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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 40th anniversary and to just relax. We did both. It was such a wonderful time. We went to see a bunch of shows Element which which was great. A comedian who was very funny. A juggling comedian who was ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 40th anniversary and to just relax. We did both. It was such a wonderful time. We went to see a bunch of shows Element which which was great. A comedian who was very funny. A juggling comedian who was also great. We ate at Cagney’s steakhouse twice . which is a must . Moderno And the main dining rooms are great too. Did not care for the Buffet .The bands playing at the pool were great to listen to. Embarkation was easy just go where they tell you the lines move pretty quick. Disembarkation don’t keep your luggage. Pick a color it is much better than waiting in the line that goes all over the ship. We did one excursion and that was the glass bottom boat. Worth the 69 dollars . A lot of interesting tips about the island from the captain. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was a last minute cruise to join our son's family. They traveled up from Virginia and stayed in Ridgefield, New Jersey at a Hampton Inn that gave them a great rate including parking for the week and a shuttle to the ship. The ... Read More
This was a last minute cruise to join our son's family. They traveled up from Virginia and stayed in Ridgefield, New Jersey at a Hampton Inn that gave them a great rate including parking for the week and a shuttle to the ship. The drop off is easy, however we were in panic mode as we didn't get a piece of luggage until after 7:00. The ship left very late 7:30 and a variety of reasons were given ( fuel slot missed, passengers on NCL flight late, etc.) We were in a mini-suite with extended balcony on deck 8. It was so far forward that it felt like we were on another ship. The stateroom had a nice bathroom with extra-large shower but the balcony wasn't usable as there was no over hang and August to Bermuda is 100 degrees every day. Also people higher up throw things down on you. There are no drawers! Bring storage cubes for socks, underwear,etc. The bed is comfortable but the comforter is well used and the sheets too small. We had a great stateroom attendant Rodrigo who worked non stop and made great towel animals to cheer us up. I think the problem was that last year we were on the Gem in the Haven and were sad the whole time over the room. The ship was loaded with kids and they were really well behaved. I even caught the kids club show ( they were so cute) our ten and 12 year old didn't want to join in. They enjoyed the slides and pools and arcade. It was so hot! Food was good in the main dining room ( pick Taste or Savor) Manhattan too big and noisy. The Brat Pack show was disgusting, the magician so-so but Choir of Man and After Midnight were fabulous. Don't miss Choir of Man!!!! The ship needed more family entertainment. Smoking is terrible, especially in the casino where smokers go even if they don't play. The whole ship smells. Bingo is a rip off. They don't give away the big payoff on the last day of the cruise like other lines ( Princess, Royal Caribbean) unless you get under 47 balls ( impossible) Cagney steakhouse was good, Teppinyaki fun, Food Republic pretty good, La Cuccina bears no relation the any Italian food I've ever eaten (ick). Bermuda is absolutely beautiful. Easy to get a $7 ride to fabulous Horseshoe beach in a van at the pier ( tons going back too. ) The package for a large tent, 4 lounge chairs and a buckets of ice and water is $150. You can charge it. The kids set it up and it was worth it. Take towels from ship. Dining room staff is often slow and confused, so be patient. Getting off is a nightmare. long endless lines. Get a porter ( $20+) They will take you and your stuff to the front of the line for customs and you will be out in 5 minutes. Really worth it! Fun cruise for the kids, I enjoyed playing in the casino and met some nice people but I prefer Celebrity and Princess. But Not flying is the best, Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
I was aboard the Norwegian Escape cruise from NYC to Bermuda on 8/12/18 - 8/19/18. My cousins booked the cruise with 8 of their friends and invited my daughter (13 years old) and me along. Embarkation went very smoothly and we were on the ... Read More
