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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 ... 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 staterooms ... 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 even ... 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. Service is non ... 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
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