In an effort to clean up the environment, NCL has stopped using plastic straws. This is a great thing but there should be a metal or paper replacement for those with medical conditions who need them and at least wooden stirrers to stir the drinks. 4) WiFi is horrific! My roommate got the Social Media package and paid $88 for a week of almost unusable service. 5) If you are not near the pool area, no one will come around to take a drink order. I was a deck over and a bit forward from the main pool for about 3 hours and not one person came by. 6) There is only 1 main pool which is about the size of my neighbor's pool. Try fitting 4,000 ppl around there. Aside from that, kids take over that pool and the hot tubs when they have their own water park and same size pool. 7) The design of the ship is absolutely horrible and it’s too just too big yet it was designed for a lot less people. a)There are only elevators at the front and back of the ship. I went with someone who uses a cane and has trouble walking a lot or using stairs. When she had to go from the middle of the ship on one deck to the middle on another deck, she would have to walk back to one of the elevator banks and walk back across. b) The buffet is set up only in the back of the ship whereas other ships have buffets spread out across the middle and back so you don't have to walk a mile for food and drinks. c) There is only 1 towel stand to get your pool towels from. d) THE JOGGING TRACK! My biggest pet peeve. How do you have a track going around a regular deck, just over the main pool, where there are lounge chairs, a restaurant, bar and even service bins being moved??!!! To avoid this I got up at 5:30AM only to find they had just hosed it down making it impossible to run without slipping because it's just a wooden deck (not a rubber track) UNREAL!!! e) The sliding doors do not open automatically, you had to tap a button on the door or wall. If you were carrying drinks or food, it was very inconvenient. f) We were lucky enough to have a cabin on the same deck as the kids clubs. They were running around top speed at all hours and even chose to start knocking the cabin doors at midnight. When we opened the door and yelled at them, they called the cabin and hung up. WHY WOULD YOU PUT KIDS ACTIVITIES ON THE SAME DECK AS CABINS???!!!! 8) They nickel and dime you for everything!! a) Subpar food in all dining rooms and service, while pleasant is EXTREMELY SLOOOOOOW! Breakfast, in less than half empty dining room, took more than 30 mins on 3 occasions; Waited 25 mins for drinks one night that came after the meal was served and on the last sea day I went to Food Republic for lunch to go as soon as they opened and ordered 3 items on the same ticket yet each one was brought to me 10 mins apart and they somehow seemed very confused. However, when we chose to pony up to go the a la carte Italian restaurant, the food was very good but the portions were on the small side. EX. My friend ordered the gnocchi app ($8) and there were 5, yes FIVE, regular sized gnocchi on the plate. I got the entree sized portion Linguini Cioppino ($15) and was rewarded with 1 clam, 1 mussel, and cut up pieces of shrimp and fish and about 4 forkfuls of pasta. b) Want to go to a show on board? You can catch a free one at 12:30PM or 6PM. Oh, what's that? You're out exploring the island, poolside or having dinner? No worries, you can pay us $20 to come at 9PM. c) Rip off shore excursions. $45 for a 4 hour trip to the popular beach about 30 mins away. No thanks, I went outside to the government regulated mini buses (Prices are posted and they cannot rip you off) and paid $7 each way and stayed the entire day. Bermuda island tour $109 PER PERSON for 5 hours through NCL...went the next day to the same stand and got a 6 hour tour for $60. BOOM! 9) The freestyle thing is not for us. We like going to the same dining room (with the exception of maybe another special meal), at the same time and having the same waiters that know your name and preferences. I like getting dressed up for dinner and going for "a night out" and I just didn't feel it on this ship. I've heard this is pretty much the way they operate all their ships so needless to say, we will not be back on NCL. Despite the mixed reviews, we gave it shot and were highly disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Just got back from a 7 day cruise on the Escape to Bermuda. This was my 4th cruise on Norwegian, 6th overall. The cruise was OK, but everything fell a little short. I will not sale on the Escape again. Embarcation: A breeze. Less ... Read More