I was aboard the Norwegian Escape cruise from NYC to Bermuda on 8/12/18 - 8/19/18. My cousins booked the cruise with 8 of their friends and invited my daughter (13 years old) and me along. Embarkation went very smoothly and we were on the ship by 11:30-12:00 and immediately went to lunch at the Garden Cafe. This ended up being a popular stop during our cruise as we could always find something yummy to eat and the staff was helpful and friendly. Ate breakfast there every morning and was greeted warmly by the bubbly Julie Valentin, the Coffee, Coffee gal. We rise early and were able to get decent seats at the pool every day. Those coming at 10:00 should not expect to have our luck. Biggest disappointment was the lack of pool availability. For 4,300 guests, pool capacity was 82 at the public spots. Woefully underestimated! The ship sparkled and had a cozy feel without being over the top glamorous. It's a long walk from aft to forward, but I was able to make my steps goal every day. Plenty of restaurants and bars and the waits to get in were short. We took advantage of the dining plan and ate at La Cucina, Teppanyaki and Cagney's in addition to the complimentary choices of the Manhattan Room and Savor. The food was delicious without exception. Each dinner meal did take between 2-2.5 hours to complete which got a little old. We had a forward balcony room on the 13th deck and it was nice. The balcony and bathroom were both larger than I had expected. The bed was hard to sit on, but I slept well every night. We took advantage of several ship activities. The create your own painting was a big hit for the two of us. We hadn't done it before but will again on land. We stopped by the art auction on a whim. It was very well done, but I was astounded to see winning bids over $30,000! The Deal/No Deal activity was a loser. Cards were $25 each and only contained half of the numbers available in the game. There was no way to win the top prize of $5,000 and I feel this should have been disclosed at the time of purchase. Went on the Dolphin Encounter and Caves and Aquarium Highlights excursions in Bermuda. The dolphins provided a life long memory and I'll never forget the look of awe on my daughter's face. The cave tour was short, but well guided. The Aquarium and Zoo gave a good glimpse of some natural island inhabitants, but it was small. The guide was informative and very pleasant and took us for some brief stops along the South Shore beaches. Overall experience was ok, but it's pricey. Can't say enough good things about the ship's crew. To a person, they were friendly, helpful and had enormous amounts of energy. Several recalled my name when seeing me for a second time. Impressed the hell out of me with the number of people on board. Greatly enjoyed the trip and would recommend it for young and lively passengers as partying seems to be the goal. There is a non-stop list of activities to explore and it's a wonderful way to get to see the world. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Loved this boat. It was spotless clean, room was great (I had a mini suite with balcony) and food was wonderful. I did go to 3 specialty restaurants and all were good, except the French one wasn’t really French food. The staff ... Read More
Loved this boat. It was spotless clean, room was great (I had a mini suite with balcony) and food was wonderful. I did go to 3 specialty restaurants and all were good, except the French one wasn’t really French food. The staff everywhere from room steward, food servers, and even as high up as hotel director was unbelievably accommodating and nice. The only thing I wished they had was kid friendly shows. All the entertainment was adult only. We did see 1 magic show which was awesome, but no other shows for us to go to as a family. So many activities on board, rope coarse, golf, etc. Disembarking was super easy. The most thing that impressed me was still all the staff. They were genuinely nice and tried to make everyone as happy as possible. I didn’t encounter one person from the staff that had a bad attitude. That makes all the difference no matter where you travel. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Excellent service, great staff, amazing food quality, right size cabin (for 3 of us). Loved freestyle cruising and loved Specialty dinning experience. We loved Moderno and Le Bistro restaurants. However, I have to say the pools smaller and ... Read More
