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22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
So just a heads up - we won this cruise and it originally was supposed to go out to sea and then back. We were told that due to Port Laws it couldn’t do that but there is some question as to whether that was the fact or if the number ... Read More
So just a heads up - we won this cruise and it originally was supposed to go out to sea and then back. We were told that due to Port Laws it couldn’t do that but there is some question as to whether that was the fact or if the number of indivduals who requested day passes made it non-viable to go anywhere. At first we were not really impressed with this as we could not get off of the ship and all shops and the casino were closed. They made up for this by making everything all inclusive including, speciality dining, alchol, and all attractions to ensure we got a good overall feel. As this was a “get to know” the boat tour I think Norwegian did well - with a major surprise to us all on the Saturday night....more on that later. We were travelling as a couple but kept our eyes open for those things families and singles would also like. This was the first visit to NYC by the Bliss on it’s way to Seattle for the Alaska season. She had just crossed from Europe to North America so we think a lot of the kinks in the operations would have been ironed out by then. The great things seasoned travellers will love include: - Streamlined cabins with efficient use of space. Curved cupboards (so no sharp corners to bang into on less than stable days) and double use of furniture (seat that doubles as a table but tucks away when not in use). - Lots of “things” to do including go kart track, laser tag, casino, pools, quiet places, bars and various venues for food. - USB ports in the night lights so you can have your phone/alarm clock right there with you by the bed (also adding more spots to plug in and charge - one on each side of the bed) - A well trained staff who were getting to know the Bliss like us made for efficient service that was above par. - Plenty of choices for food and drink connoisseurs. Staff was more than willing to amend or adjust food and drinks for various dietary needs. - A beautiful massive indoor observation lounge that is great to grab a snack, a drink, visit with friends, enjoy the view or curl up with a good book. The venue is open and airy so even with a lot of people in there you were not overwhelmed with noise. - A separate sun bathing area for adults (normally a fee applies at the Beach Club) away from the pool area to allow for a more laid back day in the sun (located beside the Haven private area and just as lavishly appointed). - Cavern Club provided some unique entertainment and was jammed with many people wanting to sing along to some great songs. - Interactive screens located on each deck to book speciality dining, laser tag or go karts or to provide you with information. - Buffet had themed food stations (like another line we go on) and is less cafeteria style as we have seen on other lines. - Nice having that Starbucks for the coffee fix - it is a legitimate Starbucks and not just coffee brewed with Starbucks products (this is normally an extra charge but sometimes you just need that brew). - Linens are currently plush and soft - now this is a new ship so who knows it may become the regular exfoliating towels however we noticed the towels were actually designed for the Bliss so maybe they will retain some ability to provide plushness rather than roughness. - The Waterfront is a unique deck where several specialty restaurants are located and allow you to access them from outside and in fact most of exterior seating - this will be really nice when the Bliss embarks upon her winter home port in the Caribbean. - Beer selection was excellent...not sure if it was due to the event or this is normal but you didn’t have to go a special beer bar to get a larger selection of world wide beers (though there is a special craft beer bar if the “regular list” isn’t enough). So here are some “myahs” on the ship: - There is not a lot of movement room in the rooms - to be expected but they seem to have ensured you are only getting the space you need - there is nothing extra. - Closet design was a little hinky in that about 6 inches became unusable due to an indent (unless you are bringing your own broom or hockey sticks and needed somewhere to store them). For me closet space is always premium so to lose that much means my husband suffers...ha ha. - Other than the observation deck (as noted) the ship was loud. Now it could be because there was a lot of amenities being provided however we found it to be noisy. The smaller dining rooms had bars outside their doors and I think that contributed to it - but once you were in the restaurant, it was still loud. - This is a weird one but was commented on by several people....the elevators (which we all know can get really full) had only a bank of floor buttons on the one side. As one person said they didn’t really consider left handed people. So while there are a lot of elevators you find yourself sometimes getting up close and personal with people standing just a little to close to those buttons. - Speaking of buttons.....the automated opening of exterior doors is not sensor based but instead you have to place your hand on a round disc located “somewhere” on a wall near by (sometimes you got lucky and it was on the door) but there were many people trapped sometimes between double doors as they could find the disc to open the next set. This is actually surprising as it increases the amount of surface space people are touching and therefore increasing the amount of germ transferrance. I don’t think this one was thought through from either an operational standpoint or from a health standpoint. - The only speciality restaurants we went to (and not for lack of trying but most were blocked off for private functions for those “day pass” people we mentioned) was Margaritaville. The day we went it was relatively warm 23C/mid 70s F, and the ship was not moving but it was cold sitting in this venue. The wind funnels through the deck to this area (the race track is above and there is an open stairwell up to it which we think just pulls the air through). There are no heaters (that we could see) which made for a chilly meal. The chairs used are trying to capture that blue/green beach chair look but if you are wearing shorts or have exposed legs be prepared for a little roughness. I ended up putting a towel on the chair to eliminate the scratching and draped it over the back to help reduce the draft on my back. The food was probably the worst we had on the ship - not bad - just the worst. We have eaten at land based Margaritavilles and this restaurant does not measure up. Considering there is normally a charge for this restaurant I would say it is not worth it. You can go to the shops and buy your souvenir glass there in comfort. - Theatre venue is small, entrance only on one level - considering the size of the ship (and the show they are putting on - Jersey Boys) this will probably lead to a lot of disappointed travellers not seeing this amazing production. - I don’t think the chefs believe in using salt.....at all. I am not a big salt lover so when I am adding salt to every meal you know that the seasoning is not quite right. Of course it is easier to add rather than take away...however it led to some very bland first bites. Lastly some nice little surprises that I am know are not going to be there as a rule but were cool to have. First - we went to the production of Jersey Boys. If this is on your to do book early - we went to try to book on embarkation day (we weren’t allowed to before) and all shows were sold out. We did stand by and got in but did the proverbial hunting of seats - which we got just not together. The show was excellent. We’ve seen the Broadway production and this production did homage to it. Though about an hour shorter nothing was left out. They were able to do this by eliminating any intermission and shortening some of the storylines. But here was the great thing.....as we were all getting ready to start watching this, in walks.....Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio....two of the original Four Seasons!!!! That was pretty surreal to watch a production about their lives with them! The next day The Four Seasons were inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. They ran out of white wine....how is that a nice surprise do you ask. Well first let me explain that the Bliss was sailing to Miami on Sunday and without passengers so the ship was not fully stocked. Add on top of that the number of day pass individuals who were there on an open ticket I am sure it wasn’t the only thing they ran out of. So when I ordered a glass and they didnt have any at dinner I was not too impressed....until they replaced it with some high end Champagne......adding bubble to any drink make things always better. Overall I think people will enjoy this ship. The fact they have listened to the passengers and are accommodating single travellers (single suite area is great with a independent lounge just for them), Kids activities and big “kid” activities, as well as meal choices for the various palettes makes Norwegian ahead of other cruise lines who are not quite there yet. However I think there were some design flaws by the various groups who either didn’t test drive the facilities (Margaritaville) or have no left handed friends (elevators). Would we cruise again on the Bliss - absolutely - would love to see her in action in the Caribbean. I also think that cruisers on the Alaska season are in for a real treat being able to view the various ports without getting chilled (especially the glaciers - so get there early and claim your viewing space) and just absorbing the scenery in a comfortable warm environment where someone will bring you a hot toddy if the chill still reaches you. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We booked this cruise as this ship seemed to offer lots of entertainment and dining options. Our fourteen and seventeen year old daughters loved the teen club Entourage and made a group of friends that they spent every evening with. We ... Read More