Just got back from a 7 day cruise on the Escape to Bermuda. This was my 4th cruise on Norwegian, 6th overall. The cruise was OK, but everything fell a little short. I will not sale on the Escape again. Embarcation: A breeze. Less than an hour from walking into the terminal to on board. Went to lunch at the Garden Cafe. A little crowded but found a seat. Made dinner reservations and signed up my daughter for the Splash Academy. Romms ready about 1:30. Luggage arrived about 6:00. Meals: We ate all breackfast and lunches (except on shore) at the Garden Cafe. A lot of choice, and most of the food was good (a few misses). Indian food was very good. Bread was generally very good, but hamberger and hotdog rolls.were awful. We ate the first night at Teppanyaki. Good show, and food was better than on shore. Second night ot O'SSheehan's, had the ribs, very bad. Prime rib was tough. Fries were very good though. Third nght, Cagney's, filet mignon. Very good, but I have eaten at Cagney's on every Norwegian cruise, and the food was just good. Maybe it lost its "wow" factor. Fourth night, Moderno. Excellant. We tried everything, all excellant. Has not lost the "wow" factor. Fifth and sixth nights we ate at the Garden Cafe. Had a little bit of everything. All good. Last night ate at the Manhattan (main) dinning room. Had the Veal Oscar and the tilapia. Both excellat, and service was also excellant. Was not rushed, despite the long lines waiting, but also no long delays. A few notes about dining. COMFIRM YOUR RESERVATIONS! I made reservations pre-cruise, and printed the reeipts. When I got on board, I wanted to change the reservations, so I went to the reservation desk (in Headliners). They had no record of my reservations made online. I was able to make my new reservations,and got the printed receipts. However, when I went to the restaurants for dinner, everyone had a completely different time, despite the right times on the in-room TV. After the frist two problems, I went to the restaurant reservation desk regarding my third reservation. I was told that someone cancelled my reservation. I tried to explain that I did not cancel my reservation, but was told that there was nothing they could do because my reservation was cancelled, despite my not cancelling the reservation. After this bit of run-a-round, I requested to speak to the restaurtant manager. I was quickly given the reserevation I requested i the first place. Entertainment: We went to bth main theater shows: After Midnight and The Brat Pack. Both were good, but fell a little short. We also went to The hoir of Men. Highly recommend this. Best show we saw. The commedians were good also. Pools were crowed, but we got to go on the slides on port days. There were a lot of fun. My 8 year old daughter loved them, and I enjoyed the "blue" slide (the one with the inner tube. Pool was crowded, and lounge chairs close to the pool were hard to find. Spa: Had the thermal pass. Again, the spa fell a little short. On sea days,the spa was very crowded, and almost as hard o get a lounge chair as on deck. Splash Academy: Daughter had a great time, as usual. Did not want to leave, and even went to the "late night" once. Service: Universally excellant, from the cabin steward, all dinning rooms, and other service people. Even problem with the reservations was solved. Bermuda was great. Had a mini bus tor, went to the Crystal ca ves, and wext snorkeling. All were great. We used Norwegian excursions. I looked into private tours, and could have saved a little, but not worth (in our opinion) the convenience and assurances. Disembarkation: Aweful. No one (except us) waited for their assigned time. There were many delays. The worst was the New York cruise terminal itself. We had a car service, and you have to go across 12th Avenue ( a largge and busy street) and wait on the curb for your car. This is re Overall, the cruise was good , and I would definately cruise Norwegian again, but not on the Escape. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
How many passengers can you cram onto the NCL Escape? NCL lists the Escape's normal capacity at 4248 passengers and 1733 crew members. Then, they advertise 3rd and 4th passengers in a cabin free. Boom!!! A significant amount of the 5 ... Read More
How many passengers can you cram onto the NCL Escape? NCL lists the Escape's normal capacity at 4248 passengers and 1733 crew members. Then, they advertise 3rd and 4th passengers in a cabin free. Boom!!! A significant amount of the 5 boroughs of NYC, as well as Long Island, Jersey, and Connecticut converged on the Escape to the tune of almost 5700 passengers. They filled the restaurants, the theater, the pool area, etc. As a former NYer, I can attest that NYers are loud; it's a NY thing. You don't walk 25 feet to speak to someone; you simply shout out what you want to say. This may work at a backyard BBQ, but in the Main Dining Room on the Escape, it created a constant roar as large groups competed with each other to be heard. After the first night in the Manhattan Room, we abandoned eating in the Main Dining Room. The Savon restaurant became our salvation for dinner; thank you Mustafa, the Maitre' D in the Savon. Mustafa found us a quiet spot to eat our dinners. Dining: The food was plentiful in the Buffet area. We normally ate breakfast in the Buffet. The omelet and egg station was never too crowded. The quality of the food in the Buffet was about standard for cruise ship buffets; good for breakfast and lunch. We ate twice in Cagney's Steakhouse and service was excellent. The ribeyes seem to get smaller and tougher with each cruise we take. I think this is because of the "free" dining package they offer. La Cucina, the