Excellent service, great staff, amazing food quality, right size cabin (for 3 of us). Loved freestyle cruising and loved Specialty dinning experience. We loved Moderno and Le Bistro restaurants. However, I have to say the pools smaller and very crowded and that was little disappointing. Despite the fact that pools are small and crowded, there are lot of other activities to do onboard including Rope course, mini golf, tubing, bocce, ping pong and lot more. Well managed, great leadership team, very polite, courteous service team and very clean . I have mixed feelings on Shore Excursions. Beaches in Bermuda are awesome and they are only 20-30 minutes by local transport for a fixed price. Comedy shows with Tom Simmons and "Choir of men" is the best show. Promenade is very small compared to other cruise ships I have seen. Overall, we loved the ship and our experience was great. Loved it! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We have sailed Disney, Carnival and Royal Caribbean....one might say we are seasoned cruisers. We chose NCL Escape partly to try the line but mostly for the itinerary. We love Bermuda. We were traveling with four kids, 6, 9, 12 and ... Read More
We have sailed Disney, Carnival and Royal Caribbean....one might say we are seasoned cruisers. We chose NCL Escape partly to try the line but mostly for the itinerary. We love Bermuda. We were traveling with four kids, 6, 9, 12 and 13. Stayed on Deck 13, Balcony Cabin's 13768 and 13766. I WOULD NOT recommend these. The crew door was right across the hall and made it very noisy. Access to the elevators was convenient but since this ship doesn't have Aft, mid ship and Forward elevators like most.....everyone Forward had to us these mid ship elevators.....Many noisy people walking by. I will say at about 1am the noise stopped. Food. Best food we have had on a cruise line. EXCEPT Bayamo....that was horrible for us. I really wish they would have stopped people from refilling their water bottles at the Buffet. We got the norovirus once and it grosses me out. I travel with hand sanitizer on my lanyard. Service. Lacking.....I think it is due to the anytime dining. We had to ask for bread several times. Drinks were forgotten.....You do not get a personal relationship with your servers so they don't "care" as much. We liked the Manhattan room the best because of the live music. I did like the Anytime Dining...it was nice to not have to rush to dinner.....This wasn't a deal breaker for me...but it was sort of disappointing. Drinks. Strong. A nice amount of alcohol and whatnot. Well made....take some one's and the bar tenders will remember you.... Pool Deck. Way too small. We hung at the kids pool most of the time. They were not "patrolling" the chairs and if you didn't have one at 8:00 am...you wouldn't get one at all. It wasn't really a huge issue for me because I was playing with my kids in the water and on the slides. Sport Court. It was hard for my kids to play on it because adults were on it playing basketball ALL THE TIME...ALL DAY LONG. Maybe they need to have a age schedule on it. The mini-golf and ropes course were both a hit. I would have like to see something like a Foosball table or other free table games. Ping Pong was also available. Port of Origin. I would probably NOT sail from NYC again. I just found the NYC/Jersey attitude a little abrasive....and I lived on the East Coast for 10 years. Now we live in Michigan and I just found....in general more rude people then nice and polite ones. But the polite ones were awesome! LOL. It didn't ruin it for me....just may change future sailing plans. Bermuda was great. Don't go to the snorkel park near the port. It was dangerous. Not from coral or rocks...BUT GLASS....not sea glass.....Smashed bottles....It wasn't worth the money. We did a Fishing Charter called Reel Addiction...Captain Curly has been fishing for 30 years and was great!!! We caught Wahoo, Black Fin Tuna, Trigger Fish, Orange Grouper.....he and his first mate were very helpful but not obsessive about their poles and gear. They let my kids reel everything in. The first mate cleaned the fish and then we took it over to the Bone Fish Inn at the dockyard where they cooked it all up for us. BTW Wahoo is delicious. We avoided Horseshoe beach and went to Elbow Beach. It was so nice... Entertainment. Fantastic. I can't tell you how impressed I was with the talent they have on the ship! Top Notch. Kids Club. I am not sure if it was the staff or the fact that the club was HUGE...but this was this only cruise we went on that my kids WANTED to go to the kids club. Yup. Wanted to. So...that was great for us! LOL Debarkation was chaotic and frustrating. But we got off. Even if we almost witnessed a fight. All in all we would sail NCL and the Escape again. Perhaps not at the NYC Port. Oh the jogging track is poorly placed on this ship. I usually like to take a walk in the evening to help...ahem....work all the days food off...but it was in a narrow area and then chairs and people were hanging out on it. Oh well. Ask me if you have any questions. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Auburndale Cruisers Review Our Great Family Cruise to Bermuda on NCL’s “Escape” One of Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL) newest cruise ships, the Escape, is an ideal choice for family cruises offering plenty to do for children ... Read More