We booked this cruise as this ship seemed to offer lots of entertainment and dining options. Our fourteen and seventeen year old daughters loved the teen club Entourage and made a group of friends that they spent every evening with. We loved the various restaurants and seldom visited the buffet, with the exception of my oldest daughter who went to the buffet multiple times a day. Cagney's was my favorite. The Brazilian meat place was my youngest daughter's favorite. The dueling piano bar was awesome. We never sat at the main pool as the chairs were perpetually reserved. The 60 minute rule was never enforced. There are many deck chairs available on the sun decks away from the pool area. The ropes course was great. We loved Tortola. We booked a cabin with balcony for my wife and I and an inside stateroom across the hall for the girls. This worked out great as sharing a bathroom with three women is all but impossible. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This was my first cruise with norwegian after 4 with Carnival. We got the the manhattan pier at about noon and it was very confusing compared to past cruises. We traveled with two other families and we met them aboard the ship. Once aboard ... Read More
This was my first cruise with norwegian after 4 with Carnival. We got the the manhattan pier at about noon and it was very confusing compared to past cruises. We traveled with two other families and we met them aboard the ship. Once aboard the ship we found our room and explored the ship. the ship is beautiful! Our first activity was the ropes course. We went on when it opened and it was very fun. we also ended up doing the ropes course again the next day since they never opened the water slides. The next day on the ship while we were at sea we enjoyed dancing by the pool side. The service on the ship was ok. the crew members did not seem as friendly as on Carnival and did not go out of their way for you. Our cabin was the family ocean view on deck 5. it was nice however was a little small for five people to stay in. We ate in the manhattan room the first night and enjoyed our meal. We also enjoyed O'Sheehans irish pub. The entertainment was great! we enjoyed the rock of ages show as well as the piano bar and the fire and ice show. Overall we had a great time on the cruise. the main crtisism i would have is that the crew were not very friendly and the ship seemed a little disorganized in coordinating events. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We are a fairly new couple in our 60's who have taken 14 cruises between us, but we had never sailed together. Neither of us had been on NCL Breakaway before, and we decided to do the Breakway's December 11-13 Cruise to ... Read More
We are a fairly new couple in our 60's who have taken 14 cruises between us, but we had never sailed together. Neither of us had been on NCL Breakaway before, and we decided to do the Breakway's December 11-13 Cruise to Nowhere both as a romantic mini-getaway and to check out Breakaway to see if we would like taking one the longer regular sailings on this ship out of NYC in the future. We got our romantic weekend, despite some issues described below, and we now know we will never sail again on Breakaway and are unlikely to ever take a longer cruise on NCL after this experience. Pro's: Beautiful Cabin: We liked our Mid-ship BB Balcony cabin 9262 very much. Not very large cabin compared to some other ships we have been on, but it's well laid out with lots of storage. We loved the bathroom, somewhat more spacious than most others we have had, particularly liked the shower. Beautiful Decor: We liked the modern, colorful decor in the public areas, including the restaurants. Thermal Spa Suite: We enjoyed it thoroughly both afternoons, despite the significant additional expense charged by NCL. Some Great Entertainment: Highlight of this cruise was Fire & Ice performing their tribute to Tina Turner. Rosie Hunte did a spectacular job - amazing amount of energy. But NCL did a poor job by staging this show in the Atrium with limited seating, much of which was taken up by people who were not even watching the show. Biggest Con: Terrible Food: To say this was the worst overall food we have had on a cruise would be totally inadequate. While we had two good lunches (at Savor and Taste), we found most of the other food to be inedible, particularly for anyone who is trying to eat healthly. Dinner Friday at The Manhattan Room: I ordered the "Chef's Signature Dish", advertised as "Whole Striploin Steak" medium rare, but what arrived was two thin slices of grey, dry, overcooked roast beef, served with mushy overcooked broccoli and a tiny baked potato. My girlfriend ordered the shrimp entree, which consisted of five small overcooked shrimp and a large pile of plain white rice. So those meals went largely uneaten. Saturday dinner at the Savor Dining Room: Not having eaten my beef dinner on Friday, I gave beef another shot, ordering tonight's "Chef's Signature Dish", advertised as Yankee Pot Roast. But what arrived was two thin slices of grey, dry, overcooked roast beef (exactly the same mystery meat they served me night before under a totally different name), served with mushy overcooked green beans and a gelatinous cube that was billed as Potatoes Au Gratin. My girlfriend ordered the vegetarian lasagna, but what arrived appeared to be a few cold perogies with some cold mozzarella cheese on top. So those meals went completely uneaten by both of us, except for a couple of exploratory bites. On both nights, since we did not end up getting dinner in the dining rooms we chose, we wandered later up to the Breakaway's enormous Garden Cafe buffet. On both nights, we were astounded that neither of us could find much in terms of entrees we would eat. They have a large selection of food, and virtually all of it is horribly unhealthy and/or unappetizing: lots of fried food, fast food items like hamburgers and hotdogs that have been sitting there on the counter who-knows-how-long, and Oh, more of the roast beef they served me twice already. The only chicken dishes we saw were Buffalo chicken wings, cajun chicken legs, and a curry dish with chicken thighs. No seafood offered whatsoever except some fried items kids would eat: fish fingers and shrimp. No ham, no turkey dishes. So we cobbled up dinners both nights of some random side dishes. Other Con's: Poor Variety of Entertainment: Based on our previous experiences on other ships, we had expected to spend some time both evenings of our romantic mini-getaway dancing . Wrong! Despite having over twenty bars/entertainment venues on this mega-ship, the only place offered on this weekend cruise to dance was in the Bliss nightclub with a DJ playing booming music for the youngun's. We grownup's were out of luck. Beyond that, the primary entertainment events on both evenings were ticketed events that were sold out before the ship even left Manhattan Friday at 6PM. Surly Crew: While we interacted with some lovely crewmembers, we also found many of the crew to be downright surly, unfriendly. This was more common on Breakaway than either of us had experienced on other ships. Inadequate Elevators: Breakaway has only two elevator banks, resulting in long walks to find one and long wait times as elevator after elevator shows up on your deck packed with people. A ship this large needs three banks of elevators, covering forward, midships, and aft. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
We took the Breakaway on the last cruise to nowhere. It was a great weekend! This cruise was a little different since it was just a two day cruise. For instance, there were no porters for luggage. But since it was such a short cruise, ... Read More