Italian restaurant was excellent. As I stated earlier the Savon restaurant was very good. The wait staff was very professional; the food was always hot and well prepared; well done Mustafa. The Manhattan Room, the largest dining room on the ship, was a nightmare. There were several large groups that occupied multiple large tables. For an hour and a half, we listened to the constant roar coming from these tables; it made it hard to speak at a normal level to my wife who was sitting across from me at our table for two. You should never tell a NYer that dress is casual. There were several adult men wearing "wife beater" undershirts and shorts to the Main Dining Room for dinner. I'd be remiss if I didn't say that the Buffet was also at a noise level that made private conversation difficult. Embarkation / Disembarkation: Getting on the ship was a slow but orderly process. There was just too many people trying to squeeze into the terminal. I fault NCL for this; the passengers were just taking advantage of a cheap vacation. Disembarkation was a nightmare. Too many people try to do the unassisted walk-off when they're not all capable of managing their multiple large bags. This led to over a hour delay for passengers who had their bags transported to customs. Entertainment: The shows in the theater were about average. The game shows in the Atrium could have been better, but that wasn't the ships fault. Most of the people that were selected to participate were just kind of dull. The singing groups were very good. Onboard Experience: The common areas were almost always extremely crowded. You couldn't access the pool area unless you arrived before 7:00am. Large groups camped out early and seemed to monopolize the lounge chairs and pools on each day at sea. There was a brawl between two teenage groups on the pool deck on the second evening. I don't know if that belongs here or in Entertainment. Luckily, security broke up the fight because it was apparent that the parents were nowhere to be found. Shore Excursions: We took an excellent all-day tour of the island on the second day in Bermuda; absolutely a beautiful island. The first day in Bermuda, we took the ferry to Hamilton and took the free guided downtown tour given by Ed, the Town Crier. It's a free tour, starts at 10:30am from City Hall in Hamilton. Ed knows everyone in town and provides an excellent tour to include a visit to the Parliament Building and the Cathedral. On our third day in Bermuda, we walked around the Dock area and did a little shopping, Value for the Money: As this was a celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary, I would say whatever the cost, it was a good value. We honeymooned in Bermuda in 1968 and returned for our 25th anniversary in 1993 to the same hotel (Carlton Beach / Sonesta Beach Hotel - destroyed about 15 years ago by a hurricane). Conclusion: Loved our anniversary celebration. Just wish we didn't have so many fellow passengers along for the cruise. I now know why we don't cruise when schools are out. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was my first cruise experience, and while it was good overall there were some things that dampened the experience. Prior to the cruise I was able to take care of many things on the web site such as excursions and seeing the ... Read More
This was my first cruise experience, and while it was good overall there were some things that dampened the experience. Prior to the cruise I was able to take care of many things on the web site such as excursions and seeing the entertainment on board. I found this very helpful. It would have been much better if they also had the schedule of events prior to getting on board. The specialty dinners that we went to required reservations, and had we known about the entertainment schedule we would have adjusted our plans to enjoy it. Unfortunately we ended up having to get reservations later in the evening and missed a lot of the entertainment. Norwegian has an app for mobile phones, which only works on the ship. It doesn't really tie into anything done on line before the trip. It would be much better if the app was fully integrated so that you can have everything in one place. Purchased excursions don't show up on the app. Also, if you want to use the app to call other apps on the ship it's $9.99. This would be great, except that they charge you per minute for talking. Since this is only over their internal WiFi, that's just gouging the customers. Also, the app wouldn't work all the time. Several times it would not connect and show information. Speaking with other passengers this was very common. The other problem is that not everything showed in the app. We were deciding what to do one evening and several items that were on the daily printout were not in the app list of events. The app is a very, very poor product and they need to either fix it or eliminate it. The embarkation process was pretty poor. Norwegian has you select a time to arrive, as early as 9:30 am, however when you get there you are handed an arbitrary group number to board with. We were some of the first people to arrive, and had to board