Auburndale Cruisers Review Our Great Family Cruise to Bermuda on NCL’s “Escape” One of Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL) newest cruise ships, the Escape, is an ideal choice for family cruises offering plenty to do for children as well as adults. The New York City to Bermuda cruise is presently in its inaugural season. Background: We were a party of ten; my wife and I, both senior citizens, our two sons and daughters-in-law and four grandchildren ages nine through fourteen. This was our thirtieth cruise since 2001, the twentieth with NCL. Our children and grandchildren have sailed with us on nine of the cruises so we all consider ourselves seasoned and savvy cruisers. We previously had sailed on NCL’s Crown, Dawn, Gem, Jewel, Star, and Breakaway, all very pleasurable experiences. We also had sailed with Celebrity, Holland America, Princess and Royal Caribbean also very pleasurable experiences. NCL’s loyalty club is called “Latitudes”. My wife and I are platinum-plus level (the highest) members and received on this cruise amenities including; priority check-in and boarding, priority disembarkation, free limited beverage package, a three specialty restaurant package, and an on-board spending credit. Arrival, Check-In and Boarding: We arrived at the Manhattan Passenger Ship Terminal by private limo Sunday August 5th at approximately 10:00, were whisked through priority check-in, a group photo, and boarded at 11:30. Once aboard, lunch was being served in the Garden Cafe and Savor dining rooms. Champagne, awaited us in our five staterooms. Following the mandatory safety drill, we departed for Bermuda at 4:00 pm as scheduled. The Escape: The Escape, (NCL Breakaway Class) is one of NCL’s newest ships, entering commercial service in October of 2015. It is in a word, huge, at 164,300 tons, 1,069 feet in length and 130 feet at the beam. Passenger capacity is listed at 4,266 (double occupancy). Based upon the amount of families on-board with more than two in a room, I imagine the passenger capacity was significantly increased. The ship was spotless and showed no evidence of wear and tear. If you wanted a deck chair pool-side you might well have waited for the shore days. On sea days, rain or shine, most of the pool-side deck chairs are reserved by sunrise with towels and other personal objects and then left unused until after 10:00 or later. In an attempt to curb the reservation of deck chairs, NCL initiated a system of tagging unoccupied reserved chairs, and if still unoccupied after an hour, a ship attendant would remove any articles which then had to be retrieved at the ship’s desk. We don’t know if the process worked. Staterooms: We had booked five mini-suites on Deck 14. The mini-suites are quite small. The balcony was almost non-existent, only about three feet deep, with just enough room for two small straight-back chairs and a tiny table and not conducive for an outdoor breakfast. There was however sufficient closet and storage space. The bathroom size was adequate. A flat screen TV, coffee maker, robes, mini bar, wall safe and hair dryer were furnished. In order to turn room lights or the TV on, or to use wall outlets, a stateroom key card (or any card with a magnetic strip) had to be inserted into a receptacle and left there as long as power was required. This is NCL’s attempt to reduce power usage, a good idea and not an inconvenience. The stateroom attendant was very friendly, efficient and timely, quickly adjusting his duties to our schedule. Towel animals were there nightly. Dining: In NCL’s Free Style Dining system, venues consist of “complimentary” and “specialty, cover charge applies”. The Manhattan Room, Savor and Taste are complimentary main dining rooms with table service. The Savor and Taste are also available for breakfast, lunch and dinner (limited during shore days). The complimentary Garden Cafe provides self-service buffet style fare for breakfast, lunch, dinner and in-between. Other complimentary dining is provided by O’Sheehans Irish Pub (24 hour service). Margaritaville was available for limited breakfast service. The complimentary dining rooms