We took the Breakaway on the last cruise to nowhere. It was a great weekend! This cruise was a little different since it was just a two day cruise. For instance, there were no porters for luggage. But since it was such a short cruise, people didn't have much luggage anyway. And, when we boarded, we could head straight to our rooms. Embarkation was a mess. They assigned boarding numbers but the people working on the floor were calling different numbers than the ones called over the PA system. That worked to our advantage since our boarding number was 39. We got on when the PA was calling number 10. I've never seen such a disorganized embarkation. I also realize that some of that might not be under NCL's control. The ship is beautiful with some nice public areas. The atrium tends to get crowded though and the flow along the length of the ship can be tight at times as you move through the atrium, shopping area, or casino. The weather was great and we spent time around the pool both days. The adult pool area is nice and they enforced the no kids rule. Not sure why I need to show my room key to get pool towels though. The muster drill was poorly run. Some of the arcade games were allowed to continue and the ship board PA system was useless where we were, near O'Sheehan's, since we couldn't understand a word. There were some other announcements we couldn't hear. A wasted 20 minutes. We left about port an hour late. I don't know why but we got a great view of the NYC skyline when we sailed. I didn't see or hear anything about a sail away party. We had a drink at Shakers before dinner. Very good drinks and music by Angel was good to listen to as well. Dinner in Moderno was fantastic! Not only was the food and service great, we had a table right by the aft window so we got to see the NYC skyline, the Statue of Liberty and the Verazzano Bridge all lit up. Moderno has a great salad bar as others have commented. It was worth the up-charge. We spent some time in the casino but it was too smoky for us to really enjoy it. We went to Howl at the Moon--we really enjoyed the show! It was fun to sing along and it went nonstop. They rotated three people for the two pianos and it was non stop fun. All three are very talented. We had an inside cabin on Deck 11 forward. It was fine. The bed was comfortable and we got good hot water for a shower. It's kind of a long walk to the elevator or stairs though. The next day we had breakfast in the buffet and ate outside on the deck. The weather was great. We explored the outside decks and checked out the casino. Still too smoky so we left after a half hour or so. We had lunch in Savor that was very good. We hung out by the pool in the afternoon. The hot tubs were full. We tried exploring the shopping but the main shop was packed. There seemed to be too few shops for a ship this big. We changed for dinner and stopped by the martini bar again. We had dinner in Le Bistro. We had some champagne to start and a great bottle of wine with dinner. The server asked if I'd like another serving of escargot and I took her up on it. They were great! My steak was overcooked though. We went back to Howl at the Moon it was so fun the night before. It was really fun again. The next morning we had breakfast in Savor and walked off about 9:30. The taxi line was a mess so we left and began to walk to Penn Station. It turns out there is a taxi stand on 12th Avenue right across from the pier so we gat a taxi there and then head home. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
I felt the need to write this review because I went on a cruise to nowhere 2 days on and off... Staff didn't have to go out of there way... Yet they did. Bartenders, room attendants, waiters, casino staff... Everyone exceptional. I ... Read More
I felt the need to write this review because I went on a cruise to nowhere 2 days on and off... Staff didn't have to go out of there way... Yet they did. Bartenders, room attendants, waiters, casino staff... Everyone exceptional. I love NCL and this just confirmed why.. This was my thitd time on this ship and I love it. Passengers were a little different on this trip a kind of strange crowd... But that's what makes this ship so much fun the diversity! I am sailing again in June in the Haven I am counting the seconds!! I had a balcony this time room was nice. Thanks for the special memories my NCL family!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
NCL Management needs to do a better job of communicating prior to the cruise. Our only real complaints were the lack of information regarding the check-in process. Why did they provide luggage tags to print and instruction to attach them ... Read More
NCL Management needs to do a better job of communicating prior to the cruise. Our only real complaints were the lack of information regarding the check-in process. Why did they provide luggage tags to print and instruction to attach them to our luggage when THERE WAS NO LUGGAGE SERVICE AT THE PIER for the 2-night cruise? Also, the numbering system used as you check in made no sense. It seemed like 90% of the people waiting to board were in group number 21 judging by the way the cheer went up when they said "and now, number 11 through 21" (there were no numbers 11-20). At least the room was ready when we got on board around 11:30. The only positive while we were sitting and waiting for embarkation was that the NCL ship WiFi became available around 10:30 and we were able to make entertainment reservation while sitting in the pier. Saved another line on board to make reservations. No complaints with the food. Moderno was good. We enjoyed it. Breakfast at O'Sheehan's both morning was quick and good. The buffet was, well, just a buffet. No surprises but nothing to write home about. Dinner at Savor met all expectations. Nothing outstanding but just good food. The comedy club was OK. Improv can be funny but it can also be just stupid. This show was somewhere in between. The only other minor complaint was with the sound crew for the Rock of Ages show. When they don't enable a performer's microphone, they're left on the stage talking or singing without the microphone working. It happened twice during the show to two different performers. No mic for several seconds. Also, they amplified the music much more than the voices of the singers. Made it hard to appreciate their performance. The cabin we had was a mid-ship balcony (category BA) on deck 13. Was noticeably smaller than the equivalent cabin we had on Quantum of the Seas last year. A few inches here and there really made a difference between the bed and closet, and in the transporter capsule they call a shower. Would we go on Breakaway again? Yes. Any day at sea still beats a day at the office. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
We just got back from Norwegian Cruise to nowhere that started from New Orleans. We were booked from 11/13/15-11/15/15. It was party of 10 that went on a three days cruise. It is our first time to cruise in United States. It was three ... Read More
We just got back from Norwegian Cruise to nowhere that started from New Orleans. We were booked from 11/13/15-11/15/15. It was party of 10 that went on a three days cruise. It is our first time to cruise in United States. It was three family and 10 members. We (three of us) stayed at stateroom 11130 on eleventh floor, room with balcony. We are absolutely amazed with service, organization and everything in between. Even though the arrival took a little of time due to many new customer service representatives doing check ins, we had best time from the moment we entered the ship. Service was amazing, starting with clean room, enough towels, very nice bathroom. We were told that there is a children station where they had programs for children. Our 6 years old girl LOVED it. Splash Academy rocks!!! The staff was awesome! My husband and I had a lot of time for ourselves to enjoy, which we were not able to do it in ages. Our child couldn't wait to go on all scheduled programs. There is a lots of food options, entertainment, ... shopping, but we ate mostly in Venetian. The service, food, everything is 5 stars. Servers were exceptional. Staff from Monte Negro and Croatia were the most pleasant ones, but all others as well. Great experience. We went to Irish Pub, to Club to dance, awesome! Our overall experience was GREAT one! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
The Norwegian Escape is Norwegian's newest and biggest ship. With over 20 different dining areas, a giant casino, five water slides and the first ever 'Margaritaville' at sea. Overall, I think the Escape is a great ship. ... Read More
The Norwegian Escape is Norwegian's newest and biggest ship. With over 20 different dining areas, a giant casino, five water slides and the first ever 'Margaritaville' at sea. Overall, I think the Escape is a great ship. Well laid out and well thought out for both the passenger and the cruise line. You will find your time on the ship spent mostly on decks 6, 7 and 8, where most all the activities are. The cabins are good size and I was surprised to find the balconies larger than the other "Breakaway" class ships. Quick Ratings - Food - I was only able to eat in the Buffett and at Osheehan's, however, I found a good selection in the Garden Cafe Buffett and Osheehan's had a larger menu than it does on the Epic. The food was well prepared and piping hot, which was nice, considering on the Epic it was often luke warm. Bars/lounges - I guess the night club activities have moved up to Spice H2O on deck 16. I have mixed feelings about this, considering it is away from EVERYTHING else on the ship during late night, but maybe it will be fun. However, what will Norwegian do for a night club when it is raining or very windy? The skyline bar in the casino doesn't have a great nightclub feel even though I know that is what they will do. Staff - I recognized a lot of staff from other ships I have been on and many recognized me! I was really impressed and happy with all the crew. Activities - Slides, ropes course, basketball, bowling at Osheehans. Its fun! Take part! Walk the plank!! Tips - 1. Bring your sneakers and a pair of socks for the ropes course. Give yourself about an hour to do the course. 2. Reservations, reservations and more reservations. Make sure you make reservations for dinner. I found a lot of the specialty dining venues were full. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We only spent a night on board the Escape and didn't see all of it, however, the bits that we did see were awesome! Firstly, the rooms. Size wise, they similar to those on MSC, Princess and Royal Caribbean. The shower was the ... Read More