with group 21. Might as well showed up at 1:00. Once on board it was fantastic. The buffet was hopping, plenty of food for everyone. It was very busy with everyone getting on the ship, but there was no shortage of food and it was excellent. Our stateroom was beautiful. Very clean and comfortable. The cabin steward was really great too. We would come back after swimming, shower and use the clean towels, and when we came back later he had been in and cleaned up again leaving fresh towels. The "Free Style Cruising" is fantastic! The buffet and one of the pubs serves food 24/7. The complimentary restaurants are amazing. No reservation needed, and the food, service and ambiance is outstanding. The "Manhattan Room" with the live music while you dine was really great. The specialty restaurants are excellent as well. Food, service, everything was just great. **The one major problem with this ship is the cigarette smoke. They run the casino through the middle of the ship, and through an area that's open for 3 decks but don't have sufficient exhaust. We dined one evening at the french restaurant on deck 6. The casino was above us on deck 7. While the food and service were excellent, the smoke was disgusting. There's nothing worse than choking on smoke when you're trying to enjoy a good meal. Overall I enjoyed the cruise, however I would not go on the Escape again. If Norwegian finds it important to allow smoking, they should have it in a closed room with proper exhaust. Having to inhale second hand smoke removes any desire to be on the ship, and there are plenty of other cruise lines. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We were looking for a family cruise to start the summer, as we do every year. We've been solid RC customers (with a little Princess and yes even Carnival once), so this wasn't our first time on a ship however this is the first ... Read More
We were looking for a family cruise to start the summer, as we do every year. We've been solid RC customers (with a little Princess and yes even Carnival once), so this wasn't our first time on a ship however this is the first time we've felt compelled to do a review. Every cruise line seems to have it's ups and downs and NCL - Escape was no different. Hoping this review helps others in navigating the cruising world. Embarking If you're used to the fluid embarking in say Miami, Ft Lauderdale or Tampa, brace yourself. Unless you're in the Haven (which have the "special lines") you are in for a switchback line up that would make Walt Disney cry. Four "port security officers" checking names on passports with tickets before you hit the metal detectors. Parking above the terminal was convenient for the almost $300 parking fee! Cabin Family oceanview on deck 5 portside, 5156. If you are going to travel with a family of four, this is your cabin. It's a standard cabin but the space that would have been part of the balcony was included in the cabin space. Once you get by the main bed, there is not enough room for a small carry on to roll between the end of the bed and the wall, there is lots of space and a curtain that nicely separates two main areas (sitting / bedroom). The bathroom has a double sink and a full tub (with a solid glass wall that easily closes). Our cabin steward was, well, average to slightly below average. We got the required towel animals and he was good to exchange our towels (cabin ones and blue pool ones) on a regular basis. Beyond that, he never introduced himself, never said more than "hi" if we saw him in the hall, never even asked if everything was in order. Also, once the pullman was down, it never went back up - so the "couch" was useless. FYI NCL, this is one of the reasons why I hate gratuities added daily. If you're good, you'll get tipped, if not, no tip. Food We've been telling friends, family and now this review, the food was a solid, 3 out of 10. The up-selling restaurants, and you have to be on your toes on which ones those are, were useless for a family. Only two of us got the meal package so the kids were "extra", which means $30 each for dinner. Even at those up-selling restaurants, the food was nothing to write home about. The buffet was just sad. Granted that Royal Princess was one of the best we've ever had and Windjammer (place any RCL ship name here) is a close second, NCL needs some serious work in this area. There are four primary food areas (your "mains") two desert areas, and the worst salad bar (it's less than 10 ft long with a handful of options) at sea. The late night snack is almost the same as lunch (fries, burgers, hot dogs, nachos, and some desert - same as from dinner!). Even the Grandeur of the Seas pulled more together in a late night snack. Entertainment Like the cabin, it was the other high light of the cruise. Thanks to Alvin and Jo Jo for all they did. Sailing from NYC over Independence Day, you have to expect an amount of celebration for the majority of US passengers. Alvin even had a Canada Day celebration (for the 87 fellow Canadians on board). It was a nice touch that really made our day. I'm sorry Alvin as I for got the name of your boss (so I could mention her