provided a varied daily menu with certain standard fare repeated daily. “Specialty, cover charge applies” dinner venues consist of Cagneys Steakhouse, La Cucina (Italian), Le Bistro (French), Moderno (Churrascaria) and Teppanyaki (Japanese) . We dined at our comp’d Cagney’s, La Cucina, Le Bistro and Teppanyaki. We did not try Moderno. We all agreed that Teppanyaki was the best of the specialty dining rooms. Cagney’s, La Cucina and le Bistro prices were a la carte, Teppanyaki a fixed price of $29.95. In my opinion, aside from the possible benefit of a smaller, quieter sitting, I do not consider the extra cost of the specialty venues worth it. Had we not been comp’d to Teppanyaki, it would have cost our group $300. The Garden Cafe offered a large variety of hot and cold food all day (except for maintenance periods) which was well prepared and tasty. The Garden Cafe was a favorite of our children and grandchildren for breakfast and lunch. My wife and I preferred either Savor or O’Sheehans. If you don’t mind serving yourself and crowds, the Café is a good choice for a varied (ethnic, cutting board, dessert etc.) meal. The Free Style system seems to work ok, but we’d still prefer fixed dinner seating at fixed times. I believe that NCL should consider two assigned or reserved fixed seating’s yet maintain the Free Style for those who wish to eat elsewhere at times. This works well on other cruise lines. The long waiting lines observed at the Manhattan Room are unacceptable. It does seem that NCL would like to force more diners into the specialty venues. We had made reservations in advance for the Manhattan room so no waiting was required. We considered the food in the main dining rooms to be good to very good in selection, preparation and portion size. The food in the specialty restaurants was also good to very good. The dining rooms service was very good to excellent with an attentive and competent wait staff. Entertainment: Several musicals were presented in the main Theater and were well received. We attended “Brat Pack” a musical medley of John Hughes movies. We thought it was quite good. Also well done were “After Midnight” and “Dueling Pianos – Howl at the Moon” Over the years my wife and I had come to really like the lounge and atrium music entertainment presented throughout the day. NCL performers including Leo, Fire & Ice, Arvin & Emily, drew SRO crowds in the atrium. This was gone on this cruise and the atrium presented mainly cruise games which were well attended, but not by us. So much for adult only entertainment. Where the Escape really shines is entertainment for children of all ages. Besides the three pools, a complete water park is provided with several water slides and a heart stopping free fall water slide which my brave grandson tried four times. A ropes course, high above Deck 18, provided daring children and adults with a hooked-up traverse suspended from ropes over wooden plank bridges, steel beams, cables and even a walk-the- plank out high above the ocean. A daughter-in law, a granddaughter and grandson completed the course safely, and then we adults were able to breathe again. For the young children there is the Splash Academy, a morning, afternoon and evening complimentary fun camp. After attending Splash for several previous cruises, our grandchildren have now outgrown it. Also on the ship were a casino, spa and salon, bowling alleys, three pools a basketball court, bocce court and a mini golf course. Shore Excursions: We did not take any shore excursions. Our children and grandchildren instead bussed it to Elbow Beach and Horse Shoe Bay. For the three shore days, NCL provided a complimentary tender service to St. George and Tobacco Bay beach, a nice touch. Disembarkation: Our priority disembarkation was scheduled for 9:15 and we actually got off at that time, no delays. It was one of our smoothest disembarkations ever. What We Liked and Loved: We liked the amenities provided to us by NCL. We liked the amicability, courtesy and attentiveness of the ships staff. We liked the dining and loved the action venues action venues. We loved the fact that our children and grandchildren had such a wonderful time. What We Didn’t Like: A cell phone app purchased on board by most of us to allow connection on the ship did not work well. Aside from that, there was nothing else that we really didn’t like. Summary and Recommendations: It was truly a great and memorable cruise. You could especially tell that by the dour looks on our grandchildren’s faces as we disembarked. We especially recommend the Escape for family summer cruising. You have to be aware of the crowds that occur at times. We would not recommend it for only-adult sailing. In my opinion, the Celebrity Summit, a similar cruise from nearby Bayonne, NJ, would be a better choice. I hope that this review will be helpful to someone thinking of sailing on the Escape in making an informed decision. For more information, please go to: http://www.escape.ncl.com/ Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