We only spent a night on board the Escape and didn't see all of it, however, the bits that we did see were awesome! Firstly, the rooms. Size wise, they similar to those on MSC, Princess and Royal Caribbean. The shower was the largest that I've had on a ship, with it being equivalent to a proper shower cubicle at home. In the suites (which our friends had) the shower was a rectangle that ran the width of the bathroom, so pretty big. Colours are nice and have the usual amenities. For those who would use a travel cot, there is plenty of space alongside the wardrobe. We were a family of three, so we had a drop down bed; all pretty standard. The facilities on this ship are what makes it such a fantastic ship for families. The high ropes were great fun. There was a queue for this activity, but as you just get stopped on and then get on your way, there is no waiting around. The queue time was less than 5 minutes, even though the queue seemed pretty big. The course is well done; you can often choose a "solid path" or a woolly rope path, whichever you feel most comfortable with. The guys that work on there are great; I had a wobble at the zip wire across the ship, but the staff made me feel better and encouraged me to carry on. A word of advice; the course goes right around the front of the ship and the exit is where you start. I didn't realise that I had to go all the way back to the beginning until I had been on the course about 25 mins. Had I have realised, I would have turned back earlier. The walk through weather feature was in a really cool 'room' at the front of the ship, it had a real party atmosphere and is well worth a visit. The arcade room is fab. A must do is the paceman air hockey. At certain points in the game, 20 pucks invade the table and you have to go crazy trying to pot them. Other fun games included bowling on deck 7, pool, basketball etc. The food on the Escape was excellent, with many options of eateries and cuisines. We went to the show and ate in O'Sheehans Irish bar: nachos and fajitas. Good food for a quick eat. We needed to get our little girl to bed. Our friended ate in the complimentary Manhattan restaurant. They had lobster and steak, both of which were excellent. Everyone that we spoke to said the same. The show 'the Million Dollar Quartet' is really worth seeing. Our 4 year old sat through 90 minutes, foot tapping away and the finale got everyone, including ourselves up on their feet dancing. It was, by far, the best show we have seen at sea. Even my husband, who would always much rather sit in the sports bar of a ship really enjoyed it. The water park was worth stripping to swim wear on a cold October day! The slide with the inflatable tubes was great. It has jazzy lights inside so it's a bit different. The yellow slide is quite serene. Both were suitable for small children. The two thrill rides were closed, which was disappointing because they too looked fab. The children's water park had enough to keep younger children busy and the red slide was a lot more surprising than it looked! The pools were actually quite warm. Warm water was being pumped into the pools, so up near the wall waterfall it was actually like a warm shower. My little one laid down in this area and stayed there for quite some time. Bars- there are lots! Our favourite was the Brew House on deck 8. It's got a really cool vibe and we had some fun in the photo booth. Hubby really enjoyed choosing from tens of draught beers. We had a look around the kids club. It was enormous, with play stations, huge bean bags and plenty of space to let off steam. The staff were cheery and helpful. Despite being on the ship only a small time, we had a great experience and can't wait to sail on the Escape again. Though there isn't marble everywhere or diamond staircases, this ship certainly has the wow factor because of the entrainment, food and activities. Can't wait for our NCL cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
This was my tenth cruise and the only one I've ever done for one night. I usually do Princess or Royal Caribbean so was keen to try Norwegian. Just did the one night inaugural sailing from Southampton. Only its second night of ... Read More
This was my tenth cruise and the only one I've ever done for one night. I usually do Princess or Royal Caribbean so was keen to try Norwegian. Just did the one night inaugural sailing from Southampton. Only its second night of paying customers at sea. This review is therefore mainly my opinion on the layout and decor as opposed to the service etc which only cruisers experiencing a longer period aboard can really comment. First glance the ship.is big and nice to look at but nothing particularly spectacular. Boarding is on deck 5 which has nothing much on it so first impressions are of a very long voting corridor. No grand atrium entrance as is the norm. The decor in the ship is very modern and dark brown. Think boutique hotel meets Ikea. The interior is quite dark and not particularly open. There's not much height variation as you walk through the ship and I felt claustrophobic and I don't normally feel that on a ship. The atrium is very basic and not at the central hub as in so many ships. It is small and lack lustre and has fruit machines around the top level. Really? What were they thinking of? The lifts are enclosed and there's no nice look out when you leave them. It's all very dull and dreary I feel. The promenade deck is very lacking too. It's covered mostly with lifeboats so there's no nice walk to have around the ship nor any seats to sit on. The show was excellent. A 50's musical play featuring 'Jerry Lee Lewis' and gang who were amazing musicians but not the usual singing and dancing revue I was perhaps hankering after. It did last over an hour and a glad which I thought was good. The meal in the restaurant was excellent quality however the tables were so close together and the noise horrendous. The casino was more of a walk through and looked a bit like a nice working men's club rather than a cruise ship. The buffet was again quite penned in a d dark and claustrophobic compared to what I'm used to. Was like being in a department store cafeteria rather than a cruise ship. The food was okay at the buffet but not especially good. The room was very nice with all amenities including hairdryer, safe, LCD tv etc. The bed was amazingly comfy. The bathroom was fab with loads of room and a proper nice big shower cubicle. The top deck of the ship was really good with two nice pools, big waterslides and a really cool overhead ropes course which all our party enjoyed. A bit like Go Ape but smaller. The outside disco sail away was good with excellent sound system and deejay. All in all I wouldn't really want to spend any more time on this ship. I much prefer a bit of bling and the refinement and great customer service that you get on Princess and the fab entertainment on Royal Caribbean. It might suit some people but not for.me. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
This was just a one day/ one night taster and my first experience of Norwegian cruise line. I was pleasantly suprised by the decor onboard, I liked the cabin, it was spacious ( although the balcony door seal was already coming off and ... Read More
This was just a one day/ one night taster and my first experience of Norwegian cruise line. I was pleasantly suprised by the decor onboard, I liked the cabin, it was spacious ( although the balcony door seal was already coming off and prevented us from being able to fully close/open door). The shower was great, but as with American ships, as a Brit, I didn't like the weak as puddle water tea or creamer milks. The entertainment was outstanding, we watched the Million Dollar Quartet and loved it. What an awful disappointment then, after coming from the theatre on a high, to find long 45 minute queues at every complimentary restaurant. I do not understand why this happened as surely they have experience of organising meals, after all they have quite a few other ships, and it cant have been that they number of people wanting to eat that evening was unexpected. A total and unprofessional mess, although the staff kept smiling despite many heated exchanges. Norwegian cruise lines are not for me, after sailing with other lines, I found them to be amateurs, they certainly didn't impress me. What a shame Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
2 couples on a 2 day cruise booked from Hamburg - Southampton , £500 for inside , £1700 for haven paid. Allowed to board at midday in itinary , arrived at midday and should have got there by 11, we booked an inside as we always do and ... Read More