name here and get her attention for you). The floor shows and entertainers were some of the best we've ever seen. If you haven't watched "The Choir of Man" you need to see where they are traveling and catch the show (although the food was standard NCL - 3 out of 10). Deck / Pool There is little to no deck space around the main pools. It's hard to call them pools as our hot tub is almost as big as them. The main pool is "adults only", which is hard for our son who likes to just sit with us but clearly doesn't pass as an "adult". The kid pool is, again small, and full. There is a slide and water park, both are well used. The slides are fun but were useless on the day at seas when the waves were a little rough (also as useless was the rope course on that day). Disembarkcation Walk your luggage off! It's easy and we were off in less than an hour with minimal line. Overall The technical hiccups we encountered at the start, kids ship cards got the unlimited drink packages and we had to straighten that out (why you'd give an 11 year old an unlimited alcoholic drink package is beyond me). Trying to fight to get restaurant reservations once on board (our online reservations were magically erased around three weeks before) in the end was unnecessary as we could have used in the smartboards around the ship to book. If only someone has explained this before! Which is another major point, every cruise line is different and we've learned the "rules" on other lines, no one took the time to explain the NCL "rules" to us. This really was a negative factor in our vacation. An unlimited drink package but you still have to pay the gratuities. Dinner packages that aren't worth it. No place to lay by the pool or even sit in it as a family. If you've already booked, and you're checking reviews to see what you've done, don't worry, you'll have a great time, but you need to plan a bit and look beyond these annoyances. For us, we'll pass on NCL next time. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
My daughter picked this cruise in order to get married on Bermuda. I’m handicapped and everyone was so polite to me. We ate in different restaurants. Obviously, the included ones and we spent the money for the very pretty ... Read More
My daughter picked this cruise in order to get married on Bermuda. I’m handicapped and everyone was so polite to me. We ate in different restaurants. Obviously, the included ones and we spent the money for the very pretty upgraded restaurants!! I am being honest about the food. I was told by veteran cruise clients just how wonderful the food was. I was disappointed with the food. It wasn’t bad , but it certainly wasn’t amazing food. I was disappointed with the food. So was my husband especially since we were told that the food was exceptional! We picked the upgraded beverage/alcoholic package since my husband prefers certain brands of alcohol. We were SHOCKED that bottled water was not included in our upgraded beverage package. Since I drink a lot of water, we were inconvenienced to go down to the 6th deck to order bottled water which was an additional price. We both enjoyed the cruise and especially enjoyed our balcony. I’m sorry that I can’t say that we would cruise again with Norwegian but we did get wonderful service from the young man who took care of our room!! His name was Jake and he was EXCEPTIONAL!!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
I took my nieces and nephew on the cruise but was disappointed with the service for the suite. The inside room had better service. Maybe an off week for the concierge. Food was ok nothing great. The daily shows have gone downhill. ... Read More
I took my nieces and nephew on the cruise but was disappointed with the service for the suite. The inside room had better service. Maybe an off week for the concierge. Food was ok nothing great. The daily shows have gone downhill. Comedian was good. Disappointed that all the activities involved couples and sex. Trying to have time with kids was difficult unless you wanted to subject them to these shows or spend money on bingo. The Butler was great as was the room steward. Very nice ad always pleasant. The app iConcierge was really good. Tapyeneki was one of the high points of the cruise. The chef was awesome. Boarding was easy as well as getting off in Bermuda. Kids were 13, 14, 19, 21 and 24. The youth staff was great. One liked attending the activities. The young adults had a great time and would definitely go back. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Bermuda was absolutely beautiful. The Cruise itself was okay. We have bern on 2 carnival cruises and a Disney cruise in the past. This cruise doesn’t come close to the outstanding service of Disney. NCL you could do so much better. We ... Read More