This would have been a 5 star review but I noticed upon leaving Bermuda and heading back to NY, the staff attitude had changed. They were very friendly the beginning of the cruise but after leaving Bermuda, they were not as accommodating ... Read More
This would have been a 5 star review but I noticed upon leaving Bermuda and heading back to NY, the staff attitude had changed. They were very friendly the beginning of the cruise but after leaving Bermuda, they were not as accommodating and it showed. Seems they were only interested in getting back to NY so they can pick up a new group. The food was great, drinks were a bit watered down but good. Too many unsupervised kids in the adults only area. The ship was clean. The layout was good. Some of the events were held in the atrium and it couldn't accommodate a large crowd and should have been held in the theatre. Didn't seem they enforced the hand washing as people just strolled in without washing. On the Gem, the hand washing was a must before entering the dining areas and not so much on the Escape. Embarkation was fast and so was disembarking. The Spa pool didn't work much of the trip but, the steam, sauna, salt and snow room were great. Careful of the high pressure sales tactics for a massage. They are pretty pricey and the 20% gratuity is outrageous. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
The trip was fantastic! In spite of a rainy day the first day at sea (no fault of any) and crowds of people, I found the staff, food, rooms, and entertainment to be excellent. The following people deserve recognition William in ... Read More
The trip was fantastic! In spite of a rainy day the first day at sea (no fault of any) and crowds of people, I found the staff, food, rooms, and entertainment to be excellent. The following people deserve recognition William in Teppanyaki - he was an outstanding chef and entertainer. Silbert at the Cellars Wine Bar--he was very kind and thoughtful and always smiling and happy to see us The shows Brat Pack and After Midnight were outstanding--amazing singing and dancing. The costs for services in the Spa were a little pricey and the "gift" of 50.00 to use there was misleading--only my husband could use it on port days. The pictures were overpriced, too and some of the photographers seemed very upset when we would not purchase them. Overall, I felt that the ship was very clean. I would suggest time slots for pool usage. I did not get in the pool once due to overcrowding. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
"Free" specialty dinning is a joke. Could not book, either on line or on the ship my dining for a party of 7. On line had only 5:30 or 9PM. Once I got on the ship I had to spend more time chasing this down. Even though I was on ... Read More
"Free" specialty dinning is a joke. Could not book, either on line or on the ship my dining for a party of 7. On line had only 5:30 or 9PM. Once I got on the ship I had to spend more time chasing this down. Even though I was on the ship at 12 Noon they were all booked except 5:30 and 9PM. They would swipe my card which told them I was NOT a paying customer. Very time consuming and frustrating. The same occurred with open seating in main dinning rooms. This is even after receiving a letter to book on line. Couldn't do it. I eventually had to book a specialty which cost an additional $12 per person. How's that for Free. Entertainment although good was few and far between. Had two shows costing $40 or $20 per person extra. Shows not coordinated with meals. Beware what they say you are getting free. Drink packages.... which drinks....not all. Beware there virtual tours.... saw one of my cabin in Hawaii and showed no obstruction... when on board there definitely was one. BUT....the people working on these ships, specifically the Escape were wonderful. Made the experience more enjoyable. Unless I go with my grandchildren I will never go on NCL. The Escape was much too crowded... 6,000 passengers. Couldn't get to see much because of the crowd. With kids it's really good. 4 Water slides and a zip line. The kids loved it. Read Less
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