2 couples on a 2 day cruise booked from Hamburg - Southampton , £500 for inside , £1700 for haven paid. Allowed to board at midday in itinary , arrived at midday and should have got there by 11, we booked an inside as we always do and our friends booked a haven suite so we have a good perspective of both sides of the coin. It took our haven friends 10 minutes , us 90 minutes , both parties carried their own luggage and if paying haven rates would have been miffed. Once on board and in our cabin ( aft a huge wait for the lift ) we settled and unpacked , inboard had insufficient storage for a 7 day cruise as we had only enough room for a 2 day and felt that although nice cabin it did not provide us with mouth storage and before anyway states anything - we can do a 2 week Florida trip in hand luggage :) Our haven friends had a gorgeous cabin with plenty of space and a huge amount of storage with all the right top class amenities as you would expect. 2 sets of lifts was hard work especially on embark and disembarkation - will be trouble on a full ship ! Anyway - straight out to explore and have a drink, went to find onboard itinary to be told no more English available ? Seriously ?!!! Our German is not the best so went back to our room to get the English onto hav found a German one - our room attendant said he had no more so put in the German one instead . met our haven friends and found the majority of service in the bars to be very disappointing, 25 minute wait for a cocktail on first bar, staff levels generally under a lot of pressure and not many smiles given. Things did not improve , pool bar 10 minute wait to be served , brew house, table service forgot half the drinks had to go back myself to fetch them. Theatre bar, two drinks forgotten and then never came back as then too late to fetch them as show started. Food in buffet was very very poor and we are not snobs, cold, ran out, no smiles. Our friends in the haven were extremely well looked after - in fairness, lobster , fillet, scallops champagne etc brilliant and they could not fault the service or quality on any level. We took off our daily tips and complained about lack of customer care, we ordered a starter and main and then they both arrive together, we asked why and they said the kitchen is busy so we had a choice of hot starter or hot main, I ate the main and sent back the starter to be reheated ( not cooked fresh ) the waiter came back with a new starter ? Why they could not do that in the first place is strange. Manhattan restaurant was very nice, food more than acceptable and our waitress very funny and smiley. Taste and savor were again very good service and lovely staff. The shows consisted of 2 , midnight in Harlem and the million dollar quartet , the first average , the second we really enjoyed and was the highlight of the cruise. Pool area, I don't think 4000 people will enjoy this area, sardines in a tin spring to mind. Having visited the haven area which I have to say is spectacular ! Plenty of space and lots of staff to take care of you. We have Cruised many times before and always stay in and are happy with inboard cabins as we spend very little time in them but I think we will not return to this ship as it felt that unless you are paying top whack then you will receive standard service, mediocre food and spaces inch you will definitely have to fight for when busy. I can appreciate you get what you pay for but this is the fist time we have felt this way on a cruise ship and maybe because it is new and things need ironing out but at best our vote is average if payment anything less than 1st class price and if you are paying this you will definitely not be left disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We went on one of the 24 hour taster cruises, with two friends. Embarkation was somewhat disorganised, but not too slow. Our cabin, a junior suite, was ready on arrival. It appeared to be identical in size to our friends balcony cabin, ... Read More
We went on one of the 24 hour taster cruises, with two friends. Embarkation was somewhat disorganised, but not too slow. Our cabin, a junior suite, was ready on arrival. It appeared to be identical in size to our friends balcony cabin, but with an improved bathroom. The balcony cabin had a shower cubicle, the junior suite had a shower occupying the side of the bathroom with room for two (if desired!). Similarly the balcony cabin had a single basin, the junior suite a double basin trough. Soap and shower gel was available from dispensers, there were no amenities such as cotton wool, buds etc nor fluffy dressing gowns. The room was equipped with a coffee machine, one tea bag, sugar and no coffee. On enquiry we were told that coffee pods were not being provided for the one night cruises. We had only one shower towel between the two of us. I rang down for an extra one and was told that one would be sent but two hours later it had not. I rang again and it then came quickly. But ringing for help was not easy as the operator did not answer the phone, on several occasions, for a considerable time. We did not have a shower mat, assumed these were not provided, but later found out that our friends had one. They also had the conventional decorative towel on the bed which we did not, but we were not too fussed about that. The bed was large and comfortable, but there was no real suite amenities. The only furnishing difference from the balcony cabin was a bench - type settee instead of a chair. There is not a lot of storage space for a longer cruise. This is an enormous ship, though not an attractive one externally as it has the appearance of an office block on water. Internally the colours are muted and restrained and the better for it. The general internal appearance is pleasing. Facilities are many and varied, including high level 'assault course' type wire walking, plank walking. Facilities for children included excellent-looking water slides and a crèche. Not all of the facilities were working. We enjoyed the crazy golf but this would have been better if there had been more than 4 balls available - in total. We used 2 for our party of 4 and gave the other 2 to another party. There were lots of clubs available but others could not play for lack of balls. It seemed as though many of the balls had been broken under pressure of the clubs, as there were broken balls around including in the target shoots. We asked a member of staff but were told there were none more on board. Similarly we would have loved to play ten pin bowling, and did see some others doing so, but for most of the time this was out of order with technicians seemingly unable to fix the machine. Quite a number of the other machines also were out of order, which seemed surprising for a ship less than a week into service. Norwegian need to do something about their public address system. Announcements were largely inaudible over the general hubbub, despite us trying to hear them. The only person who could be heard clearly was the captain, when telling us of the importance of attending the muster station drill. He did not otherwise speak. However the other announcements during the drill returned to the inaudible standard. The drill was worryingly lax. Passengers seemed to have no idea where to go and were arriving throughout the demonstration, and being sent to other stations. Lifebelts were not given out and we were supposed to watch one being put on, but the place at which it was being put on was obscured by other passengers so we could see nothing. No attempt appeared to be made to check that all passengers attended. The self service Garden restaurant served food of a reasonable standard. No attempt was made to invite passengers to use the hand cleaning dispensers, and most did not. As a striking apparent design flaw, the aft lifts (elevators for American readers) emerge in the middle of the Garden restaurant, so passengers wishing to use these for the remainder of the attractions of that deck walk straight through the serving and eating areas. Not clever. The plates in this restaurant are plastic, reminiscent of picnics. Mid-way through the afternoon we looked on the information screens throughout the ship and found that the 10.00 p.m. performance of the theatre show was full and there were only 170 seats left for the 7.00 p.m., so we booked that. The theatre appears nowhere near big enough for the number of passengers. Tip: book early. We were required to be in our seats 10 minutes before the performance started, reasonably enough, i.e. 6.50. This ruled out a served dinner beforehand. But the result was that when the theatre emptied at 8.30 we, together with all the others attending, all attempted to access the freestyle dining in the main restaurants. They were full, including by those passengers intending to attend the 10.00 o'clock performance, and could not cope leading to lengthy queues, then passengers turned away for an hour or so. Some further consideration needs to be given to the show times. The show, Million Dollar Quartet, was outstanding, probably the best we have seen on any ship. It appeared to be a bought-in production, and we cannot speak as to the in house team. Regrettably the comedy club was not open during this cruise. Dinner was a mixed experience. Two of our party had meat options which were considered very good. There was no fish option except lobster/other shellfish. The two non-carnivores therefore had a filled pasta dish, the only vegetarian option. This was appalling, insufficiently cooked, hard, tasteless, cold. They asked to see the maître d'. This took 10 or more minutes and when he came he was offhand, not very apologetic. One particular gripe was the mark-ups on the wine. Cruisers expect a service charge on drinks (in this case a steep 18%). But Norwegian also added VAT and duty, apparently justifying this by a note on menus in minute type that in certain ports local taxes were added (we had the meal at sea but never mind). The result was to increase the menu price by around 50% in total. Breakfast was very slow. 1 hour 10 minutes from entering the restaurant until our hot courses came. A grapefruit was cut in half but not segmented. Difficult to eat an unsegmented grapefruit, especially when the only spoon provided is a soup spoon! We asked for marmalade for the toast but this never came. Overall, Norwegian have spent a fortune on this ship and there is the potential for some excellent facilities for those who like them. But there is a low staff to passenger ratio and it shows. The passenger-facing staff were friendly and doing their best but rushed off their feet and in many cases insufficiently trained. Things may well improve when the staff have worked together on this ship for longer. There was an unpleasant apparent fear of their middle-managers who could be seen berating staff but not lending a hand to show an example when things were busy. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