Bermuda was absolutely beautiful. The Cruise itself was okay. We have bern on 2 carnival cruises and a Disney cruise in the past. This cruise doesn’t come close to the outstanding service of Disney. NCL you could do so much better. We were a party of 12 and had 3 ocean view family cabins. The NCL staff was average at best. Extremely slow service at pool area and main dining areas. Took forever to get a drink and I’m wondering if it was because we had the drink package included. Specially dining was much better. My parents have cruised with NCL many times. It was their 50 anniversary, but nothing special was done by NCL A simple card in their cabin would have been a thoughtful. You missed the boat on that one! If another cruise line sails from Boston in the future, I will definitely sail with them instead of NCL. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
My wife and I love cruising to Bermuda, its an excellent way to experience the island and gives lots of flexibility to explore and get on and off the ship on your own terms. It also substantially reduces the daily expenses as Bermuda is ... Read More
My wife and I love cruising to Bermuda, its an excellent way to experience the island and gives lots of flexibility to explore and get on and off the ship on your own terms. It also substantially reduces the daily expenses as Bermuda is rather expensive for tourists. One notable change since the last time we cruised to Bermuda is that NCL has procured their own Ferry providing free service to St. George from the Dockyard. This provided an extra cost savings which was enjoyable, but also seemed to push a greater number of cruise guests to the town, and Tabacco Bay than we previously experienced on an October trip to the island. We chose the Escape because it was a newer ship, a larger vessel than we had cruised on before. We've experienced Bermuda on the Dawn out of Boston, and cruised many other times on the smaller class of ships. After cruising on the Escape, there was a clear difference in the cruise experience as the crew to guest ratio was a bit lower which definitely impacted service. Bar service was normal, with quick and attentive bar tenders, but the sheer volume of people made for less enjoyable experiences in specialty dining and entertainment venues. Main dining rooms proved to be staffed well, and produced a good pace of service. The Maderno Brazilian Steak House had excellent and quick service, but some of the meat was slightly over cooked, which is not out of the ordinary for the style of restaurant. Bayamo produced slightly overcooked seafood, and some of the prawns that I had were quite fishy in taste but the rest of the meal was good. La Cucina was good, but the food wasn't stellar - it just met expectations though the service was less attentive later in the dining experience than in the first half. The overall meal times for some of the specialty restaurants seemed to be extensive (2-2.5 Hours in length). This wasn't bad, but certainly could have been faster. We loved the District Brewhouse for entertainment, specifically Beau Tahana, who was amusing and fun to experience. We also enjoyed the dining at Food Republic. The service and food there was fantastic, we ate there three times because each time we went, we saw other menu items we wanted to try on another visit. One of the primary differences of this ship and its size was the impact it had on our choice of entertainment. We had high expectations for Howl at the Moon in the comedy club, but once we seated ourselves prior to the show, the entire room filled with more guests, standing to exceed capacity. Our seats were in the back, so the standing patrons blocked our view of the show - we promptly left and went to the District Brew House. Additionally, the experience of having to reserve your seats for the shows was a bit ridiculous. All the show times filled up with reservations, but you can always get in because some people never show - this was something we found out about halfway through the trip and would have been nice to know that you can always go standby for the shows. On other ships, it was always first come first serve to shows, a format that we enjoyed better than this ship. We went to Choir of Man, which was excellent. Absolutely one of the best shows we've seen while cruising NCL - if you get a chance to see their show while they're in the US touring 32 states, you should. The pool deck experience for days when the ship was at sea was crazy busy. The pool size for the volume of people on the ship was definitely not sufficient, and the deck chairs were always 100% reserved. We tended to avoid the pool deck as it seemed over crowded on most of the sea days. Our balcony stateroom on the ship was better than the staterooms on some of the smaller ships, simply because the bathroom was laid out better and provided more room so as not to make it seem like a closet with a toilet and shower. Our stateroom steward was excellent, very friendly, always prompt and courteous. We've never had a bad stateroom experience on our cruises, so this was no different and upheld the high quality standard we've come to expect. The only negative that we have for the stateroom experience is generally that the mattress could have been a little softer - but overall we did get good sleep in the room. We enjoyed the cruise, and especially Bermuda, but the lower quality of service at restaurants, lower food quality, and the crowded / fully booked entertainment options knocked this rating down from Very Good to Average. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