My husband and I were invited by our travel agent to spend a night aboard the Norwegian Escape on a taster cruise. It was for one night only. Embarkation was fine. The balcony cabin, in our opinion was badly laid out. There was a ... Read More
My husband and I were invited by our travel agent to spend a night aboard the Norwegian Escape on a taster cruise. It was for one night only. Embarkation was fine. The balcony cabin, in our opinion was badly laid out. There was a tiny bedside table on each side of the bed, so small it was a waste of time. The wardrobe was alongside the bed, making it difficult to put clothes in and out. My husband was pleased to see there was a coffee maker, buy alas no coffee! We did enquire about the coffee but was told the coffee makers were not in use at this time, however, we could use it to make a cup of tea (if we wanted to walk upstairs to get T bags that is)!! After unpacking we decided to have a drink and then explore. The first two bars didn't have any pino grigio, even though it was on their menu. The same with the draft beer. The drinks on this ship were very expensive. The most expensive we have ever found on any ship and we sail generally with P & O, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. To give you an idea, two medium glasses of red wine cost us £20!! We then went to book a table for dinner and was told we couldn't book a table, just turn up!! We attended the show, Million Dollar quartet, which my husband enjoyed and then decided to have a drink before dinner. The bars were mayhem! No waiter service (at least at the bars we attended)! We eventually got a drink and decided to go for dinner. The queues were incredible. I am on holiday, I don't queue. We ended up in our finery, along with a lot of other people, in the main buffet. The food was fine but not exactly the ambiance we had hoped for. We then had a stroll around the shops and couldn't face fighting our way to get another drink so went back to our stateroom, to be greeted by loud music coming from one of the venues just below our stateroom. Yes, NCL have put an entertainment venue in amongst the staterooms, well, good luck with that NCL. We are so grateful for our travel agent inviting us to try this ship. It has made us determine never to cruise with NCL again. If you like queuing, very expensive drinks and noisy staterooms, this ship is for you. We will not be returning. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
We had a one night taster before this new ship NCL Escape went on its maiden voyage to Miami. On first sight the ship was enormous but quite ugly. Embarkation of 3400 passengers was a bit chaotic but I have seen much worse. Bear in mind ... Read More
We had a one night taster before this new ship NCL Escape went on its maiden voyage to Miami. On first sight the ship was enormous but quite ugly. Embarkation of 3400 passengers was a bit chaotic but I have seen much worse. Bear in mind that the following day she was sailing full with 4500 passengers !! We went to our cabin and where pleasantly surprised. The design and splendour of the cabins was what we would expect from a good quality cruise ship. I am afraid that's were the good points ended. For our tastes the ship was too big. You never felt like you belonged. There where 20 restaurants' and I couldn't count how many bars. The sun deck area was very uninviting and the public areas below deck very uninspiring. The coffee lounge was far from intimate and relaxing, but more like the corner of a working mans club. Whilst the cabins where well appointed, the rest of the décor around the ship seemed rather cheap and understated. The atrium had no wow factor and everywhere just seemed crowded with people. Once the evening arrived, things got worse. No room in any of the bars,. We could not see a show because apparently you have to book and they where full. I have never known this before on a cruise ship. I suppose it was the consequence of a very small theatre on a very large ship with thousands of passengers. The chaos at the main free dining room was also a result of the amount of passengers. (goodness knows how they will cope when full) Food should have stopped being served at 9.30 but they where still trying to find empty tables for passengers well after 10.00. The food was uninspiring and not up to the standard we have become accustomed to on other cruise lines. The buffet was a pleasant experience for breakfast and seemed to cope adequately with the numbers. All in all not the greatest of experiences. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
Sailed on the Norwegian Escape for my partner's mother's Birthday (one night cruise from Southampton). Firstly - the ship was beautiful with fantastic restaurants, good food from what we experienced, good facilities, nice clean ... Read More
Sailed on the Norwegian Escape for my partner's mother's Birthday (one night cruise from Southampton). Firstly - the ship was beautiful with fantastic restaurants, good food from what we experienced, good facilities, nice clean staterooms and overall great potential. However, on this occasion we were extremely disappointed by the NCL customer service, complete lack of organization and very poor communication between staff and towards customers. The first example of this concerns evening dining - we were told early in the day there would be no need to book a table at the complementary restaurants as we would not have a problem getting a place. However, when we arrived for dinner that evening we were met with an hour long queue, with no staff seeming to know what was going on or willing to offer an explanation or any help or assistance. Eventually we were turned away along with many customers who HAD booked tables (having been given the opposite advice to our party). The customers at the back of the queue were not kept updated or informed of the situation and continued to queue long after those at the front had been told there would be no spaces for over an hour. This situation was the same for all complementary restaurants and we ended up paying to eat at one of the fine dining restaurants. On this occasion - after a great deal of complaining - NCL did the right thing and refunded us for this meal, but there were many customers who were not so lucky and this did not detract from the stress and time taken out of our one night on board the ship. The second issue concerned lost property - An hour or so after leaving the ship my partner and I realised we had left both our passports and my purse in the safe in our cabin. A very stupid mistake on our part but one which NCL dealt with extremely poorly. I called the Southampton office straight away and was told they'd call me back promptly and would do everything they could to reunite me with my belongings. They did not call me back. I called again later that day and again they failed to call me back. The next day, having been told everything would be done to track down the belongings, I was simply told I would have to send an email describing my belongings as they had all the lost property in boxes which had not been checked yet. Over the next few weeks I had to call again and again and explain the situation over and over again, each time I was told they had not checked the lost property yet and would call me back with information and each time they did not. It was about 4 weeks later that I was finally informed that my passports were in an office in London and about a month after my cruise I got them back. My purse, which had been with the passports in the safe in cabin had somehow 'gone missing' and could not be returned. No effort was made to look further into this by NCL. Overall, a cruise with fantastic potential ruined by NCL's incompetence. Would not recommend. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
Spent one night on the ship as a celebration to end of year of challenges taken on to raise money for a local children's charity , well this was spoilt by the whole experience . Firstly on Arrival at room , which was not even made up ... Read More
Spent one night on the ship as a celebration to end of year of challenges taken on to raise money for a local children's charity , well this was spoilt by the whole experience . Firstly on Arrival at room , which was not even made up , told by housekeeping on this cruise no coffee in cabin , tea bags but no kettle . Can live with that . First meal , well food was cold , staff rude not attentive at all , when received bill was horrified to find they had added an 18 percent gratuity , well the Services was not worth , your find this is standard company policy . Evening meal in the Manhattan ,we booked this 6 plus weeks ago , 8.30 sitting , we were still waiting at 9, to be told we still need to make up the table , the queues were out the door , people standing in the lobby it was like a crowd at a football match . Once seated we were given one menu between 8 of us , eventually more were handed out , we ordered our meals including dessert told this was to save time !!! Starters arrived , not up to much really , after some 45 mins our dirty plates were still on the table no one had been near us to even offer drinks or water . We had to call a manager over to ask what was happening , she showed no interest at all and thought by giving us a bottle of wine would make it right . Meals arrived , all cold , parsnips with steak which was like rubber , menu said chips , chicken so dry could not chew it . Crisps served with chicken and gravy , that did it called manager again (Corrine) , she said she would be back in 5 mins never came back . So we left with no dinner and ended up with a bar snack . We decided to make the most of our time , well had missed all the entertainment and no on board night club , everything shut at 1 ,on speaking to guest relation , was told its not a proper cruise , well we paid. Proper over rated price for what can only describe as butlins on water . I would not recommend this ship or company to anybody , could go on for ever Jusy don't bother wasting your money Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
As we'd enjoyed the 2 previous Breakaway inaugural cruises, it seemed only right to sample Escape to see if the Plus added much to the already excellent concept. Embarkation was very chaotic , badly organised and confusing, with ... Read More
As we'd enjoyed the 2 previous Breakaway inaugural cruises, it seemed only right to sample Escape to see if the Plus added much to the already excellent concept. Embarkation was very chaotic , badly organised and confusing, with even the Haven guest moved from one area to another. We are gold members , but the priority boarding seemed to have been abandoned in favour of a numbered card denoting arrival time at terminal! Eventually we embarked, and had to tote our hand luggage until cabins were released. We decided to lunch early, and made our way to the busy Garden Cafe, enjoying simple soups and salad. A poor design feature on this ship is placement of tea and coffee stations, alongside main entrance, with milk away from the hot drinks.Since no saucers or mugs were in evidence,it is inevitable that scalds will occur, ...and did! We made our way to our deck 13 cabin and were delighted by its comfort, generous size and large full tub bathroom. The big disadvantage of a forward facing cabin is the long walk to the central lifts. We later met up with a friend in the hospitable, comfortable O'Sheehans pub, where tea was served,and staff were pleasant. All the staff on board were so very pleasant ,many from the West Indies ,softly spoken and ever smiling We walked along the Boardwalk, noting the changes in restaurants, all sure to be huge successes once Escape reaches her home port of Miami. Although damp and chilly, we just had to see the new Aqua park , simply fantastic slides and facilities , and the scarily high rope walks. This class of ship has some of the best facilities for keeping children and teens active and safe we have seen on any ship. All activities are properly tested , supervised, and participants trained beforehand. Mandatory drill occurred before we sailed, and we were astounded by the number of guests who ignored attending, even though all guest services were suspended. We dined in one of the 3 main dining rooms, Savor , with good food, good service , and very pleasant atmosphere. After some wine, we made our way to the main showroom to enjoy MillionDollarQuartet. It was probably the best ship show we have ever see. We were assured at the start that the musicians were" not faking it" .. It was wonderful , live music from very talented, charismatic musicians , all making you believe you were really watching the legendary musicians. Particularly enjoyable were the talent,the stage presence , and sheer charm of the young man playing Jerry Lee Lewis.. A phenomenal musician! The cast member playing Elvis's girlfriend was a joy to watch, she was stunning, and seemed almost to have an inbuilt motor! Later, we found the bed to be exceptionally comfortable, the lack of movement great, and in the morning the lack of docking vibration a great surprise . Breakfast in the garden cafe was excellent, with good choices, a busy omelette station , the one downside being the lack of tables at a busy time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We have cruised with P&O, Princess, Cunard and Royal Caribbean so thought we'd try NCL so took a one night taster on the Escape. Well that's exactly what we'd have liked to have done ESCAPE! Standards are shockingly low. ... Read More
We have cruised with P&O, Princess, Cunard and Royal Caribbean so thought we'd try NCL so took a one night taster on the Escape. Well that's exactly what we'd have liked to have done ESCAPE! Standards are shockingly low. Service is non existent and staff are not interested in hearing your complaints! The only positive was the rooms are beautiful and the thermal spa amazing. Everything else was well below average. You have to Book dinner and shows on touch screens and although we booked dinner for 9:15pm when we arrived at the Manhattan there must have been over a hundred people queuing to get in. When I explained to the waitress that we had booked our table she was rude and told us to just get in the que!!!! Whilst stood in the que she was taking people who HADNT booked tables through to eat!! I approached her again to be told it would be another hour and half before we could eat!!!! When we finally sat down it took 3 hours to serve a 3 course meal and the food was average at best. I didn't eat my main as it was truly disgusting and come midnight still had no dinner!!! The wine waiter was so rude we refused to buy any in the end. Went to reception to remove the tips and complain to be told NOT to write the reason we were refusing to pay tips on the form!!!! The receptionist wasn't interested in the fact we'd had such a shocking dining/ service experience and told us to just ring head office. He didn't even apologise!!! Furious and hungry we went to bed. Upon trying to disembark there was absolute chaos (same goes for embarkation) and there was a woman with a young son in a wheelchair trying to get through the chaos of bodies to get her son off the ship. When she approached a staff member I heard her being told "we don't offer special service to disabled passengers"!!!!!! We were disgusted!! On the point of disabled passengers there are only 2 sets of lifts, both of which you had to wait at least half an hour to get in and disabled passengers seemed to wait forever. There was of course a private lift for "Haven" passengers but they wouldn't even let the disabled passengers use that!!! And to top it off the cheeky Devils still took the tips off our cards so filling out forms was pointless. If you want rubbish food, rubbish service and you love to que then this is the ship for you. If however you have more discerning tastes then avoid this bargain bucket cruise line! What worried me most was the utter lack of organisation in EVERY area of the cruise. I would not want to be on that ship with those staff in an emergency situation!!! I know this is a long rant but this is our FIRST AND LAST ever cruise with NCL!!! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We have just returned from a family taster on the new escape. We were by in large impressed with the ship,but it had teething problems. The life boat drill was a shambles I appreciate that it has to be done but to wait for everyone to turn ... Read More
We have just returned from a family taster on the new escape. We were by in large impressed with the ship,but it had teething problems. The life boat drill was a shambles I appreciate that it has to be done but to wait for everyone to turn up well past it's start time was ridiculous, the majority of us turned up and signed in when told but there were passengers just strolling in well after, a waste of half an hour especially when you are only on board for less than 24 hours. We have previously sailed in the Epic so the Escape had a lot to live up to and in some cases it didn't. The drinks were very expensive as was the al a carte menus. We were fortunate enough to have booked a dining time at the Manhatten Room because they were queuing to get in. Not all that impressed with the menu and way too much garlic butter on the steak. We were disappointed that there was no childrens menu in the restaurants, our 10 year old son had to eat an adult meal which was too much for him and only one thing tat he liked on the menu. All the bars were good and served a nice prosecco. Our stateroom was lovely although we didn't like being woken up by an announcement in the middle of the night about a code bravo. The beds in the stateroom were extremely comfortable. Breakfast was a free for all with passengers bringing their suitcases in the garden cafe and all trying to find a table. We thought the staff were friendly and pleasant. All in all we had a good time but had we not have cruised before it might have put us off, but because we had such an amazing time on the epic we will be cruising again. We won't ,however, be doing a taster again. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