My friend treated myself, my two children and his children to a this cruise to celebrate the college and high school graduation of 3 of the 4 kids. We booked 3 rooms; two interior cabins and a balcony cabin. We already heard that we ... Read More
My friend treated myself, my two children and his children to a this cruise to celebrate the college and high school graduation of 3 of the 4 kids. We booked 3 rooms; two interior cabins and a balcony cabin. We already heard that we had to pre-plan trying to get show tickets, escape room, comedy shows, etc.. and I was prepared for that. the kids were not interested in shows so it was rather easy when we got on board to book tickets... Our room steward was fantastic. He anticipated our every need. We had ice every night and saw that I had a medical condition and made sure I had water as well!!! he remembered our names, which is unusual for larger ships and was extremely helpful. The pool areas were insane. If you were not there by 8:30am, you were not finding a seat. There were too many seats "saved." Staff was very good going around removing items that were sitting there for more than 30 minutes, especially if they knew the persons were not in the pool. The hot tubs were always packed and the one pool area was so loud as they had the music blasting, you couldn't talk without shouting. We had the unlimited "free" drink package that costs us over $250.00 in taxes and gratuities extra per person x5 plus an extra $100 in taxes for a soda package. This was outrageous. They should not call it free if the surcharges are going to be this high. Nonetheless with three 21 year olds we opted for this package. NCL was very generous with their pours....when you were able to get near a pool bars. It took upwards of 20 minutes to get drinks at the pools bars and passengers (not staff) were very rude. The adult Spice H20 was very nice to hang out in, but again, difficult to find seating. They had a nice area to cool off in, the grotto and 2 hot tubs for about 250 people to utilize. There was a large TV screen, but it was difficult to see in the sun. We were on the ship during the World Cup and were unable to see the games on the screen due to the poor quality. Now lets talk about the passengers at the bar that were falling over drunk....It was down right disgusting. I am one for a good time, but they had to close one of the hot tubs because one got sick in it. The there was no control on how much drinking was being done. These drunk passengers were aggressive, pushing their way to the bar to get more drinks getting boisterous with the ships staff. It made for it being very unpleasant to be in the pool areas during the day. At night it was a party scene. Spice H20 turned into a huge party with a theme every night. We went to 80's night and of course the Glow party! We brought our own glow sticks from home along with other light up trinkets!.. The kids enjoyed the parties every night. While my friend and I enjoyed the comedy club and the dueling pianos. Dining. We also opted for the dining package. We booked our reservations 4 months out and were only able to get reservations no earlier than 9pm!! There specialty dining rooms are too small for amount of people on the ship. The French Bistro restaurant and Italian restaurants had to expand to the atrium and the promenade respectively, in order to meet some of the demands of the excessive reservations. We ate the Italian, French and Steakhouse. The French restaurant was sub-par. The food was cold. I had the escargot that was not properly seasoned and rubbery. The food server served our appetizers before getting us water or out wine. She was not versed in the wine and tried to push the overly advertised Veuve Clicquot. We had three advertisements on our table plus the ones plastered throughout the restaurant.. it was an eye sour. The entire night there was something wrong with our orders (missing entree's, cold food, wrong entrees, cold coffee) I was extremely embarrassed as I bragged how good the french food was on the NCL Epic. I made a comment using the comment card regarding this experience and the next day the Director of Food and Beverage called to us personally to ensure that we would not have this experience again... and we did not!!! The Italian restaurant was good, but nothing memorable. Service was good. The panna cotta was excellent Cagney's Steakhouse was our favorite. Steaks were good quality and side dishes were excellent. I had the ribeye. It was cooked perfectly. I also had the mashed potatoes and mushrooms, which I shared with the table. They were very good too.. I skipped dessert. The boys in the group, whom are the meat eaters, really enjoyed their meals. Entertainment was so-so.. Comedy show was excellent and dueling pianos was a lot of fun. However the Brat Pack show almost ruined John Hughes movies for me. All in all we had a great time. If I go again, I would avoid the drink package and go off season, and without the kids :) ! Read Less
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