There were 7 people in our group, all of whom have cruised many times before. This was our first time with NCL and if this is any indication of their standards - never again! Having arrived we took a number and after about an hour were ... Read More
There were 7 people in our group, all of whom have cruised many times before. This was our first time with NCL and if this is any indication of their standards - never again! Having arrived we took a number and after about an hour were called to check in. We then had to sit down again (or stand as there were no seats available) and wait another hour to be called to board. Service on board was very slow and the drinks were very expensive (2 rum and cokes $21.50 plus 18% tax). Waited half an hour to be seated in the main restaurant and 2 hours later (having only eaten starter and a main course, both of poor quality) we left. At no time did we see a wine waiter. After dinner we went to the District Brewhouse where the live pianist was very good; unfortunately all the best seats were taken up by crew members who seemed to treat it as their own private club. Overall we have left with the opinion that NCL is very expensive (all restaurants except the main restaurants carry a surcharge or are a la carte), the service is slow and standards are not as high as other cruise lines we have experienced. The only good thing about this taster cruise was the Million Dollar Quartet show which was excellent! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Well this was our first time sailing with NCL...so it was great to sail on a brand new ship!The Escape is a great sized ship with plenty to do and see. The Top deck was great with the slides and pools along with a huge ropes course and of ... Read More
Well this was our first time sailing with NCL...so it was great to sail on a brand new ship!The Escape is a great sized ship with plenty to do and see. The Top deck was great with the slides and pools along with a huge ropes course and of course crazy golf. My 11yr old loved this, along with ten pin bowling and basketball games, etc. The public areas are great and we thoroughly enjoyed having a good look around. We loved the area around the O'Sheehan's bar, there was a real buzz here. We also really enjoyed the atmosphere in the District Brew house on an evening, the photo booth here went down well with my family members. The three complimentary restaurants were beautifully decorated, along with a lot of the ships décor. The staterooms were of a good size with great sized bathrooms. We stayed in a balcony room one night and an inside cabin the other night (as booked separately) and found them a perfect size. The balcony room came with tea and coffee facilities, but apparently there was no coffee available on the ship, so one teabag had to do! Hopefully this will be sorted out on the next leg of the ships journey. The balcony itself was actually bigger than I thought. We were able to have a look around the Haven suites which were absolutely fantastic! We watched one show, The Million Dollar Quartet, the singing was great but I found the show quite long, my other family members enjoyed it though, it comes down to personal taste though so my recommendation would be to check it out for yourself. Food wise, my favourite meal was at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville's one lunchtime, both the food and service were great, fantastic Keylime pie! We tried the Manhattan restaurant one evening, this was very busy and therefore there was no personal service from the staff. There was a good ambience however. Freestyle dining is great in principal but there were so many queues around the popular eating times, and getting out of the restaurant was a challenge! Personally I would like to see more 'Classic' dishes on the menu, I didn't find the starters or deserts on the menu very interesting. I chose herb encrusted chicken for a main which came with half a tomato and a small spoon of mashed potato, no other vegetables, so a little bland. I didn't enjoy the desert. Yet again this is just my personal opinion. The Garden café was okay for breakfast but not so much for an evening meal, I found the food quite cold. O'Sheehan's served some great snacks, the apple and cinnamon pie was very nice indeed! We didn't have a main meal here, will try that next time. The drinks onboard, as on any ship are very expensive, it would be well worth choosing an alcohol package if you are onboard for longer than a couple of days. The Sail away party on the top deck ( 28th Oct) was great, a fantastic atmosphere! So overall, the ship itself was fantastic, the activities were great, the cabins were great and the general atmosphere was great! BUT my main gripe has to be the severe lack of happy smiley faces with the staff, bearing in mind this is only a couple of days into the ship's inaugural cruises. I was quite shocked actually, normally on a cruise ship staff smile at you and say hello but I simply didn't feel that on this ship, (apart from Margaritaville's) Not sure why? I do love these taster cruises though, a family member was able to experience her first cruise and loved the ship, so it was perfect that it left from Southampton, looking forward to the next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We tried this just to see what a cruise proper would be like but we have to say that we wont be rushing to book one anytime in the near future - certainly on a ship of this size!! Perhaps a smaller liner may suit us. Anyway, the ... Read More
We tried this just to see what a cruise proper would be like but we have to say that we wont be rushing to book one anytime in the near future - certainly on a ship of this size!! Perhaps a smaller liner may suit us. Anyway, the embarkation procedure was fine, took quite a bit of time but you have to wait at an airport don't you?? Our cabin was lovely and the double bed in it was soon separated for us by the steward (we are two ladies) - only two teabags in the room though - could have done with at least a couple more. Unfortunately we were woken twice in the night. The first time by a young girl walking in the cabin, chatting on a mobile and turning all the lights on - she soon left after she realised her mistake but we are still curious how she got in at all??? The second intrusion was a annoy announcement advising that "bravo drill" had been cancelled!! This announcement was made we believe three times at about 3 in the morning - probably someone pressed a wrong button somewhere. We were not impressed. We had a lovely meal in Taste BUT our biggest mistake and one which we feel is tantamount to being criminal, was that we ordered two glasses of red wine. At the end of the meal, the invoice was handed to us and it was for £33.46 - we could not believe it - £16.73 for one small glass??? Absolutely outrageous - how can this possibly be justified? Apart from this, we were handed, on disembarkation, an invoice in the sum of £60.46 being the heavily overpriced glasses of wine together with two service charges of £27.00. I'm sure someone will say "its in the small print" but it shouldn't be, it should be in very large print. Finally we managed to go to the Theatre to see The Million Dollar Quartet - excellent show but we only got there by chance. We tried to book the 7.00 p.m. show on the onboard reservation screens, only to be advised that there were no seats left!!! We took the chance after our meal just to have a look at the theatre, only to find there were plenty of seats available so had we not bothered and taken the touchscreen as being gospel, we would have missed it. What is wrong with the touch screen bookings? All staff we encountered were very helpful and polite but some found it difficult to understand what we were saying (English) and had to get another staff member to help. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
50th Wedding Anniversary.Only time we could get family and a couple of friends all together. Booked months ago, booked table for 12 for 2030. Confirmed by e Mail. Only Manhatten dining room would accept a party this size. No ... Read More
50th Wedding Anniversary.Only time we could get family and a couple of friends all together. Booked months ago, booked table for 12 for 2030. Confirmed by e Mail. Only Manhatten dining room would accept a party this size. No children's menu, despite assurances that there would be, no table, food inedible,service non existent. Finally left hungry after 2 hours wait. Drinks expensive, staff that could speak English, unhelpful. Cabin absolutely fine, show, Million Dollar Quartet, absolutely brilliant. We have sailed on a couple of occasions with NCL, no problems at all, enjoyed the cruises, so we know this is not typical. So,so let down. NCL this should be your flagship, not your Titanic. Read Less
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